By Saleh al Shaibany — My heart went out for the mother of the groom as she was reaching out for her husband’s hand. Sickness would not stop her from celebrating her only son’s wedding. She had just recovered from a major heart surgery and yet, she was out there, giving all she has got at his big night. It was an emotional moment for all those who knew about her major operation. She was not expected to live and that was exactly why she had to relish every moment.
The guests watched the mother and father of the groom taking the floor for the first dance. She looked into his eyes the way a teenager would look at her sweetheart. In return, the man smiled and since I was only a few metres away from them, I could see the blush on his face.
Their marriage spanned for over three decades but love knows no bounds or age barrier. As they were gently waltzing on the ballroom, I could also see their son and his new bride watching with pride at his parents.
My wife, who was sitting next to me, tapped me on my shoulder as a sign to join them for the dance. We did and soon the crowd moved in. My mind was catapulted back when our son was at the exact ballroom a year earlier on his wedding night.
Women cannot contain their emotions. That’s how they express themselves both in the good and challenging times. Men, on the other, are too reserved to let themselves go.
That was the exact reason why the mother of the groom let it go emotionally. She knew life would not give a second chance and she might not be there next time round.
As we danced away the evening, we all acknowledged one thing. Life is preciously short. We were there to give our support to the groom and his new bride but it was more than that. I am sure, apart from my wife and I, we all relived the past and the early days of our courtship and eventual the first step we took on the threshold of marriage. Those days, under the starry nights and the brightness of the sun, our enthusiasm knew no bounds.
We could conquer the world by just holding hands and walk through many uncertainties and come out of them unscathed.
Years later when children came and grew up, it is now a completely different ball game. As we now spot a few wrinkles and count the grey hair, we know exactly the journey we have embarked on. We also realise that we are now cushions of the pins of our children as they go on to tailor the garments of their lives.
There were restless nights when they were crying as babies as much as there are now anxieties about their stability in their marriages or even careers.
I guess it is part of the package and parcel of being parents. There is no retirement in this role. You just make the most of it knowing there are still starry nights and bright days to relive the golden moments.
When we left the wedding ballroom that evening, we congratulated the young couple and said a few words to their parents about their efforts in making it a memorable occasion.
During the short walk to the car park, my wife and I reached out for each other’s hands. Under the light of the full moon, we walked the hundred steps to our car knowing that we can still court each other and teach our children a few tricks.