A sweet story of love, marriage and babies – with a very sad middle and a very happy new chapter . . .
First Comes Love
I remember when I first met Tony and Jenn.
It was the summer of 2014, they were planning their December wedding. They had come to Lake Natoma Inn‘s “Date to Taste” event for the food tasting, and to find some of the wedding professionals they still needed, including an Officiant.
We stepped outside to a patio table and chatted for a few minutes, asking each other questions to see if we would be a “good fit” to work together. It was a quick and unanimous decision: We just “clicked” and we all knew I was the Officiant they had been looking for!
And Then A Wedding Ceremony
Over the next few months we worked together to create a wedding ceremony that was exactly what they dreamed of.
As one of special touches Jenn and Tony included the Celtic custom of hand fasting, during which their hands were joined in a “lovers’ knot.”
“This type of knot forms one of the most durable bonds. The binding consists of two interlocking, overhand knots that create a symmetrical figure eight. The simple knot strengthens under pressure.”
As Jenn and Tony were tying this Lovers’ Knot, their siblings presented a reading to honor the “hand fasting” part of the ritual. Included in the reading were these words:
“These are the hands that will . . . give you strength when you most need it . . . that will wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy . . . and even when wrinkled and aged [these hands] will still be reaching for yours, promising you that they will never ever let you go.”
And after they literally “tied the knot” I was overjoyed to pronounce them Husband and Wife!
We stayed connected, mostly via Facebook, and a few months later I got the happy news that they were expecting a baby in early October 2015. They were so excited as they awaited the arrival of Evelyn Claire.
But when she was born they discovered that Evelyn had severe medical problems. Despite the care of the finest doctors and most compassionate nurses, and the tireless devotion, constant prayers and overwhelming love of her parents and family and friends, Evelyn died in early January, 2016.
Jenn and Tony reached out to me to conduct the funeral service, and it was one of the most difficult and heartbreaking things I have ever done.
Anyone who has lost a child will know of the depth of grief these two faced, and I will not dwell on this very sad part of their story . . . except to say that family and friends continued to pray for Jenn and Tony, and they did the hard work of healing their hearts and moving forward with renewed strength in their commitment to each other.
A Happy New Chapter
Two years later, I again got the happy news that they were expecting a little girl! Their “rainbow baby,” Lucy Ann, was due to arrive in mid-July 2018.
And as they prepared for her birth Tony and Jenn were aware of the presence of their angel Evelyn. They knew there was already a very special bond between these two girls.
Lucy decided to surprise her family by arriving a few weeks early: June 29, 2018. She came into the world healthy, happy and ready to be loved by all!
She already has a distinct personality, loves funny noises and twinkling lights – and stubbornly refuses to smile when the portrait camera is pointed in her direction!
And They Lived Happily Ever After
Of course, this is an ongoing story. Their “rainbow baby” is already such a blessing and source of delight to this family. The “knot” of commitment and love that Jenn and Tony tied in their wedding ceremony – physically and emotionally – continues to be a source of strength between them.
And I am delighted to be a continuing part of their story!
Adorable (and delicious) Baby Shower Cake by Frank Vilts Cakes