I have a vivid picture of my first meeting with Catherine when both of them were still at the University of Alberta. Christopher had a role in a campus play, so we journeyed north to Edmonton to watch his performance. He had told us that Catherine would attend the same show that we planned to see, so I anticipated a chance to experience the wonderful friend that Chris had described to me over the phone. Although he had met her in a school community, it felt strange to me because I didn’t have the opportunity to be familiar with her as someone who had attended classes with Chris here in Springbank. This unknown aspect caused a concerned and cautious aura to surround me as we arrived at the theatre.
Naturally we secured our seats early to gain a better view of the play. I tried to focus on reading the notes about the cast, and the synopsis of the coming scenes. But as every new group of students arrived I scanned their faces searching for Catherine. When she made her appearance I knew undoubtedly that it was she. Christopher’s description clearly matched the young woman who moved into place below us. The energy in the room shifted, a lilt of laughter carried a current of sheer happiness that moved my spirit into a state of delight immediately.
“She has a spontaneous personality that brightens everyone around her. She goes head to head with my wit; she’s funny but obviously interesting and intelligent. She sometimes bursts with enthusiasm; she’s kind and caring,” I ran through the unstoppable flow of colorful words Chris had chosen to paint a picture of her. “You’ll know it’s her by her irresistible laugh that will catch you by surprise.”
It did. The way that laughter wound its way to where I sat, I could sense that here was someone who could compliment my son’s distinctive and dramatic personality. We didn’t even need to go through the motions of awkward introductions; I knew she had the wherewithal to rise to the challenge of loving Chris.
After the play, we did exchange greetings; we probably entertained silent questions about each other, as we stood in proximity of the unknown future; yet we began on the lilt of laughter entwining all of us into a shared experience. With a farewell hug I sought to convey a welcome from me as well as to garner reassurance from her. From that moment we were in this together, a mutual understanding that we both shared a young man’s heart.
Over the next few months I want to express my thoughts of my unique role as a mother of a groom from the long distance planning, to the family situations and emotions, from the details to the delights. Through it all I want to let the laughter lift us towards a peaceful refrain, “Bring on the Joy!”