Big Sky Country and Big Thanks

thank-youLast weekend I was in “Big Sky Country.”

Montana is beautiful and the business/pleasure trip provided a much-needed getaway. Life has been crazy busy and full of big changes I’m not adjusting to very well. When my kids were little and I was overwhelmed taking care of their needs I looked forward to having more time to do other things.

Now I don’t want to do those things.

Years ago, I acquired lots of fancy scrapbook materials and anxiously awaited the day I’d have more time to create bedazzled books of family memories with those gel pens, stickers, paper punches and stamps. Now I look at the boxes full of photos, programs, certificates and school papers and it makes me tired.

My vision of one day handing my children beautifully crafted histories of their childhood have turned into the reality of handing them each a cardboard box.

While in Montana I couldn’t help but be nostalgic and reflective. I mean, how can you be in a place where Brad Pitt filmed his breakout role as a dashing rebel fisherman and not remember back when you first saw A River Runs Through It, right?

It’s a movie that makes you think, and Montana is a place that makes you think for some reason. It’s quiet and peaceful. There are big skies, big mountains, big rivers, big prices on small amounts of fudge in gift shops, and big blocks of time to think about life.

As I ate overpriced fudge while sitting in a rustic lodge overlooking the Bitterroot River, I reflected back on my daughter’s wedding day. I haven’t fully processed that day yet. Partially because I’m still recovering from it, and partially because it hurts a little to think about it. I don’t like pain, which is why I often mask it with humor – for good and ill. It was a big, busy, beautiful day and my new son-in-law told me later that as he and his bride left the reception that night she sighed and said, “That was perfect.”

It was nice to hear. It made all the time, work and sleep deprivation worth it. But it wasn’t just my efforts that went into that perfect day. There were soooo many people who selflessly helped make it happen.

My sister-in-law did the food, my brother-in-law did the music, the groom’s sister did the photography, my mom hemmed the wedding dress, a friend finished binding the quilt I’d made and didn’t have time to finish, another friend did our hair and make-up, another friend provided decorations, dishes, linens and spent all day setting up. Another friend lent me her mother-of-the-bride dress when my four-month search for an affordable, modest, gold dress was a bust (I couldn’t fit in it, but it was a sweet gesture). More family, friends and neighbors helped serve, set up, take down, etc. etc! I was overwhelmed by the support.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, well, it takes a village to throw a wedding for that child once she’s raised and my village definitely came through.

And a river runs through it. (I had to tie that in somehow.)

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