“So you just had breakfast with a stranger and told him you’d give him our daughter?”
Are you kidding? Is that even legal? What kind of barbaric custom allows one man to give another man this most precious treasure, his lovely daughter?
As the months passed and we got ready for the legal transfer, I asked my husband, “So, how are you going to feel when you give your daughter away?”
Because I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to pull it off with a dignified dab at the corner of the eye.
He seemed too cavalier. I was afraid for him. I knew the power of the emotional sucker punch when the parenting cords were cut.
And then suddenly the question was pronounced in front of our family and friends, “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?”
Would he actually do it? Would he hand over his daughter? Would he break down?
The guests waited for the traditional response.
[quote]Well, I know what I’m supposed to say here.[/quote]
Corporate gasp. He had everyone’s attention.
And then one of the sweetest moments of my life occurred.
Marc reminded the young man of their earlier conversation. The one where the young man flashed a valuable jewel, and Marc spoke of his own gem. The father of the bride reminded the groom how much he treasured his daughter, and that her value was far above rubies, and that she should be treated as a rare and precious jewel.
And then he turned to his beautiful daughter, one who has brought him only joy and happiness, and affection, and laughter, and he entrusted her with the mandate: Do him good all the days of your life. And then he handed over this great gem, placing her hand tenderly into the hand of that young man.
The secret that made me smile instead of cry? We didn’t give her away at all. We got a son for free! And we think he will make a great dad to the grandchildren we hope to have some day–more valuable gems to add to our collection!
I was too happy for tears.
And that’s how to give your daughter away.