Last weekend, I went home to Pennsylvania for the first time in a long time for my cousin Nikki's wedding. It was great talking with cousins I haven't even seen in years.
Growing up, we were all very close; my cousins were more like my brothers and sisters. [Truthfully - and this is kind of embarrassing - my cousins might have had friends besides me, but for me, my cousins were my best friends. And yes, that lasted until I was basically 12 years old.]
Anyway, the wedding was exceptional. Nikki was a beautiful bride, her and her husband are a fun couple, and I couldn't help thinking how my cousins and I have all grown up so fast.
Out of all the fun times we had this weekend, one moment really sticks with me. After the vows were exchanged, rings put on, tears shed, Nikki and her husband headed back down the church aisle side by side for the first time as a married couple. And I couldn't help but notice the one person she stopped and hugged was our grandpa (in our family he's Papa). It's one of those moments that will stick in my memory for a lifetime.
Our papa is a brilliant, quiet, humble man with a big heart for his family and grandchildren. He gave my cousins and I opportunities we would have never had without him. For Nikki to stop and single Papa out with a hug was touching, appropriate and a moment I won't soon forget.