So last night I gained a daughter-in-law – and watched as an entire community of individuals who raised, encouraged, supported and loved my oldest boy come together to witness the celebration. It was beautiful, in every sense of the word, from start to finish. Of course, since they were a college choir couple (like my son’s parents and grandparents) the long-standing traditions abounded at the close of the reception with the guys serenading the bride and the ladies singing to the groom. (See the two video clips from my Facebook feed.)

I had many favorite moments throughout the event, but one stood head and shoulders above the rest. As Micah finished playing the prelude music, Marc and Max escorted their grandmother down the aisle, Matthieu (the groom) escorted his mother, and I entered the church right behind them watching all friends and family look on with excitement.

As I walked down the aisle scanning the congregation, I was taken aback by the diversity of this couple’s support network – young, old, college friends, extended family, childhood friends, teachers, church leaders. Of course, this is usually the case at weddings, but experiencing it in real time reminded me of the importance of community. As we enter into the Thanksgiving week, I hope you are able to reflect on your own community of individuals who support and keep you going. I believe that all too often we try to go at it alone, which can be exhausting. Last night was my reminder that we need to lean on each other a whole lot more, because there is strength in numbers – be that with regard to raising children or just trying to make it through the week and needing someone to talk to.

I am now going to rest and enjoy the week with family and friends now that the wedding is over. I’m also going to try not to obsess over the fact that Micah, my second born son displayed an impressively high vertical leap, victoriously catching the garter at the reception. As he proudly smiled and looked at his girlfriend, I just looked at my wife shaking my head. And thus, the journey continues.