Wedding – Lowell’s Lecture and the Father Daughter Dance

August 21, 2010 at 12:54 pm 7 comments

When I was a young girl, one lesson my father frequently reprimanded me on was the value of commitments. “You can’t renege on a commitment!” he’d bark at me, “You can NOT renege on a commitment!”  This usually happened when I was trying to get out of a bridge game.

I was married before and when that marriage disintegrated, I returned home to stay with my parents. Although I can look back now and see with clarity the correctness of my decisions, it was extremely tough at the time. I cried almost all of the 250 mile drive to Occoquan. And when I finally arrived at my parents’ home, my stomach sank before I walked in the door. Here was this giant commitment getting reneged upon. What commitment could be more important? Most certainly, I would be disappointing my father. I braced myself for the loud opinions that were to come my way.

And I got lectured… but not about commitments. Dad expressed some strong feelings on the importance of happiness and how it isn’t something to forfeit. I cried and cried and cried.

“You only live once,” he said, “You’ve got to do what makes you happy. You’ve GOT to!”

On more than one occasion, Dad would pause his lecture and look at me absolutely dumbfounded. “Why are YOU crying?!?” To him, the situation was so clear-cut. My sadness baffled him.

I would still have internal conflicts and doubts to come, but Dad’s reaction helped immensely. I understand now why he was so opinionated. It’s so easy to see just how much happiness I had been forfeiting.

Since my sophomore year of high school my father always seemed pretty oblivious and indifferent of the comings and goings of my boyfriends. When Ryan Somma came along, my father took an unprecedented interest. And sometimes his attention was a little… awkward… like the time Dad started to grill Ryan with questions.

“Why do you have tattoos?”
“Do you go to church?”
“How are your finances?”
“Do you have a retirement fund?”
“How much is in your savings account?”
“Why did you get a divorce?”
“Did you cheat your wife?”
“Did she cheat on you?”

But then, there were the pleasant surprises.

“Vicky looks so happy,” my father reported to my mother one Thanksgiving, “It’s like night and day.”

Or the time Dad brought out his cellphone and snapped a picture of Ryan and I. He evaluated his work on his phone and smiled. “I had to get a picture of the happiest couple I know,” he explained.

When Ryan proposed, I had a rare occurrence show up in my email inbox. A very sweet, sentimental message from my father. He apparently still felt strongly about happiness. In an eight sentence email, he referred to it four times.

When you contacted me about your last marriage, I could only give general guidance. My advice to you then was that you only live once, and that you have to make the decision what would make you happy. When you are with Ryan I see just happiness. I like Ryan. Forget about the financial background check, as I suggested. You picked the perfect person for happiness. I greatly endorse Ryan to be our to-be-son-in-law. He is a very great person who will give you happiness for the rest of your life.


When it came time to pick a song for the Father Daughter Dance, I selected an accoustic cover of Stand By Me by Jonathan David. My father was by no means the only one who supported me during my divorce. But he was the biggest surprise. I’m where I’m at now and as happy as I am in part because my father knew what was important and stood by me. I certainly hope I can do the same for him.

At the wedding reception, when my father and I stepped out on to the dance floor, the sentiment was much different than the night I was lectured on happiness. No tears were shed and actually there was very little dancing. Instead my father did what he does best– in his animated manner, he told me funny stories.

I laughed and laughed and laughed.

Wedding Weekend - Father Daughter Dance - Vicky and Dad Laugh (By Liza Franco)
Dad Cracking Me Up (By Liza Franco)

Entry filed under: Dad, rvw10, Wedding.

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. gasstationdave  |  August 21, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Lowell is a man of both unparalleled wisdom and amazingly good humor. Hey, he survived my occupation and kept me laughing without a single pause. We need more people with his integrity and goodness of character.

  • 2. Angela  |  August 21, 2010 at 5:31 pm


    I have been searching for wedding related Blogs and found your site, which is very cool

    I have just started a wedding site and wonder how good it is, would really welcome your comments

    the link is

    Warmest Regards,


  • 3. Jennifer  |  August 23, 2010 at 10:06 am

    I am left teary-eyed. Your father and my father seem to be cut from the same cloth. He, too, only wanted me to find happiness after my divorce. Mistakes happen but as your Dad said, you only get one life to live. I am so glad you found your happiness. Best wishes, Vicky. You deserve it.

  • 4. geekhiker  |  August 23, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    If there’s one universal truth in the universe: father’s are always protective of their daughters!

  • 5. Clint  |  August 24, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Rules are made to be broken 🙂

  • 6. 6 Year Blogaversary « TGAW  |  March 14, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    […] Wedding – Lowell’s Lecture and the Father Daughter Dance My father can make me nearly asphyxiate with laughter… and he can dispense some pretty handy advice as well. […]

  • 7. Uncle Steve  |  April 30, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    I love reading this blog over and over. I heard a lot first hand from your father. He knew the first marriage was a mistake and did not want you to be unhappy again. By the time he died he had long known that Ryan and you were a perfect match. What a beautiful family you two are creating.

    Love and prayers,

    Uncle Steve


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