Welcome to the Family

We had this precious little girl 32 years ago.

She’s the apple of our eye, smart, kind, amazingly competent, and we learned early on, when Kelley sets her sites on something, believe me, nothing gets in her way.

Her current passion is Tim Bontemps and we are overjoyed to be witnessing their wedding vows this coming Friday in a little chapel in Back Bay, Boston. As Karen Marie Moning says, “one day you will kiss a man you can’t breathe without, and find that breath is of little consequence.”

Yes, you calculated that right, we are hosting a wedding while our world is ensnared in a deadly pandemic, numbers are climbing off the charts, and if that’s not enough, it’s right smack in the middle of a controversial election. But as Rick Riordan claims, “the world might be collapsing but the only thing that really matters to me is you.”

Kelley met Tim while she was living in San Francisco, killing it at Carta, Tim was working for The Washington Post, and they found each other on one of those dating sites (how I understand it is they both swiped up). The story of their engagement linked here. It interesting when you look back on all our plans and proposals, you realize just how illusive our idea of ascendancy, and how things work out despite our foiled attempts at control.

Last December several of the Oreglia women, Tim’s Mom, and sisters flew into New York City to go wedding dress shopping with Kelley. It was a beautiful weekend, crisp, cool, and best of all New York City was decked out for Christmas. The Fifth Avenue shops had fabulous window displays, an enormous Christmas tree lite up Rockefeller Center, and all I can say is it was magical. We walked 20,000 steps our first day. I think she said “yes to the dress” at Kleinfeld’s, the second shop we visited, and after that it was all champagne and celebration!

Kelley planned an entire vineyard wedding for August of this year but we had to cancel the event in deference to the ensuing coronavirus that was rampaging our world.

It was disappointing to say the least.

Then Tim got called up to cover the NBA games in the Florida bubble so the wedding got put on hold again.

Kelley finally decided on a micro wedding in Boston, mid November, when Tim returns from the bubble, and the hope is all our children will be able to attend.

We’ve rented a huge Brownstone walkup, to house the entire family for the festivities, if all goes to plan it will be the first time all my beloved children will be together in one zip code in over two years, and can I just say I’m beside myself with joy. That’s a lie, I’m ecstatic, and my heart is about to burst.

A few nights ago, while I was packing for the upcoming trip, Larry called us all into the family room, and dialed up Kelley and Tim on the portal (a communication device like Facetime on steroids).

As Kelley and Tim appear on the screen, Larry walks into the room with a beautifully wrapped package, and says, “let the celebrations begin.”

“What’s this,” I look confused, and suddenly it dawns on me what’s happening, my eyes fill up with tears, “you remembered.”

Larry smiles and hands me the gift.

Kelley says, “is Mom crying already?”

Julie says, “She is.”

Tim says, “what’s going on?”

They watched me in silence as I gently opened the package, tears sliding down my cheeks, I carefully reveal a beautiful lladro, it’s a porcelain figurine of a little boy sitting in a suitcase, with a baseball in his hand, and teddy bear beside him.

After the birth of each baby, Larry would race out of the maternity ward, and purchase a lladro figurine in honor of the new baby, presenting me with a beautifully wrapped package in my hospital bed.

This is our family tradition.

Four heartwarming lladros (two girls, two boys), have been sitting on the mantle in the living room for decades.

I smile every time one catches my eye.

Tonight Tim’s figurine joins the family collection in honor of our new son whom we’re welcoming into the family. We couldn’t be more excited and pleased.

The very next day I was having coffee with my sister, I wanted to see her before we left for Boston, share my lladro story, and of course I had to complain about my failed attempt to find a mink stole for Kelley to wear with her decidedly summer wedding gown, but I couldn’t think of anyone who owned such a thing?

If Nancy is anything, she is resourceful, and she went about texting just about everyone she considered a viable prospect. Well she must have been channeling our Mom, because seconds later, Ervie (my Mom’s best friend) contacted Nancy and said, “I have four, come over, and pick one out.”

We headed up to Los Gatos together, delighted to see Ervie, and check out her beautiful stoles. Wearing our masks and keeping our distance we settled on the perfect one.

I turned to Ervie and said, “are you sure you want to let us borrow such a special coat?” (the one we selected was her mother’s)

She said, “I don’t have any daughters, or granddaughters who will ever need one of these, I’d be honored if Kelley wore one for her wedding.”

Eyes watering, we returned to our cars, and headed home with our precious find hanging in the back seat. Nancy totally scored and we called Kelley with the good news.

