To borrow a phrase from my poetic daughter-in-law, “When a day was made for you…”

No Regrets (Mike Love)


My Bambi-esque eyelashes are falling off, one by one, just as surely as the euphoria of my son’s wedding is dissipating, day by day. Friends warned me that I might feel weepy or slightly blue after marrying off my firstborn, but au contraire! Partly because I’ve been letting him go, bit by bit, for the past ten years that he’s lived in Chicago – partly because he married the most perfect woman for him – partly because the wedding festivities went off without a hitch – and partly because I was simply too exhausted afterwards to feel anything but unadulterated joy.

During the growing up years when my kids worried about things large and small, I would always tell them that the anticipation is worse than the reality… provided that you prepare ahead of time. That belief held true for my son’s recent wedding. Oh, not that he was worried about anything – far from it. He pulled the florist out of his back pocket, provided many spot-on suggestions and key actions, was the voice of reason and the calming balance throughout the engagement, and really stepped up his game the last couple of weeks before the big day. But for the most part, his lovely bride and I hashed out every minute detail down to the minutia. Nevertheless, there are always those things beyond our control, especially in a bustling city like Chicago.

My natural worry from the moment they decided to have a January wedding was the prospect of an epic blizzard that would storm away our out-of-towners. As it turned out, the days preceding the wedding were cloudy yet unseasonably warm, and the big day ushered in a bright blue sky and a balmy 60 degrees – most certainly a gift from above. January 21st was the birthday of the bride’s beloved mother, and she sent a heavenly day in her stead – that’s just the sort of way she would make her presence be known. I need never have worried with such an angelic ally.

Another concern was the Inauguration Day protest scheduled to commence at Trump Tower, adjacent to our hotel where we were hosting a welcome cocktail party for the out-of-town guests. Of course my mind raced ahead to the possibilities of black-clad anarchists firebombing the streets and creating mayhem… although my daughter-in-law assured me that nothing could rain on her parade, not even Trump. He didn’t dare. The peaceful protesters ended up being great entertainment as they marched past the windows of our happy hour, and the worry morphed into a blessing.

My third concern was that the nationwide Protest March planned for the wedding day would shut down the streets around the hotel and prevent the buses from transporting our guests. Instead, marching was an unforgettable adventure for some of our friends. That glorious Chicago day was a perfect setting for 250,000 protesters to show their unity, and it was over and done with in plenty of time for the streets to fling open for our wedding parade.

Regrets are few in my life, but mostly what I rue are the words I didn’t say and the photos I didn’t take. There were anecdotes and blessings I wanted to convey to my son and his bride, but I almost chickened out for fear of choking up. Fortunately, all of the wedding preparations helped me to savor rather than angst the anticipation, and I allowed myself to feel the emotions for months so I wasn’t all teary on the day or blue in the aftermath. My toasts at the welcome party and the wedding weren’t as soul-stirring as my husband and son’s, orators that they are. But I will never regret that my words were spoken, not left unsaid and stuck like the lump in my throat. When a day is made for you – seize it and leave no regrets.


(Photo by Colin Lyons Photography)

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Penny rammer
    Feb 21, 2017 @ 18:16:00

    My dear Jana ,
    What a lovely Tribute written to remember such a special day in all our hearts . You have a amazing family and friends and are truely blessed . There is no one more deserving ..
    Than you and yours …
    Much love to you all
    Xoxo Penny


  2. Margaret Cavalli
    Feb 21, 2017 @ 18:50:28

    Jana, so well said, and I agree heartily with your joyous reveling in the day of your son’s wedding. Aren’t we lucky!


  3. brendadit
    Feb 21, 2017 @ 20:27:59

    ❤life’s precious moments!❤. Thanks for sharing and congratulations to all! ❤


  4. Amy Cook
    Feb 21, 2017 @ 20:42:30

    So beautiful, Jana. I always love reading your blog posts.


  5. Carolyn Rovner
    Feb 27, 2017 @ 22:34:47

    Sounds like the “perfect” day for them and all the people who love them! What more could you ask for? Lots of love…Carolyn


  6. terismyth
    Mar 03, 2017 @ 16:57:29

    Very sweet piece. I’m so happy for you, your son and his lucky bride.
    I agree with you that leading up to an event is the most stressful. This can’t be more true than when our kids were seniors in high school and us mom’s “a total wreck” worrying about what it would be like with out them at home. Life goes on and we all adjust.

    Congratulations and I’m happy to see more posts from you.


  7. Trackback: A LOCKET FOR THE MOTHER OF THE BRIDE - Mother of the Bride

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