I met my friend Nick about thirty years ago when I worked with his then wife, Vicky, as a bank teller at a local Savings and Loan.
Years later he was the Best Man at my wedding to Yvonne. Life events took us through the birth of his daughter Ashley and her christening where Yvonne and I became her Godparents. While Nick and Vicky did not stay married because God and life deemed they were better together as friends, we still see Nick on and off, always picking up exactly where we left off. We are friends and the line of continuity associated with friendship can have starts and stops and still be strong. Our friendship always exceeds those expectations.
Nick’s daughter, our Goddaughter, got married last night.
I got to see firsthand how a father feels right before he is going to walk his daughter down the aisle as Nick’s initial nervousness was palpable, his face conveying the gamut of emotions present on such an important occasion.
Nick asked the Pastor officiating the ceremony to pray with him and he asked me to join them. It was a humbling moment for me and one I will not soon forget. We prayed for strength, courage, wisdom and all those items needed to stop the knees from buckling, the tears from flowing and the room from going dark amid a crowd of people.
With the Pastor’s words, God’s grace and his own fortitude of character, the father of the bride delivered his daughter to the man she loved, shared the journey down the aisle with his daughter’s stepfather and conducted himself with a gentlemanly demeanor that most men wish they carried in their valise of virtues.
Once the party started, Nick took on the role he is always best suited to play, the life of the party, the class clown who is not afraid to laugh at himself first and to give the crowd a chuckle.
Yet there were moments throughout the night where he would sit to take a breath from an ever spinning dance floor and you could see him taking it all in, embracing the magnitude of the moment. In perhaps one of those sweeter moments, he escorted his younger daughter to the dance floor and boogied with her a little bit, knowing that one day soon he would have to play this role of father of the bride again. His eyes saying to his young dance partner, ‘…stay a little girl just a little longer.’
As we dispersed and said our goodbyes at the end of the festivities, I did my usual writer’s evaluation of the evening’s events: Brides, Grooms, Wedding Parties and Moms are all special, but no one gives up more than a Dad on a daughter’s wedding day. No one else has to dispense all selfishness out the window and wholeheartedly entrust his little girl to another man. No one else has to be so courageous, has to be so wise and so strong. No one else has to be this giving.
Despite what the papers are saying this morning, Miami did have a victory last night and the MVP was an unselfish man named Nick…my friend, the father of the bride.