A rehearsal dinner.

When my sister became engaged, my father quickly saw money flying out the window for the upcoming wedding.  He sat down with a very wise man, who talked him into enjoying the reason to celebrate.  The advice given to my dad was something along the lines of this: “a wedding is the perfect opportunity for a Christian family to shine.”  In other words, the tender moments and celebratory spirit of a close-knit family are obvious in situations like a family wedding.  That sentiment was never more true than on Friday night.

A mere 36 days after John’s stroke, my brave Aunt Dot hosted a party.  She welcomed guests, she toasted Mel and Andy with sincerity and great resolve, and represented she and John in such a way that I know John would be proud.  The party would have made John’s day.  We sat under the trees on the lawn he dreamed of planting, near the bench that he envisioned creating, among newly planted Japanese maples that he would have loved.  The party was about Mel and Andy, but John’s presence was deeply felt.  And thanks to God’s army of love, we were able to enjoy the evening on the newly completed yard.

Here’s the scene of the evening.

The menu included grilled salmon and tri tip, grilled by my Uncle Todd.  He is an amazing grill-master.  All of it was grilled to perfection.

Todd is on the left.  My dad and Billy were beer/wine drinking helpers.

Mel and Andy.

Dot’s friend, Beth, outdid herself on dessert.  She set up a whole cupcake/cookie table that was unbelievable.  She must have baked for days and nights to have accomplished all of this goodness.  It was heaven.

Oh my, were these ladies incredible.  They came in aprons and served us in every sense of the word all night long.  They are friends of Aunt Dot’s who just wanted to help.  They made me want to go home to Austin and see how I could better serve my friends because these fine women were an outstanding example of servanthood.



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5 responses to “A rehearsal dinner.

  1. This all looks absolutely beautiful…very Thornton but after seeing Dot’s house I know entertaining and making a gala event look welcoming runs in the family. I’m so glad I could imagine the evening. Andy and Mel look radiant. I love that Dot’s dear friends could come and be a part by serving. Always my favorite part too. I am Martha!! Can’t wait to hear about the wedding and see more pictures. Love you, K

  2. Heidi Wickstrom

    If I may speak for myself and the other ladies, I think it goes without saying that we were the ones blessed by being able to be apart of such a wonderful family and event. We went home dog tired but with such joy and happiness. Thank for allowing us to invade your home Dot (notice I must call you Dot now, not Dorthy) and be apart of this special day. We love you so much. Hugs and may the Lord bless you all,
    Heidi

  3. Kathy Carley
    God shows up in the form of loving friends. Beth always out does herself! She is an amazing friend to many. These people who served Dorthy do it because they love her and are also giving back to a sweet woman who has served them in many ways impossible to mention here. The Courtney Family has been a staple in the Auburn church of Christ and anyone I know would go ten extra miles for them all. We are so happy to hear that all went well and that Dorthy can now take a much needed rest. Our love to all who helped our beautiful sister in Christ!

  4. chelsea, I forwarded this beautiful email on to the walkers and here is Colleen’s reply….

    WHAT A DELIGHT TO SEE THE CELEBRATION GO ON AND YET KNOW THE CHALLENGE FOR ALL THESE DEAR FOLKS…..Thank you Chelsea……………

  5. Kristin Comeaux

    I know all of those “Four Ladies” of which one of them is my mom. (: I wish I could have been there to serve! It looks like it was a beautiful evening, and I would think that along with John’s spiritual presence, God was there as well. I love you Mrs.Courtney! God bless.