An Aussie and an American Walk Down an Aisle
Jana Herbert Anthoine
Sounds like a great start to a joke. But it’s not. It’s the start of a lifetime of adventure for two wonderful people.
This weekend, my “little sister” got married.
See, she’s my little sister due to the fact that I actually have two sets of parents. My parents and The Khourys have been BFFs since way before BFF was even a term. I was “their” (collective) first kid. Then came my sister, Lauren, then Natalie and Andrea (both Khoury girls). We grew up together. For my first years of life, I honestly thought that I had two sets of parents.
We did everything together. Holidays, vacations, Saturday nights… you name it! We grew up. My sister and I married. Natalie and Andrea went to college. But we have always been sisters.
Me, holding Andrea. My sister Lauren. And Natalie.
This weekend we drove to St. Augustine to see Natalie marry the man of her dreams — her Australian track-star mate, Ross.
After a rehearsal dinner overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on Friday night, Saturday brought “The Big Day.”
Under giant oaks with St. Augustine grass under foot, a backdrop of the Intracoastal Waterway and a setting sun, Natalie was given away by her dad — my “other” dad — James. If it had been pitch black outside, James’s smile would have lit up the night. Beaming doesn’t even begin to describe the smile on his face.
In her mom’s dress, with a veil that stretched for yards behind her, she and Ross were joined in marriage by their friend John. He spoke of their friendship, their love, their future and their dreams. Right there in front of God and their witnesses, they professed their love and commitment to one another, now and forever.
The glow on the parents of the bride and groom and on Natalie and Ross was not from the humidity and heat of the beach in July, but from the joy, excitement and happiness that comes with making promises in front of those who love you to love, to honor and cherish each other.
James and Cheryl celebrated their 40th anniversary this year, and I know they wish the same for Natalie and Ross… a lifetime of mutual respect and open communication. And most of all, LOVE. On our way home, I looked into the sky and thought to myself, “Self, you used to love finding objects in the clouds when you were little. You should lay in the grass when you get home and do that.” And as I was looking in the sky, I was shown a sign of love, one that hopefully means that a lifetime of love will follow us all from now through eternity.
Congratulations, Ross and Natalie
Thank you, Jana. Your "Other" Dad.