The day of the wedding finally arrived, and wouldn’t you know, after weeks of beautiful weather, it was pouring down rain. And yet, the excitement of the day couldn’t be washed away by the deluge. All of the wedding party went to the church early in the morning to make final touches to the decorations in the sanctuary and the reception hall, which was adjacent to the sanctuary. Flowers, candles, punch bowl, tea service and candy bowls (filled with pastel M&M’s) were all in their places, looking elegant and joyful and completely ready. When Bailey checked on the wedding cake – a very large, beautifully frosted and decorated confection – she saw Sheila’s solution to the cake topper dilemma. At the bridal table, directly in front of the bride and groom’s places, was a miniature wedding cake, an exact replica of the one made for the reception, and on that marvelous little cake sat the wedding gift from Mara. The cake topper with the plastic figures of the bride and groom in front of a plastic lace heart looked lovely. Sheila had indeed found the best answer to Bailey’s dilemma. There might not have been any sunshine in the Michigan sky at that moment, but when they saw the miniature wedding cake crowned with Maya’s gift, there was plenty of sunshine in the hearts of the wedding party.
The wedding, which was at 5:00 pm, was beautiful. The sun had made its glorious appearance just after 1:00 o’clock, and showed itself in all its summer finery for the rest of the day. Mara, who walked proudly down the aisle with the mother of the bride, had a front row view of Bailey and Thad as they, through their wedding vows, pledged their love to each other. At the reception, Mara’s chair was placed very close to her special friends. From that vantage point she was able to see and enjoy her gift to the newlyweds throughout the reception, as did all the other guests at Bailey and Thad’s wedding that happy summer afternoon.
The crescendo of excitement for the wedding slowly descended into a general buzz of talk, laughter and best wishes for the couple. Some hours later the newlyweds made their way to the airport to leave for their honeymoon – destination, Hawaii! Those left behind after the plane’s departure spoke of the beauty of the wedding, the joy of seeing family and friends who had come from near and far. The guests also shared anecdotes from the day, one of which explained that Sheila’s beautifully decorated miniature wedding cake with topper had been given free of charge to Bailey and Thad! The energy and creativity that had been on display for the special gathering had been captured, as much as it was possible to do so, in pictures and stories and memories. The family and friends of the newly married couple returned to their homes having fulfilled their congenial duty as loving witnesses to a marriage.
Soon, life slipped back to an identifiable rhythm for the families of Bailey and Thad, and everyday happenings came back into focus. The honeymooners had been gone for three days and would not return for another week. Jan, Bailey’s mom, was concerned about Mara, and wondered how she was dealing with her new home, but understood that the little girl would probably not come to visit until Bailey and Thad came back from Hawaii. One morning, though, as Jan went out the front door of her home to go grocery shopping, she found a little figurine and a message written on notebook paper. The figurine was a small Hawaiian hula girl with wings – a Hawaiian angel? Maybe another gift found at the Community Free Store? The message said: “Dear Bailey and Thad, I Hope You Had a Great Time at Your Honey-Moon in Hawiia. LOVE! Mara”.
The little emblem of angelic protection and message of love to Bailey and Thad acted as a form of reassurance to Jan, and others, that Bailey was doing well – and perhaps this was the best possible gift that the young couple received for their wedding.
“Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it” Hebrews 13:2