This story deserves a little background. Thirteen years ago, our senior year of high school, my friend Sparrow got pregnant. That March, after 22 in the hospital in labor, I was holding Sparrow’s hand when she gave birth to Sofia. Shortly after that Sparrow took Sofia back to West Virginia, where she had lived most of her childhood.
I haven’t seen Sofia since she was about three months old, but I made sure to call every year on her birthday. When Sofia was old enough to talk, that poor girl was forced to talk to this strange woman all the way across the country on her birthday. But Sparrow and Sofia were sweet enough to indulge me.
So when Sparrow told me that she and her childhood sweetheart were getting married (that is a long, wonderful story for another day) and that she would love for me to come out, I jumped on the chance to meet Sofia again.
Which is what brought me to a town in rural West Virginia, population: 4,000. Let me tell you, this was anything but a Hillbilly Wedding.
It was the most beautiful, heartfelt, outpouring of love I might have ever witnessed. One island in the river,
one looooong table for two hundred guests,
one bad ass old timey band, and a HUGE, complicated, intertwined, and absolutely fabulous family made for an amazing time.
There was a tear-inducing ceremony.
A gorgeous bride.
Bowl after bowl of delectable food.
A lot of wine.
And two lamb carcasses.
Which led to this.
And then this.
And lastly, this.
But, for me, what it came down to was seeing my sweet friend from long ago,
and meeting and getting to know a beautiful young woman that I had seen being born.
Thank you ladies. It was a wonderfully grounding weekend to start out my long adventure that is in front of me.