“In every conceivable manner, the family is the link to our past, the bridge to our future.” – Alex Haley
As a PR person, I make a living standing behind the camera — coaching, helping and hiding behind the scenes. But when all eyes were on Jimmy and I at our engagement party, as we were toasted and then went on to cut the cake and open gifts, I could not have felt more at ease.
I’ve known most of Future Husband’s nephews since birth. I still remember when his oldest niece, who is growing into a beautiful young lady, used to follow me around at Creative Themes Day Camp, when I was a counselor for the big kids and she was only 5. It was such a joy to introduce my future family — who I truly, over the past 8 years, have already come to see as an extension of my current family — to my brother and his girlfriend, who had flown in from New York City for the party. My parents immediately fell into conversations with my future sisters, brothers, dad, aunt and cousin, and just like that, we were one.
After a tasty Mexican meal, we played kickball with the kids until the bugs drove us back inside. Before I knew it, it was time to go. I usually get teary-eyed and sentimental on occasions like this, and Future Husband expressed his surprise that no tears of joy were shed as we read the words of love that our relatives shared with us in their cards. In truth, though, I felt so much at peace that I didn’t take the time to get worked up about thinking of the event as a once-in-a-lifetime occasion. I suppose I knew, as we drove home, that this wasn’t the end of anything — this was the beginning.