Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Weddings and Funerals

This past weekend was full of ups and downs.  Brian, Bradley, and I made our second trek up to Tennessee for a wedding and a funeral, both for which I was asked to sing.  My childhood friend Dana passed away last Monday night.  She was a seemingly healthy 27 year old girl, who was there one day and gone the next, making it the most heart-wrenching funeral I have ever attended.  I forced myself to hold it together until the end, after I sang Amazing Grace.  What do you say to the mother who tells you she wishes it had been at her daughter's wedding and not her funeral that she had wanted you to sing?  

Dana's passing was a reality check for all of us.  We know we are never promised tomorrow, yet we live like we have an eternity.  As I ran through the words of Amazing Grace in preparation for the service I found a glimmer of hope at the end of the third verse:

Through many dangers, toils and snares we have already come
twas grace that brought us safe thus far, and grace will lead us home.

I realized after hearing these words again that God is with us in the best and most difficult times.  He will never leave us, and by leaning on Him we can get through whatever life tosses our way.  It's so hard not to question God when He takes a person in the prime of their life, but I have to go on believing that there is a reason for everything, and know that in the Big Picture, Jesus is in control and will lead us safely home if we will let him.  

That same day after the service, we piled in the car and drove up to western Kentucky for my friend Ellen's wedding.  Ellen and I were potluck roommates our freshman year at UK and have stayed friends ever since.  I was so honored to sing for her special day, and stand next to her as a bridesmaid.  

About an hour outside of Nashville I realized in horror that I had left the cd for the song I was supposed to sing in my car (dad was driving)!  Luckily we were near Clarksville, so dad hopped off the interstate, pulled in front of a Hilton Garden Inn, and we used his laptop to steal internet from the hotel, downloaded the track again, and were back on the road in minutes.  Once in Princeton, Brian bought some blank cds from the Walmart down the road, and I had my soundtrack to sing along with for the rehearsal that night.  I heart technology!

We stayed in this shady motel in Princeton, KY- hop over to TAR for a long overdue shout-out to all things not right.  For a small town though, Paglia's where the rehearsal dinner was held had some of the best pizza and service I have ever had!  Ellen said that place is the only sit-down restauraunt in Princeton, but buddy, if that's the only place I could go to eat I'd be one happy camper!  
Ellen and I at Paglia's Pizza

Saturday was a gorgeous day, sunny and 80 degrees.  The ceremony was beautiful, held in the quaint, country Crider Baptist Church, and Ellen was the picture of the classic bride, complete with "Shelby hair!"  I have never been to a sweeter wedding- the church was surrounded by corn fields, the food was in the fellowship hall, with a tent outside.  Along with the usual nuptual fare they served homemade punch and lemonade, cream candy, country ham and biscuits, and Ellen handmade white chocolate suckers and individually wrapped them for guest favors.  Bless her mom's heart, Betty was up at 5 am making those biscuits and ham, but they sure were tasty.
Freshman Friends:  Stephanie, Ellen, and me

Mr. & Mrs. Jason Mach

Ellen, our gorgeous Bride

One funny story was that some old white haired lady turned around and asked Momma B how old Bradley was.  Mom replied that he was 3 months, and wasn't he just the cutest grandbaby ever?  Grandbaby, the woman exclaimed, I thought he was yours!   My mom got the biggest kick out of that, and it sure made her day!

Congrats and Best Wishes, Ellen and Jason!  I'm done with weddings for a while- it's been a hectic season, but next on our list is the Big One:  Laura & George on March 14th, 2009!  The countdown is on!


MamaB said...

Yes, grace will lead us home and if we didn't believe that, tragedies like Dana's would leave us bitter and without hope. As I sat waiting for Ellen's wedding to begin, I started crying just thinking that you were singing at a friend's funeral yesterday and another friend's wedding today and how strange that was for somone your age.
Ellen was the perfect Barbie bride and her wedding was beautiful.

Little B was a joy to watch in that horrid hotel room but he didn't seem to mind because he was just swinging away and daddy and i were humming the swing songs without even realizing we were doing it.

Rhonda said...

Wow you had some prom hair yourself there LOL

emmysue said...

I didn't know about Dana...I'm so sorry!

Congrats to Ellen!!

Sarah said...

I know Princeton well -- my dad's middle brother and family live there!!!

Mary Anna said...

Look at sweet little Ellen! I love your Hello Kitty pink dress, Amandy. And your prom hair. ;)

Sorry to hear about your friend Dana. That's rough.

Rachel said...

When Eric revamped our blog a few weeks ago, I lost your link so I am glad you commented today so I can add you back to my list of blogs. I was just catching up on yours. My mom was telling me about a girl that was in our first grade class that passed away. I couldn't picture the person but was wondering if that is who's funeral you sang at. So Sad...

As for Mason sleeping through the night..it was a one time thing. He has his first cold so I think that he was just overly tired. But man did it feel good! I hope you are doing well in FL. Glad I found your blog again!

Anonymous said...

Oh gosh...I am so sorry about the hotel in Princeton! I feel awful...I wished you had told me and maybe you could have switched! Mom and Dad had been to both hotels in town to survey them...sorry again!
Thanks again for being there! It was such a wonderful day! You're the best and little Bradley really is a little doll!!!!!
Love ya!
Ellen =)