When people make their wedding the best with Sven Studios Photography, how can we ruin it with a speech! The speech I was going to give was typed out & printed. I had my glasses with me this time; (I’d forgotten them when I read at Rory & Holly’s wedding). I tweaked it the night before the wedding. But when it came time to read it, I decided to just “wing it,” got up in front of everyone, and my mind went completely blank. Well, I managed to get my point across, and tell the story of why Ian & I danced to “I’ll be home for Christmas,” but in the process, I forgot to mention a few names, so I decided I’d blog my words to Ian & Hayley just as I did for Rory & Holly.
There are so many people who have contributed to who Ian is today – too many to mention, really. I still just can hardly wrap my brain around how beautiful a story God writes. Anyhoozywhatsit, here’s what I had to say before Ian and I danced at his wedding…
November 1, 1993. Rory was not quite 2, and I was 7-1/2 months pregnant with Ian when we moved back to the United States from Germany. Six weeks later on December 20, 1993, Rory got a little brother, when Ian Peter was born. My sister Nancy was with me in the OR when he was born, and she was the first girl to lay eyes on him and fall in love! Then – off to the nursery Ian went, and off to a cardiac floor, I went. Three days later, I’d get to hold him for the first time, but until then, my sister Nancy and my mom continued taking turns rocking, holding, feeding, and loving him.
Finally On December 24 I was able to meet Ian and I brought him home to meet his brother Rory. Pulling into the garage on that Christmas Eve, “I’ll be home for Christmas” was playing on the radio. His grandmother (Beema) and I laughed, thinking how appropriate a song to be playing! So we stayed in the car and listened until the very end, and for 28 years, each and every time I’ve heard that carol on the radio, I’ve fondly remembered bringing Ian home to meet his big brother. Bing Crosby’s “I’ll be home for Christmas” is my favorite Christmas carol.
The next day – Christmas morning, I’d wind up back in the emergency room for another week long stay, so Aunt Nanny and Beema continued to care for Ian and Rory until I could finally come home. And for the past 28 years my mother has always said that “poor Ian had no idea which one of us was his mother!”
So let’s fast forward to this summer. Ian and Hayley were home in Michigan and we’d gone out to dinner. Driving home, they wanted me to hear the song they’d chosen to dance to at their wedding. We got home to my place prior to the song finishing, so we pulled into the garage and sat in the car listening to the entire song. All of a sudden, it dawned on me. I did this 28 years ago! I pulled into the garage with you as a newborn, and sat and listened to “I’ll be Home For Christmas,” but had no idea what story God was writing, and that 28 years later, my little newborn would have his soon to be bride in the car, and they’d be excited to be sharing their wedding song with me.
I worried when I dropped Ian off at Moody in Chicago. I worried he’d be homesick, or lonesome. But instead, he met phenomenal, faithful, loyal friends, and he met the young lady that God intended for him to spend the rest of his life with.
But the story doesn’t end there. As you all know, Ian and Hayley will live in Denver, and for the past 6 months or so, my friends Mike, Sharon, & Ally have kindly and graciously welcomed both Ian and Hayley into their home. They have loved them, guided them, mentored and prayed for them, and have been such an incredible influence on both of them over these past few months. When I asked Ian where they were going to live, he said they just knew they both wanted to stay geographically close to Mike and Sharon, which is a huge comfort to me.
You see, Hayley, Ian’s spent his whole life surrounded by women who love him – myself, Beema, Nanny, & Holly (which is why he knows how to do the dishes). And now, he has Sharon & Ally, your Grandma Alice, and Grandma Pam, his friend Gretchen, and quite a few good men surrounding him too – including Mike, & Rich!
I’ve watched Ian & Hayley prepare over the past few months for this day. We’ve shared text messages and phone calls, and they’ve worked really hard to make this day beautiful and memorable for all of us. But most of all, each time we talked it was so evident that they wanted every aspect, every little detail to point to Christ, and Christ alone.
When I texted Hayley and told her how thoughtful she in all of her planning, she replied, “Our focus is on God this day, not us. He is the one who makes it all possible.”
God knew on December 24, 1993, pulling into the garage and listening to “I’ll be home for Christmas” that 28 years later, I’d be doing the very same thing with my son all over again – only this time, with Hayley, his bride. You guys, I was just so tickled that you were excited to share your song with me. Think about that. God had that very moment for you both planned long before you’d ever met.
God writes the best stories, doesn’t He?
And I’m so glad He chose to include each and every one of you in Ian and Hayley’s story.
Ian and Hayley, I love you both, and I’m so glad that you’re not only my son and my daughter-in-love – but you’re my brother and sister in Christ as well. We’re all excited to have you as one of the MacDonald Clan! Papa would be so proud of you. So proud!