Last Sunday, I watched my little sister walk down the aisle…
…swept away by her knight in shining amor.
The only person I’ve ever prayed into being, finally the glowing bride she’d longed to be.
It was a beautiful day…in every sense of the word.
But it wasn’t easy...
…not even close.
Why, you might ask? Well…let’s just say I’m still figuring it out.
All I know is when the day first started, I wasn’t too sentimental. In fact, the brunt of any emotional barrage came in the form of parental sympathy, knowing they were just hours away from being official empty-nesters for the first time in almost thirty years.
Yet, as I watched my sister’s eyes sparkle, glimmering in the joy of her perfect man, I started to melt.
For my little sister wasn’t so little anymore.
Granted, she’s probably the most mature 21 year-old you’ll ever meet…
…not to suggest I’m just now noticing that.
Truth is: anyone who’s ever known my sister understands the elegant chic and class she’s always carried, not to mention her caring, compassionate core.
I mean…seriously, it’s not every day an older brother can honestly look someone in the face and say he looks up to his younger sister.
But here I was doing just that: looking up and seeing this hilarious, adventurous, fun-loving baby sister all grown-up, getting married as a dignified, sophisticated woman…
…wondering, ‘Goodness gracious. Where did the time go?’ …
…as if I was logging some future ‘Father of the Bride’ practice in.
Needless to say, I was stunned…lost in an awkward dichotomy between numb and ecstatic.
And so it came to pass that as everyone started busting moves on the reception dance floor, I stepped out to breathe, looking to find a moment of silence I could deposit my tears into.
Then it hit me: This was the end of an era.
Not just for my parents, but for me...as a brother.
No longer was I my father’s wingman on my sister’s ‘favorite men list’. No longer was I her ‘step-in’ man of the house. No longer was I her ‘big’ brother.
I was just an older brother with a different last name.
And as I tried to process what felt like a melancholy tsunami, my mind started lighting up like a midsummer electrical storm…flashbacks of memories…good and bad…overwhelmed by thoughts of the better brother I could have been...wishing I could have somehow begun my period of being a man worth looking up to at a younger age.
You talk about an impassioned deluge. I was in it.
But ultimately, I remembered my love for my sister. And slowly but surely, the waves started to subside…and the once bittersweet symphony within started its decrescendo back to a more jovial tune.
True, I wasn’t in the mood for masquerading…
…yet, I couldn’t help but want to catch another glimpse of my sister walking on cloud nine…
…lit up in a way I’d never seen before.
So as I walked back in and rejoined the celebration, I applied the shudder to my photogenic memory and let loose.
‘Cause in the end, I realized: I love my sister… I love my family…and there’s no way I want to risk forgetting any part of this night.
Thus, it was a fitting way to embrace the start of a new era…
…recognizing that though times, names and roles change…
…the bonds of family grows…and becomes tighter and stronger than ever.
And though my little sister is now a not-so-little, married woman, I can be even more grateful to be in this new season with her…
…whether it’s as a brother, a counselor, a fan or a prayer partner…
…however it looks…it’s going to be good.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.