The Ties That Bind

Posted 07-30-2013 at 03:52 PM by Krista

My best friend finally got married on Saturday, after months of planning. She can be a very last minute person, and much of the wedding preparations were done the night before. I was up until three in the morning folding programs, making flower girl baskets and headbands. Fun times. The church was huge, and after all that running around, I hurt in places I forgot I could hurt. It was so good to see how happy she was, though. I admit to crying as they exchanged their vows.

There was one bit of drama. It’s a wedding, so of course there would be, right? As it turns out, the father of the groom was opposed to the marriage. Not in the beginning, but closer in the beginning. Doug, the groom, is one of four sons from a staunchly Roman Catholic family. The church that Doug and my friend now attend is an episcopal church. To me, I think it’s about the same, or at least close enough, but he strongly disagrees.

It was only shortly before the wedding that Doug informed his dad that rather get a dispensation so that their marriage would be considered valid in the eyes of the Catholic church he intended to leave the Catholic church altogether. This proved to be a huge issue for him, and as such, he didn’t feel he could attend the wedding. I have listened to this discussed over and over, as you can imagine, from my friend as well as her family. People have tried to intervene on the bride’s behalf. Regardless, a resolution was never reached. The father reached out the night before the wedding and they all met to talk. He also came on the wedding day, seeking an apology of some kind, and left when it was not given.

I say all of that to say this: my friend can’t see how a parent could abandon their child on their wedding day. Of course, she doesn’t have any children, and maybe it’s from being around other parents, but I feel like I have seen this more often than you would expect. I think there is, for most parents, one thing that is unforgivable in the eyes of a parent. Who knows what that thing could be? For example, for some, having a child steal money from them would be the thing that severed ties. Or having a child out of marriage. Everyone has their views, and lines that cannot be crossed without some type of retribution. I admit I think it is harder for a mother to feel this way than for a dad (yes, his mother was at the wedding even without her husband) but I still think it exists. Thoughts? Is that true of you? If so, what is that one thing for you?

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