Larry and I are lucky enough to fly in early, and spend a few days with Kelley and Tim, before the rest of the family arrives. I hand carried that precious stole on the plane, along with a diamond bracelet she’s borrowing from her Titi, and a few gifts I wanted to share with my sweet daughter before her wedding.

Our arrival in Boston went well, we taxied to the hotel and unpacked before heading to Kelley’s. The first thing I did was hand her the bracelet and stole. I have to admit I was relieved to hand them off. She slipped into the coat, took a spin in front of the mirror leaning against the wall of her bedroom, and she looked absolutely stunning, she’s all lite up, it’s perfect.

Kelley created these adorable bags for her guests loaded with waters, masks, Boston postcards, munchies, hand sanitizer, and an agenda for the various events in the coming days. What a charming touch.

Today, as crews are boarding up Newbury Street (in expectation of election riots), I treated Kelley to a mani/pedicure, after which we picked up lunch for Tim and Larry, before watching Father of the Bride back at her apartment. A perfect day.

One of my favorite scenes plays out before me and I find myself crying as Annie (the bride) opens a cappuccino machine from her Dad and says, “Oh Dad, I couldn’t love anything more.” And George says quietly as she walks away with the package, “my thoughts exactly.” Sob.

Tomorrow we’re renting a car so we can go to Costco and stock the apartment with food and beverages before the family arrives. I’ll finish up my teaching obligations by five and we’ll be able to take the kids out to dinner before things get really chaotic. The weather is warming up nicely and we’re looking forward to some large family dinners, laughter, more memories than we can count.

It’s slowly dawning on me our grown-up little miss is about to marry, she’ll be swaddled in a sea of satin, my heart will skip a beat, as I watch her exchange vows with her beloved. I’ll be blinking back tears knowing she will no longer be our little girl but Tim’s beautiful wife. That dreamed of day has finally arrived, she’ll take his hand in hers, and the two shall become one. #BontempsEverAfter!

I’m Living in the Gap, enjoying the pre-wedding festivities, more to come.

Anecdotes:

  • “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” Robert A. Heinlein
  • “Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.” Rumi
  • “When you love someone, you say their name different. Like it’s safe inside your mouth.” Jodi Picoult

12 Comments

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  1. Such an evocative and personal post, but you included us all with your details and sheer joy. I felt I was there with you. Have a wonderful wedding day, and please pass on my sincere congratulations to the happy couple, from a small village in England.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Pete, I have passed in your sweet wishes to Kelley and Tim, and they were amazed that I had a friend from England! It was an extraordinary day and with a pandemic going on I felt privileged to attend and witness my daughters vows! Warmly, C

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, what a touching post! Congrats on expanding your family. Loved reading about it all. Larry does have a way of crushing it in terms of the sentimental gift. (Slight tear here too.) I hope everything went off without a hitch.
    A couple of quick things.
    Love Heinlein. I could go on and on.
    Love the immense talent of Darlene Love. If you ever want to watch a fascinating movie, try 20 feet from Stardom.
    The Crystals rock (I love the Beach Boys cover of this also.)

    Lastly, when I read a Cheryl blog, I look forward to expanding my view of life, the world etc. I can count on my vocabulary growing. So, it was quite a surprise when I read that she borrowed a bracelet from her “Titi.” Of course, ignorant rube that I am, I had to look it up…. Low and behold, who knew that having a Titi was a thing (they are kind of cute!) and that you could borrow a bracelet from one. Wonders never cease. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh my goodness Mike, I just found all these comments, they must have posted while we were in Boston and I was ignoring the blog, social media, and email! I’m glad you joined us on this nuptial journey, it’s been an emotional time, Larry and I were so grateful to have been able to attend. It was amazing having all our kids together, I wish it was so more often. I’m not surprised you love Heinlein and his scientific fiction writing! I’ll check out the 20 feet from stardom movie! I’m overjoyed to hear the blog has “expansive” qualities (you might be the only one who has this opinion) but I have to say I learn just as much from your comments. Now let’s clear up the Titi controversy, which is also a Spanish term which refers to ones Auntie, as in Titi Marta, no resemblance to monkeys from Brazil! Bahaha. Love the song you included, miss you guys, hoping to see you all in early 2021! Warmly, Cheryl

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    1. Kelley’s and Tim’s wedding was everything and more, if only we all could have attended. She made so many concessions and it was a lovely, emotional and memorable event, one I’ll treasure forever! They are adorable together and we’re all enormously happy to have Tim join the family! 💕

      Like

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