Wednesday, August 14

Choose the Wedding by Madeline L' Engle

Norma is an old Indian friend of  David Wheaton, the aged father of Emma Wheaton. Abby is one of David's ex-wives and Emma's godmother. She and David have remained friends in spite of their divorce. Sophie, another ex-wife, is present. She too has come to visit David before he dies. Nik, Emma's husband, is included in the conversation.

"We're at a crossroads," Sophie said softly, "and we must be careful which road we choose. I haven't always been careful."

Emma gasped, putting a hand to her mouth. At a crossroads. Surely a common expression, but it brought back uncommon memories. She looked around the table. "Do you remember Norma?"

"Sure," Sophie said. "That magnificent Indian woman. Has Davie seen her this summer?"

"Yes," Emma assured her. We stopped at Norma's village, and she and Papa had a good visit."

"Oh, I'm so glad. Norma's always been good for Davie. She's a tough old bird. No Indian's life is easy, thanks to us, I guess."

 Abby looked her godchild. "Is there something about Norma and a crossroads?"

Emma nodded gravely. "When Norma was young, she had a terrible time--she nearly died. I spent several days with her after--after a very bad time in my own life. Norma told me that when she was well and able to think again, the wise woman of her tribe told her that she was at a crossroads."

Sophie looked across the table inquiringly.

Emma smiled at Sophie. "The wise old woman said that one road led to a funeral and the other to a wedding. Norma said, 'I choose the wedding.'"

There were tears in Sophie's eyes. "Davie has always chosen the wedding. He's choosing it even now."

"You can say that, Sophie, after seeing Papa's depressions?" Emma asked.

"Davie's depressions weren't the real Davie. I know that now." She looked around the table. "Yes, we are all at a crossroads." She looked at Emma. At Nik.

"I have usually chosen the funeral," he said, "and this has been disaster for everybody I have loved. I can't blame it on the fact that my parents always chose the funeral. I made my own choices."

"And now?" Abby asked.

"I choose the wedding. No matter what" --he looked at Emma-- "I will still choose the wedding. I've had too many funerals."

"But when Papa dies" --Louis's vocie was choked-- "how can we choose the wedding?"

Sophie laughed. "By giving him an enormous great grand funeral at the Cathedral, a real show for all his family and friends and fans. And by going on living, living better because we've been part of his life than if we'd never known him."

~from Madeline L' Engle's book "Glimpses of Grace: Daily Thoughts and Reflections"

On the occasion of Granny Goo's stay at the hospital August 2013. She has congestive heart failure, and at this point, her kidneys are not working. No matter what may come, we must choose the wedding as individuals and as a family.

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