02:26:11 pm on
Wednesday 19 Jun 2024

The Wedding
AJ Robinson

We attended a wedding recently, a special one for my brother, Greg, and his wife, Anne, as it was the final one for their children. Jenni, their daughter was marrying Jon, the love of her life.

Family from as far away as New York City came.

It was a beautiful ceremony in Naples, Florida. Just about the whole family, the entire extended family was there. Attendees flew in from New York and Martha’s Vineyard to be there; we drove down from Orlando.

The wedding was an outdoor service, under the shade of a Banyan tree, although, the truth is there could have been a bit more shade! The tree suffered some damage in the recent hurricanes. Still, Jenni was in a lovely white gown that seemed to shimmer in the late afternoon light; Jon was quite dapper in his suit.

The minister was a friend of the family; he read some passages and poems. Then family members came up to do readings, among them my grandnephew, Ian. He was a last minute addition, stepping in to replace Greg. You see, he had to admit that there was no way he could get through his reading without breaking down.

Yeah, we dads do tend to get mushy about our girls!

Then the reception, which was a wonderful meal served in a little cabana next to a swimming pool. The pool did pose some issues for the festivities, as there were a number of little children running around. Some wanted to go in the pool, which meant we adults had to be vigilant. Then they started to play in the pool.

The reception included a popcorn machine. It wasn’t long before kernels were floating on the water. One of the mothers had brought boxes of raisins. Well, what the kids didn’t eat sank to the bottom of the pool and the boxes became all manner of toys. Yeah, that’s kids for you; they can make a toy out of anything.

As the evening wore on, we ate fine wood and drank excellent wine, and broke up into groups to chat. It was nice to catch up with friends and family, and my mother, at 92, was so happy to be a part of everything. Jenni and Jon made a real effort to move among the guests and visit with all of them, and being able to talk with Nick and Heidi was a real treat. Since Steve’s passing, I’ve tried to value my time with family, and this was a very special day. Anne’s brother Leo was there with his family – Terry and their two daughters Jamie and Rebecca. I didn’t recognize the girls, the last time I’d seen them, they’d been teenagers, and young ones at that. Now they were lovely young women, and it was a delight reacquainting with them.

Yet, it was not all solemn and serious.

At one point, Alexa and I were sitting by the pool chatting, when a little girl came up and sat next to her. Alexa asked the girl’s name, I didn’t hear it, and then told Alexa her name. The girl looked amazed. “I have one of you in my house!”

Alexa was confused for a moment; then she thought girl had a younger sister named Alexa. Her mother came over to us and explained. They had an Amazon Alexa in their house and the girl thought she was one of them. We smirked and giggled. At that point, the mother turned to the girl.

“Ask her to sing you your song,” she said.

“Alexa, will you sing the ‘Sunshine’ song for me?” the girl said.

Alexa and I sang to her, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy, when skies are grey,” and so on from there.

The girl beamed with pure delight. She’d gotten to meet an Alexa. What a story she had to tell her friends.

Then there was Jack.

Then there was Jack, my other grandnephew. He was in quite the fancy suit and my wife, Jo Ann, asked him where he got it. Had his mommy picked out or had he? He thought about it for a moment and said, “It came in the mail, the mailman picked for me.”

His mom, my niece Christina, had ordered it online and it thus came in the mail. For Jack, that meant the mail carrier had given him the suit. It’s kind of a sign of our times, isn’t it? A wedding may never change, but the “trappings” and elements most definitely can.

I’m so very glad we were all able to share this old and new event.

Combining the gimlet-eye of Philip Roth with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Working, again, as an engineeer, after years out of the field due to 2009 recession and slow recovery, Robinson finds time to write. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true. His teen vampire adventure novel, "Vampire Vendetta," will publish in 2020. Robinson continues to write books, screenplays and teleplays and keeps hoping for that big break.

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