My dear cousin Elli was married yesterday, in a beautiful ceremony featuring vintage cars, all of her eight sisters shaking their butts in unison for eternity and happy, happy tears. This bride began her night on the dance floor and did not leave it for five hours. Like, I’m genuinely not even sure if she went to pee.
Elli is not just any Elli. Elli is the oldest of eleven children, with eight sisters. Here they all are, shaking what their mother gave them:
And here’s the whole Bray fam / with siblings and spouses:
As her oldest sis Epiphany lovingly put it in her toast, Elli was born to lead and care for others, which she now does as an FBI AGENT WHICH I TELL PEOPLE AS OFTEN AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE BECAUSE COULD A COUSIN BE MORE HUMBLED BY OR PROUD OF ANOTHER COUSIN? JUDGING MY EXPRESSION HERE, I DOUBT NOT.
Elli’s was the first of their grandchildren’s weddings that our grandparents had to miss, as my Grandpa is too far gone into Alzheimer’s to travel, and my Grandma can’t leave him. But I assisted by cousin Ella, I Facetimed my Grandma into the ceremony so she could sort of be there. And as I watched her face as she watched Elli wed, I was overwhelmed by the years she’s lived, the things she’s seen, the People she’s helped make, by the fact that Elli and I are two of those people, that we are alive at all, that we have not only the present but also our memories, and even if our memories fade, there are the people around us to be living reminders of all that once was, and will Be.