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"I tried once to open too many doors at a time, it was unproductive and confusing.
I just learned the last lesson, Dad. I'm supposed to open just one at a time, and only when I reach them along the path, this 'hike' we are taking. That's when the key fits, and opens the lock perfectly, every time. Thank you, Dad. I love you, and miss you. I am blessed with an amazing husband now, he holds my hand as we walk along paths too. We are climbing a little steeper now, with more effort, and thinner air. But I'm not worried. I am looking up. I am living in the moment, being now. Because when we get to the next door, along our path, I know, Dad, . . . that key is going to fit, perfectly!"

excerpt from Pony, 6/6/2013 post
© ruth follmann

Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License

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Bridal Shower Beauty and Gratitude

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Overwhelming emotion and gratitude have me still reeling from the privileged invitation to my eldest daughter and son in law to be, Deirdre & Justin's wedding shower this past July 26th, 2015. It was extraordinary!

My youngest daughter, Tara, is dressed in green on the right of the first photo. Thank you, Tara, for your kindness, for opening your home to me, and hours of patient driving to and from the airport.

Deirdre's beautiful and endlessly giving mom in law to be, Shelia, reserved a charming top notch Italian restaurant for the occasion. The owner of da Baffone, Cucina Italiana, Camille Giangrande, reached out to all as if we were family, as did her staff. The seven course lunch and two choice desert of Italian Spumoni and cake, as well as, house drinks were to die for! My taste buds exploded with delight as we all could hardly keep up with the next choice served us! da Baffone charmed all with enchanting Italian opera songs that swirled about carrying smiles, great conversations, sparkling wine, and smells of delicious food to make this shower unforgettable!

Shelia made sure every detail was exquisitely perfect, showcasing the prize deserving decorated cake, adorned with Deirdre & Justin's wedding colors, emerald and champagne. Sheila also beautifully arranged trays of hand painted cookies, shaped like vintage keys (a theme at the wedding to be) and hearts, as well as, hand dipped decorated pretzels drizzled in emerald green (Shelia made the pretzels herself!). Shelia even decorated the bride to be with a beautiful wrist corsage, and each table tastefully with delicate flower arrangements and lovely Italiano gifts for each guest.

The shower was a room filled with love and happiness for the deserving well-suited couple. One of the pics shows a gift in portrait Justin's aunt, Susan, an amazing and talented artist, drew from a photograph of the two.

Another boasts the bride and groom's differing favored football teams, the Bears and the Packers, by a gift of travel mugs from sister in law, Jaime, smiling behind the couple!

The sixth photo shows Deirdre and Justin seeing one of Mr. Ken's fossil sculptures sent along as a wedding shower gift. Ken crafted shark teeth and other fossils to create a Sea Horse, delicately placed upon a piece of coral Deirdre and her sister, Tara, had found along the beaches of Key West, FL when they were children.

The Bride and Groom to be were very careful, despite the giggles and taunting from the group, not to break any gift ribbons. The breaking of each gift ribbon, according to wedding shower tradition, results in a child for the couple to be after marriage. No ribbons were broken, only one was untied by Justin, the meaning of which was deemed to be unknown as all smiled and laughed. The couple wisely plan to travel and enjoy life a bit after the wedding before starting a family.

Shelia arranged an adorable game where the bride and groom sat back to back in their chairs and raised the shoe belonging to the one they felt best answered a question they were given. The giggles turned to laughter with each question posed to the couple, especially when they had differing answers, shown by raising a different shoe!

I, at times, felt like a sow's ear in a silk purse, being a person of a humble background, (which fork do i use?!?) but Shelia invited me to sit at her table and made me feel quite at home! My sister in laws, Katie and Bridget, Deirdre's aunts, kept me under their loving wings too!

Thank you, Shelia, for orchestrating this never to be forgotten, beautiful wedding shower! You are amazing!!!

The weekend was a chance to reunite with family i haven't seen in years, a gift that unfolded from my daughter's wedding plans that i will deeply treasure. I am so grateful. I regret not having more time to spend with my daughter, Deirdre, the bride to be, to sit, spend time, and talk. Life sometimes affords us small windows of time; we must take them and be satisfied.

My heart overflows with the sincerest gratitude for the dedication, care, and love shown Deirdre from Justin and Shelia during the trying times of Deirdre's two surgeries. Shelia herself cared for Deirdre only two weeks after a surgery of her own. I cannot have found a better or more caring mate and family for my daughter than she herself has chosen. The Cramer family is truly a rare gem, as is Justin. When one catches his glance of the true love and dedication he has for Deirdre, and has had for years, you know these two have found a gift in each other in a marriage to be and as friends.

Above and beyond that, I am forever indebted to Deirdre's generosity to reach out to me and share this important event in her life. The outstanding woman my daughter has grown to be, a successful business banker, a strong community volunteer and event planner to champion a cure for cancer, a loved companion to Justin and family member of his own, a true friend to many by the measure and number of open hearts she has touched who were also celebrating the two on this wedding shower day, is of no surprise. Deirdre has always been a source so strength, friendship, and humor to others since she was very young. She befriended a blind classmate, Laura, and they stayed pals until high school separated them to follow different paths. I remember Deirdre being very ill one day when she was young and saying she had to still go to school to help Laura. She is a tireless, selfless bridge builder. She knocks down walls. She constructs new beginnings.

I am so happy for Deirdre and Justin, and the life they are planning together. I am proud of the woman my daughter has become, despite my happenstance single mom parenting, when she and her sister were young. I am certain the future Deirdre and Justin create will be one that is built on solid foundations of love, hard work, and understanding. That is the only way a marriage survives. My wise daughter knows this before crossing into those vows. I am so very proud of her.

Best wishes, Deirdre and Justin! Ken and I look forward to sharing the event of your wedding day in October! Thank you for that gift in invitation as well. We love you both so much~

A montage of my beautiful daughter, Deirdre, is included in this video created years ago. I couldn't be happier to know she is safely under an umbrella of love and care in her life now, and soon to be, as Mrs. Cramer~

under my umbrella, a dedication to my daughter, Deirdre;=1

link to da Baffone, Cucina Italiana

If you are a Facebook member, check out Justin's band: Pirate Radio! They are an energetic "booty shaking" cover band Mr. Ken and I look forward to hearing in person one day!


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