In the middle of all our annual July Fourth who-ha,

our family had the absolute honor to be present for the wedding of our beloved friends – “Nake” and Laura.

It was a ceremony as simple and precious and redemptive and hopeful as I have ever attended.

And as I sat in the blazing July sun,

grateful that I chose to wear black making my sweat less obvious,

it was impossible to be seated at the wedding ceremony,

impossible to listen to the words being said,

impossible to watch a father walk down an aisle and hand his daughter to a young man,

without looking at my own wedding companions.

Without peering to my right and behind me and in my lap.

Daughter after daughter after daughter.

After daughter.

One as beautiful as the next.

And how in the world can I ever live through all that giving away?

How can my heart ever take all that giving and not implode?

How does this work, anyway?

How does a parent spend a kid’s lifetime loving and teaching and guiding and then just . . .

let go?

How does a dad walk down a white-draped aisle and hand over his little girl to a man?

My Willow.

My Riley.

My London Scout.

My Mosely Ella.

My heart hurts just thinking of all those aisles,

all those bittersweet celebrations,

all that loving

and all that time passing.

It’s a beautiful kind of misery, of course.

This future giving away of each of my daughters into the hands of a mere man.

And one that I only pray I am blessed to live long enough to endure.

Four times over.