My grandma taught me the love of proverbs, quotes, and sayings and used them often in her everyday speech. She would come up with all sorts, from funny to the serious, but every one of them was thought provoking. I remember one she had about weddings. She said: “For the couple, weddings are full of tomorrows but for the parents, weddings give rise to nostalgia”.
One of my all-time-favourite musicals is Fiddler on the Roof. First time I saw it at Her Majesty’s Theatre in 2006 starring Topol himself. Second time I went to see it ten years later, in 2016 at the Princess Theatre where the leading man was Anthony Warlow.
The story is about a Jewish man whose daughters have grown up and are getting married. He wants them to have traditional arranged marriages, yet his daughters put up a fight when choosing who they want to be with.
The musical is full of wonderful songs that I enjoy singing along to, like “Tradition”, “Matchmaker”, “If I were a rich man” but I think my favourite of all is “Sunrise Sunset”.
The song is sung at the eldest daughter’s wedding. The parents marvel at how quickly time has passed and can’t believe their children are old enough to be married when they don’t feel much older themselves. Just one blink and they have grown up.
“For the couple, weddings are full of tomorrows but for the parents, weddings give rise to nostalgia” that’s what my grandma said when I was a child. I had no understanding of it then, but now I do. I also now understand why weddings make people cry.
I am sure that every parent, grandparent, aunty, and uncle can relate to my grandmother’s wise words. How is it possible that Weddings make young people look forward yet have the power to make older people look backwards?
Forgive me if I stop and smile. Or ponder for a little while. As I wonder where all the time has gone. From the first day I held my son in my arms. My heart is filled with memories, of times when he was small, my precious dear little boy.
Some of the lyrics of the song Sunrise Sunset go like this: “Is this the little girl I carried, Is this the little boy at play? I don’t remember getting older, so when did they? … Wasn’t it just yesterday when they were small… Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset, swiftly fly the years, one season following another, laden with happiness and tears”.
If you were able to look inside the memory box of my mind, you would see me tenderly and proudly holding my newborn son, my parents’ first grandson, praying for every good blessing for his life. You would see me watching him happily playing with his little friends or his cousins. You would see me cheering him from the edges of a soccer field.
But I blinked and those days are gone. They disappeared like the morning mist, like dew in the morning sun. Now I can only reach them in my memories.
Surprisingly, to my delight, I realise that I can also relate to the “tomorrows part of the quote”. I am so proud of the man my son has grown up to be and so happy that my son is marrying such a wonderful woman. So, although my heart is full of nostalgia, it is also full of happiness and excitement for the future.
My son, and my brand-new daughter-in-law, have experienced their first sunset and sunrise as a married couple. They were married yesterday. Their journey as husband and wife has begun. Every ending is a new beginning. The seasons change, but some things are infinite. When the children grow up, parents’ love will stay the same. It is never fading.
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