Alright, I fully confess to being an emotional old softie.
It goes totally against the grain of my genetic make-up, of course, which is 100 percent stoic Norwegian.
But I broke with tradition recently at the wedding of our grandson, Taylor Smith to his lovely petite Spanish bride, Macarena Escondrillas Luna de Toledo where I wept like a penitent preacher. Regular readers might recall blogs I’ve written about Taylor and how after becoming a third generation Marine received the honor of serving on the Presidential protection detail in Washington and Camp David where he occasionally had the chance to go jogging with President Bush and later scrimmaged basketball with Barak Obama.
Taylor appreciated the prestigious post but felt he should be doing what he was trained for: to fight. So, within months he was in Afghanistan leading a platoon in some of the most intense combat of the war. Although he survived..others in his unit weren’t so lucky which meant his homecoming after five years in the Corps was bittersweet. Like so many others, he found it hard to shake the nightmares of war.
Although older than most every student there, Taylor decided to sign up for classes at SDSU..and it’s there he met the Spanish instructor that would change his life and..as of September 2016, become his wife.
The emotional wedding took place at the spectacular McCrory Gardens and Arboretum in Brookings.
I’m just so proud of Tara and all my kids and grandkids.
The ceremony was followed by a delicious dinner inside after which a few folks…including Maca’s delightful parents (who live in Spain and speak little English) said a few words as did the groom’s brother and best man, Tucker..the bride’s maid..Taylor’s mom, Brenda, and Grandpa Doug who occasionally fancies himself a poet.
I’m far from it, of course, but felt compelled to express a few sentiments from the heart to these two incredible young people.
I share those with you here now..certainly not for self-gratification but as an expression of love, joy and appreciation.
“An Island In The Storm.”
“Taylor always knew that his calling was instilled in the Smith family genes
To serve his country like grandpa and papa in the United States Marines.
Basic training was tough as expected but he came through it with relative ease
Tackling every physical challenge..determined to never displease.
The reward for his hard work and leadership was a most prestigious job in the Corps;
as protector of our President…still Taylor felt called to do more.
So he left the high ranking honor of just being a symbolic proud man
and requested more active duty with his brothers in Afghanistan.
As a leader, he fought with distinction..witnessing horrors too hard to explain
Many of which remained in his head as he boarded the homebound plane.
The desire to make life more normal led to enrollment at SDSU
A respite from so many bad memories and an education too.
What he hadn’t been counting on, though, but surely came to pass
Was the lightning bolt that struck him by the professor of Spanish Class.
Her name was Maca Luna..a brilliant hispanic queen.
She was the most beautiful senorita this Marine had ever seen.
She became to him more than a teacher..an island in the great storm
And though he had to bend down to reach her..her kisses were loving and warm.
With the passage of time, he was smitten; emotions once hard to release
Were lifted away by her joyfulness..such passion and love gave him peace.
The fun they share is infectious.. we smile too at the amor in their life
And wish happiness to Taylor Dale as husband and Macarena Escondrillas Luna El Toledo as his amazing and wonderful wife.”