“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by
side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does
it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing
that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not
just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real…”
Kelli and John’s hands were clenched tight as they listened to a reading from the Velveteen Rabbit, their attention drifting between the reader and each other. Cool air pushed dangling branches of weeping willows from side to side, the sun poking through every so often to dance on their skin. It was as graceful as a scene from Gone with the Wind. It was elegant, touching, and real–especially for me.
Just three years ago, on the same labor day weekend, my wife read that exact passage to me on my wedding day. So Kelli and John, I wish you the same joy and partnership that I’ve been graced with, and hope you “lose all your fur.” And that the “sawdust inside you feels like it’s going to burst.”
Kelli and John were married at the Hudson Gardens in Denver, Colorado.
Thank you to Kevin Von Qualen for assisting me at this wedding.