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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Blue (10/08/09)

TITLE: The Celebration
By Mark Bell


Her favorite color? That's easy: pink. Or maybe it's brown. Actually, it's kind of hard to say for sure. She uses shades of both to decorate just about everything. And, yet, somehow, it always manages to look girly and feminine. Which is good. She is definitely all girl. Well, she's really a woman now. But, she's all girl--except when she’s focused on something. Then she's more like a bull in a china shop. She'll push through everyone without even realizing they were there. She'd given her brothers a few bruises by bumping them out of the way so she could simply get to the fridge. She once broke her sister's nose yanking the milk out of the fridge, having squeezed between her sister and the door to get it.

And, today was her wedding day. The day proud parents reminisce about all the past events with a mixture of joy and sadness. The bruises and broken nose weren't so important. They were at the time, of course. But, not any more. All that mattered was my little girl had grown up, and would soon be off to start her own family. I wiped away a tear and put that thought aside for a bit.

The wedding reception had been shrouded in secrecy from the beginning. Only a select few had been involved in the planning. Unfortunately, I hadn't been one of those few, despite having paid for it all. The wedding ceremony I knew about. She had actually scheduled two rehearsals. I was very familiar with the details. And, had two very good opportunities to practice not crying when I handed her over to her husband-to be. It didn't help. They say women always cry at weddings. So do men, especially the dads.

But, I knew nothing of what was going on at the reception, until I got there and saw the decorations. They were blue. Blue ribbons, blue flowers, blue curtain strings and sashes, blue table clothes. Light blue, dark blue, blue the color of lake ice, blue the color of a dry desert sky, blue the color of deep oceans. I was amazed. I never realized there were so many shades of blue that could blend into something beautiful enough to just take your breath away—even if you're not the father of the bride.

I was also stunned—more like mystified. Where was the pink she always demanded to paint the walls of her bedroom? Where were the browns she carefully blended for curtains and bedclothes? Not a hint of either color could be found in the room, except for the brown legs of the elegant tables and chairs.

It came time to dance. I took her hand, and we stepped out on the floor. I felt awkward around this woman I had spent her whole life with. It was almost like being on my first date all over again. Finally, I managed to relax my throat enough to talk.

“So, what's with all the blue,” I asked, struggling to smile. “You've never decorated anything in blue.”

She gave me a puzzled look. “You didn't get it,” she asked, surprised. The emphasis was on the word you.

“Get what?”
“You taught me so much about symbolism, and you didn't get it,” she asked again, truly surprised.

I guess I just looked blank, because she giggled.

“All those years of you reading newsletters and teaching messages to us, I figured you would have gotten all this,” she said. “The white and red of a wedding mean…?”

“Purity and life,” I replied without thinking.

“Because of Jesus,” she added quickly. “His blood and life became ours as we enter into the new life. So, the reception is a celebration of the new life, right? Well, a new life has limitless possibilities and hope and joy…like the sky…and like heaven. What other color could I possibly have chosen to celebrate all the things you taught me so I would be ready for this?”

I love my girl. And, she loves her daddy. In fact, she loves me enough not to mind the blue-ish tear stains on the shoulder of her wedding dress.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lollie Hofer10/16/09
Good use of the theme color. I liked the symbolism for blue at the wedding reception.
Patricia Turner10/17/09
A sweet and tender story that unfolded so nicely. I like the dialogue between father and daughter and the symbolism very much.