The Fantastic Elastic Nature of Love

Suffice to say that my heart has run the gamut of Olympic level emotion this past week.


Romantic Love

I had the incredible honour of attending my niece Allie and her new husband Calvin’s wedding in Vermont. I love all weddings but this one, in particular, was extra fun as almost half of our immense family was there for their first kiss almost ten years ago. Allie and Calvin’s love story began as a High School ‘Showmance’ and even us Hottie Scotties were present due to our one and only trip home for Thanksgiving when I was pregnant with my son. Can you imagine the pressure of knowing that your family, that easily comprised a quarter of the entire audience were all leaning forward in their seats with bated breath to see if the scripted kiss would be on the cheek, or *gasp* actually be planted on the lips?!

Through the years this wonderful couple has grown and overcome so much, especially in the face of Allie’s chronic Lyme Disease. She has not only written her first book, Suffering the Silence about this epidemic, but has gone on to found a non-profit of the same name to serve as a platform for so many others who suffer from often invisible diseases. They are both total rock stars!


Love of Place

The event was held at their family home in Vermont. The Cashel Family have moved numerous times and even between countries over the decades but this home has been a constant for them.

In preparation for the wedding, they got everything all spruced (or cedared) up, which made Michael, the father of the bride in particular beyond happy. My wee family has had the privilege of staying here several times over the years as well and has always been a source of great warmth and comfort.  (File image under #WeSoYankee!)

01. NOL

Love of an Event that Reflects your True Nature

It was a beautiful event that was a great reflection of the couple and the families that love them. It was simple, authentic, and unabashedly emotional. I have never seen so many bridesmaids cry during the whole ceremony (which was officiated by Conor my nephew and Allie’s brother), but someone else who was standing at a different vantage point said, “that was nothing, you should have seen the groom’s side!”


Love of Proud Parents & Grandparents

Now, lots of people both feel and enjoy strong emotions at a wedding, but considering that much of the family are not prone to big public displays of affection, it was all the better.


Love is Love!

Everyone was feeling the love and enjoying themselves, even my sister Liz and her wonderful wife Beth! It was only a handful of years ago that these two finally were able to have their own legal celebration, on the 20th anniversary of their first date. (Let’s all make sure it stays that way, m’kay!)


Young Love

I also really enjoyed seeing my now adult nieces and nephews and to get meet their significant others. To see them all so happy with such lovely partners is a real treat considering many of these guys were about ten years old when I moved abroad! With any luck, I may have some more excuses to come home in years to come. *wink, wink*

(I thought being an Awkward Auntie was one of the great joys of life, that is until my daughter reached the age of adolescence where my sheer existence causes her to cringe with embarrassment. Mwahahahahah!)


Love of New Life

But meeting this wee dude in person was a real highlight of the trip. This gorgeous bundle of cuteness is Cole, my niece Katherine & her hubby Matt’s baby, who is the first of this next generation. My God those cheeks, that smile…what else can you say?!

Although thrilled at this guy’s existence, it does officially make me a ‘Great-Aunt’ which is slightly disturbing as I still associate that term with somewhat stern elderly ladies with grey perms, hearing aids and serious neglect of the need for decent breast support.


Love of Nature’s Beauty

The day itself was overcast and a bit damp, but the rain held off for the ceremony and the sun broke through to illuminate a cracking cocktail hour.


Love of a Great Sunset

And its warm rays stayed out until it had a proper chance to show off and illuminate the entire sky an amazing array of pinks and purples. As the tent had a clear roof we could all savour the beauty as we sat down to our dinner.

Four Generations of Love Shaking Their Booty

The night continued with all the usual joy and merriment one would expect. But for me, perhaps a bit of a combination of jet lag, an acute awareness of how far away I live from so much of my tribe and just a bit of awe at the beauty of the setting, I found myself uncharacteristically just wanting to sit back and drink it all in.

For it is not often you get to see people you held as babes in arms, dancing proudly with their own wee bundles surrounded by sisters, mothers and grandmothers and great granddads. Just magic.

The Purest Love Possible

But as oft happens, just when you are basking in the moment of one emotion that ole needle on the record of life will scratch loudly announcing an unexpected change of tune.

I awoke joyfully on Sunday morning and posted some happy pictures on Facebook, which was the cue that a dear friend who was watching my beloved Luna had been waiting. “Could you please find a quiet moment to call me,” was her gentle message, hoping to help prepare me for a terrible shock.

This kind soul had the awful task to inform us that our most magnificent dog (she has my dog’s sister, so is an official canine Aunt) had unexpectedly and very suddenly experienced a fatal abdominal bleed out two nights earlier. My friend had provided the very best care and made sure that Luna was surrounded by love and comfort, but alas there was nothing that could have been done. She very bravely and very kindly held onto to the news so that we could enjoy our wedding, but the time had come.


The Everday Goofiness of Love

As we had a very long journey home that day we, in turn, held off telling the kids so that they could have few more minutes in the glow of wonderful family event and be safely back in their own home before letting them know what had happened.

FYI, jet lag and grief are a rotten combination.

In a small stroke of fortune, this is our October Holidays so the kids don’t have to go to school as we come to terms with our loss, after all, it can take a bit to adjust to all the residual momentum of your routine.

(Check out my ace gardening skills, I can grow rosemary, a badminton racquet AND a terracotta pot!)


The Heartbreak of Lost Love

As sad as we are to have lost such a huge part of our life, we’re all in agreement that even the (now) brief time we had with her was all totally worth it – even the heartache.

And we are so very thankful that we were able to travel to the States to take part in such a happy event.

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Love of a Familiar Haven

So here we are, tucked back up in our wee cottage in Skye, to rest our weary hearts and take a moment to remember that much of what makes life and love so very special is their inherently fragile nature.

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Love of Epic Landscapes

And something about walking along the quiet beaches of not only an ancient landscape but also a place that has endured a pretty spectacular amount itself over the past several hundred years provides a wonderful reminder that another day will indeed come.

So all that is left is just count the blessings you have today and enjoy every drop of love in your life, whatever form you may find it in.

Love. x


Comments (1)

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  1. Margy says:

    Lovely Jean

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