It was hot. The wedding was at a farm near Clark, South Dakota, a special place for Ryan. It was a small wedding and the wrestling coach officiated. There was a mix of blended and unblended families.
Ryan is our nephew. He grew up with our kids until his family moved to Watertown, where he graduated from high school. He moved with his mom and her boyfriend. Ryan’s parents were divorced. His dad is my husband, John’s, brother.
Ryan was a really good wrestler and wrestled in college while studying to become an elementary school teacher. He lives in Clark now and is the high school wrestling coach and an elementary school teacher.
Sam is from Canada. They have had a relationship where she could be in the United States for a period of time before having to go back to Canada for a period of time. They finally got tired of the back and forth.
Sam was beautiful today. She was escorted by her father down the grass aisle. As soon as she saw Ryan, she started crying. Ryan looked so proud. When she got to him he instantly grabbed her hands and didn’t let go. The love for each other was oozing out of them. It was a little windy and a piece of hair was blowing in her face. He carefully grabbed it and tenderly placed it behind her ear and then grabbed her hands again. The ceremony was short and sweet. Just the way everyone likes it when it’s 90 degrees outside.
After the wedding everyone headed to Clark for the reception. The reception was at a building at the Fairgrounds. It was a great building for a reception. Metal and hot AF. Lots of space. You know, for when people get drunk and crazy and the dancing starts. We left before any of that happened.
My mother-in-law’s name was Elsie. She passed away in 2005. She was a tough German woman. John’s dad and her met in Germany, while he was stationed there in the 50’s. In fact, John was born in Germany. Elsie loved her grandkids and spent as much time with them as she could.
At one point during the reception, everything just stopped and a warmth came over me. It was as if everyone else was normal, but I was different. I could feel the presence of Elsie. I believe she was there to witness the love between Ryan and Sam. I felt almost like I was in a movie. Like an out of body experience. It was fleeting. It was strange. It was different. I felt happy that she was there to see her grandson so happy. To see Tayler and John and Mark too. I was happy she could see Brandon and Shane and her great grandkids. She was only there for about 15 seconds, frozen in time. And then she was gone.
It was a strange day, as today is the 17 year mark of my dad’s death. Normally a sad day for me, but today it was a happy day. Ryan and Sam got married.