Humans are incredibly adaptive and resilient. We can adjust with a change of surroundings quite easily and this pandemic is another example of how we can adapt. We were instructed to social distance, stay home, flatten the curve, mask up, and many other changes in behavior all designed to keep us safe. Most of this would have been a fantasy just a half a year ago, and now they are the norm and reality.
Despite these behavioral and societal changes, we still recognize the important things in life and plow forward with our generous spirit and steely determination to celebrate and enjoy each other.
This past weekend I had the privilege of attending a virtual wedding. It’s not that the wedding wasn’t real, it’s just that we weren’t allowed to be there. I have known the bride for over 20 years and her parents almost my whole life. We were so excited to share in their celebration and had planned to attend the wedding and reception scheduled for May 9. As soon as the lockdown occurred, I realized that this may be an unrealistic event and texted my friend, the bride’s dad. He recognized the issue and said they would keep the date and still get married but it may be a small family gathering with a reception much later, once we get the all clear.
Having just participated in my own son’s wedding last summer I am keenly aware of all the planning that goes into this sacred event. I have never been a girl, but I married one and have daughters. I can only imagine the heartache that goes along with seeing your dream wedding disintegrate right before your very eyes, completely out of your own control. But we are resilient, and the amazing human spirit adapts and the people who love us promptly step into the breach to make our dreams come true in the best way we know how.
Long story short, they took the wedding to a state which allowed for a church service and invited all the guests via a secure YouTube link. On the link was the happy couples’ website and a virtual wedding program just like we were in the church with them. The program contained the scripture readings, prayers, hymns, and names of the attendants so we could follow along at home.
I set the wedding up on my laptop, placed a cross next to it, and gathered our family around the screen to share in the celebration. I wondered to myself, just how different it might be to “watch” a wedding instead of “attending” a wedding and hoped for the best. The priest and the attendants wore masks, but the bride and groom did not. I am so happy this was the case. One of the best smiles in the world is the moment the bride sees the man she is going to marry, and her emotions are portrayed perfectly on her face.
For those of you who know me well, you know I am a light touch emotionally. It doesn’t take much for me to cry and this wedding was no exception. The happy couple was a thousand miles away yet, when they turned to face the camera and were presented for the first time as husband and wife, I did it again.
Several hours later we witnessed the virtual graduation of a different friend’s daughter from medical school as her dear family created an experience for her. They facilitated a procession, played pomp and circumstance, handed her the degree she earned and filmed it all as she crossed the family’s front porch. Her smile was worth a million bucks too. The sacrifice of her accomplishment represents so much work, dedication, and commitment. It too needed proper acknowledgement and we were privileged to witness and share in her joy as well.
I love how resilient we are and how we meet adversity head on and rise to the challenge of it. We are blessed to live in a time such as this. As difficult as our current situation is, and the new challenges we face, technology and the human spirit will always prevail. I had the honor and ability to share in the joy of two amazing families all from the comfort of my home (and all this without having to get dressed up).