Sunday, November 29, 2015

2015.11.29 What Moms Are For—Sometimes

Mom, how in hell do you do this?

Do what?  (A million anxious possibilities flooded my mind)

This wedding stuff. They don't want anything about God, or any of that stuff.

Well, you can pray without mentioning God. (A loosey goosey Anglican response if I ever heard one!) 
Check in with your Higher Power.

I’m calling you, Mom!  I looked at the profile of the two of us he'd put on my cell phone and laughed.

My son, Rob, had obtained his short-term, priest-for-a-day license to officiate at his wife’s brother’s wedding in California. He was legally all set, and suddenly that didn’t seem enough. I have to admit I grinned. What Mom "does" is not disrespected, though not easily grasped, by her four children, who are all smart enough to tell me that they only like church the way “you and Sim (their stepfather, my second husband and brother priest) do it.” But now Rob was faced with doing something churchy himself.

I listened, decided that, bidden or not, God would be there, gave him a few ideas he didn’t need, and invoked the contemporary credo: you can be spiritual and not religious.

Within a few days he sent me a text with his proposed service.  “Mom, Please review and pray for your son that he doesn’t flub this or fall off the cliff.”

(So now I could envision the romantic cliff-hanger wedding setting and my son on a windy bluff feeling nervous/shaky—a mother's dream!)

I’m proud to share the marriage liturgy he put togeher: the idea to call it a marriage liturgy came from me, adding an official-sounding descriptor.
                                                     * * * * * * *

Mark Twain said: “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover”

A lasting marriage will be one where you Explore, Dream and discover together!  My wife and I believe that a lasting marriage is also about laughter and friendship. Laugh at yourselves and each other often.

Be friends. Nietzsche said: "It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”

This is just a short poem I wrote for you about friendship, love and marriage.

who is always there
next to me in my
breathing space
gentle like precious and pure diaphanous lace.
who holds me when I’m weakest
who congratulates me when
I’m strongest
You raise me up
and let the world know
I’m in the star you think is brightest
It is you I yearn to laugh with
to sit by the fire with
on those cool San Francisco nights
It is your profile I want to see
through the gap
in the kitchen door
in the twilight of evening
as you prepare supper
It is you who will adventure with
me near and far
running the coast down beach
by beach
spending the day in wet swim suits
forgetting where our shoes are
    This is love.
    This is friendship
You who calls me randomly to
say hi, to say hello
I will forever be there to make you laugh
to make you smile as best I can
to quietly listen
when you vent or cry
to say thank you
My dearest friend
         © June, 2015, Rob Brakeman (

"Pastor" Rob called after it was over, also sent a photo on iPhone of the happy couple, and himself looking appropriately pious, bowed head—and with a triumphant Rob grin: "I did it!"

I texted back: I love you. He replied: Thanks, Mom.

Is there a better mutual blessing than that to be thankful for?