(This was originally posted on facebook in January)
It was harder than I imagined watching my niece get married today without her dad there. First of all, I missed my brother and all the things I knew for certain he would say or do. He would be so proud of his daughter, and he would be telling me (and my other brothers) how beautiful his little girl was. He would have tears when he gave his daughter away. He would be putting his arms around his wife and telling her he can't believe their girl was a bride. He no doubt would have had one of his grandsons in his arms most of the night, proudly showing them off like he did when his kids were little. :)
But, I also ached for my sister –n- law who didn’t have her husband by her side. I ached for the other family members who were missing their dad, uncle, son & brother. And, I ached for my niece who didn’t get to hear all the pride and love in her dad’s voice, especially when it came time to walk her down the aisle and say he gives her away to her husband to be.
But, something beautiful happened at that moment.
David, Sarah’s older brother, walked her down the aisle, after giving her a kiss on the cheek :).
When the pastor asked who gives away this woman, David didn't speak ---
Josh, Sarah’s younger brother from the groomsmen on stage, spoke up and said, “I do”.
Then, Ryan, her cousin/my nephew (Steve's nephew), stood up in the middle of the guests and said “I do”.
Uncle Mark (Steve's brother-n-law/my husband) stood up and said “I do”.
Uncle Tim (Steve's & my brother) stood up and said “I do”,
and THEN David said “I do”.
Sarah had no idea that was what the men in her life were planning to do, but her tears showed what it meant to her.
As David stepped aside for Sarah to join Tim, her groom, I knew that Steve would have been pleased that his little girl had these amazing men to stand in for him.
ADDENDUM: Joel, Steve's other living brother and Sarah's uncle missed the wedding due to major surgery. He was able to talk one week after, even though most of his tongue had been reconstructed and speech was unexpected for quite awhile. Within his first hour of trying to talk, which required much effort, he said with tears in his eyes, "I wish I had been able to be there to stand up and say 'I do' along with the other men. I love Sarah". Because he wasn't there, he made a video, saying just that, to Sarah. :) Here's a link to that video: video for Sarah