Two weekends ago, Lori and I settled into plastic folding chairs, draped with purple fabric, in a pasture flanked by a 19th century Victorian farmhouse and a row of tall trees shielding us from the late-afternoon sun.
There on the grounds of the Clackamas River Farm, we were gathered with dozens of other guests for the wedding of Rebecca Wilcox and Jeff Olson.
Rebecca is the youngest daughter of our longtime friends, Eric and Sue Wilcox, and known to one and all as Becca. She was born just days after our youngest son, Jordan, and they’ve been friends virtually their entire lives.
We’ve seen her grow up along with our own kids, transforming from a chatty, curly-haired little girl to a chatty, beautiful adult. (And I say “chatty” with affection.)
On this particular Saturday, she was beaming. As she should be, surrounded by friends and extended family at a sprawling 45-acre venue about 30 miles southeast of downtown Portland.
Becca walked in on the arm of her dad, who no doubt felt mixed emotions — a sense of fatherly pride combined with loss of a daughter and the addition of a son-in-law to the Wilcox clan. Her mother, I imagine, probably saw a lot of herself in her daughter, who has followed her into the teaching profession. Both are outgoing and dedicated to family above all.
Scott, the older of two brothers, officiated the ceremony with efficiency and humor. Steve, the younger one, delighted the crowd with a reading from Robert Fulghum’s, “
Lori and I were happy to be there, doubly so when we reminded ourselves that we’ve seen each of the Wilcox children get married. Likewise, Eric and Sue have seen two of our three kids get married. (Who knows if the third will someday go down that path?)
If that isn’t a sign of a great friendship that’s spanned almost 30 years, I don’t know what is.
The wedding and reception went quickly. As night fell and the stars came out, the focus of attention shifted from cake and pies to the dance floor, where guests moved to a playlist curated by our DJ son, Nathan.
Weddings, like births, are an occasion for celebrating a new phase of life. They give us a chance to express our fondest wishes for happiness, good health and all that comes with being a couple legally committed to each other.
We felt privileged to be there and delighted for Becca and Jeff and their immediate and extended families.