Wedding Anniversary

Wedding Anniversary

Many years ago on this day my mum and dad were married. Neither of them is with us anymore but on their day I think about them and the life they shared as husband and wife. Their marriage was far from perfect but they stuck together, raising four children and devoting themselves to their grandchildren with great love and care.

As I look at this photo I see the love and hope that was no doubt a part of their big day. Mum was a great beauty and dad scrubbed up okay too. My Aunty Rhonda and Aunty Barbara were the bridesmaids, neither of them is still alive, but they were also a big part our lives growing up.

Some aspects of the wedding have changed greatly since this time but others remain the same. As I reflect on this and the marriages I perform it reminds me that we need to move on as a society and have marriage reflect the time in which we live. I very much look forward to marriage equality and I know that my mum and dad would wish for this too. I don’t think we ever had the conversation but they were always completely accepting and inclusive and I know they would want everyone to have the right to marry as they did.

Being a Grandma

Being a Grandma

While I didn’t have a wedding or a funeral this weekend, I did celebrate life by visiting my daughter, son-in-law and new granddaughter in Melbourne. What a wonderful few days I had, lots of love, smiles, cuddles, rocking, singing and more were had.

It was such a pleasure to be able to lighten the load a bit for these amazing new parents. They are doing such a great job and their little bundle of joy is so happy and relaxed as a result.

I can’t begin to express how much I am looking forward to getting to know Isabelle Grace as she grows, to spending time showing her things, reading to her, singing her songs, taking her places and just hanging around taking the time to do the things she wants to do.

Being a grandmother is all I had hoped it would be and more. Watching my daughter with her daughter is one of the most amazing things I could ever witness. Thank you to Emma and Jono for so generously sharing their beautiful daughter with me and letting me spend time beginning to nourish one of my most important friendships of my life.

Jess and Adrian

Jess and Adrian

Yesterday I had the privilege of marrying a beautiful couple, who just happened to be ex-students of mine. Their love began as 12 year olds and 16 years later they are now husband and wife. It was such a special day for me and as I drove home from their ceremony I was still very much caught up in the love that was present at their wedding.

It was lovely to spend time learning about their lives, their relationship and their hopes for the future while we were preparing their wedding ceremony. From the moment we first met to get started, they expressed their excitement about having me as their celebrant and how special it was to them to have someone they knew take on that role. Well it was very, very special for me to take on the role and to be a significant part of their big day.

I also taught some of the groomsmen and the two maids of honour, and as I looked out on the people gathered to witness the marriage, I was able to look into the eyes of many students I had taught as teenagers. They had all grown to be such confident and beautiful young adults and catching up with them after the ceremony filled my heart with gratitude and joy. 

As I reflect on what was a wonderful day for me, I'm hoping that for Jess and Adrian it was even better.

In Memory

In Memory

When I sit down with a family or the friends of a person who has died, I sit down in a space filled with love, a room where those present have the united purpose of finding a fitting way to celebrate a life. There is sadness, the grief of loss, but in the stories I am told there is also joy and with it gratitude for the life that has been shared.

I have the privilege of getting to know the person through the eyes of those who have loved them. While I only ever get to see a photograph of this loved one, in reality I get to see much more than that. A complete picture forms as the story is shared, bringing forth with it details of the life lived, details of a unique personality, details of a sense of humour, core values and spiritual beliefs.

Last night I conducted a Christmas memorial service, everyone present had lost a loved one this year, each is on a journey, finding their way through their grief and each journey is as unique as those they have lost. Christmas can be a challenging time for those who grieve, it is a time when they feel the loss of their loved ones acutely. It is, therefore, a time to go gently and to be patient with the journey of grieving.

Some wise words from Helen Keller -

What we have once enjoyed we can never lose.

All that we love deeply become part of us.

 

Wedding Celebrations

Wedding Celebrations

For those who choose to wed, the celebration of a marriage is one of the most significant moments of life. It can be fraught with different emotions and stresses but it can also be fun and joyous for all of those concerned. The wedding of Ian and Michelle was certainly one which was designed to perfectly suit this gorgeous couple and their clan. Even though the conditions in Blackheath meant marrying inside rather than in the gardens surrounding, every detail was perfect. The couple and their friends worked tirelessly to style the space, Michelle's gown was designed by Ian's cousin  http://www.pearlbutton.com.au/  and it was my privilege to perform the ceremony. Ian and I had worked together as teachers at Springwood High so it was extra special to be able to work with them to create a ceremony based on their story and personal wishes. As a celebrant you don't usually get to enjoy the party but as a friend it was wonderful to see them amongst their loved ones celebrating their commitment to one another and their acknowledgement of the people who have helped to shape their lives and who are an important part of their life together. They were fortunate to have a local photographer http://www.silversalt.com.au/  to document the beginning of their life together as husband and wife. She took some amazing photos of the couple and their guests.