So today I got married.
Just kidding. I did say that this weekend I’d add a new line to my wedding resume. But no one guessed that I was eloping. Wouldn’t that have been funny? Well, except for my family and friends, I suppose.
No, I was not a bride this weekend. I was a madrina. The madrina de lazo, to be precise. Roughly translated… the godmother of the lasso.
I have been in weddings. And I’m a godmother to several people. So why not put those together?
Seriously, though, I was very honored when Mariana and Ben asked me to be the godmother of the lasso at their wedding. Why me, you might ask? Not to mention … what the heck is a godmother of the lasso?
Well, this calls for a little story.
Three years ago, Mariana was my workstudy student at Aquinas. But she was much more than that. She became a dear friend.
During her time at Aquinas, she was asked to be in a photo shoot for a few promo shots for the college. And as she posed with Ben, a fellow Aquinas student, my friend Lauri (the director of communications at the time) and I noticed that they were both just so darn cute together…
They started dating soon after.
(Oh, and their picture still graces the wall outside the Admissions office.)
They dated for a few months before breaking up. Mariana ended up leaving Aquinas shortly after that, and our lives were so busy we didn’t hear much from each other. I’d see her or her mom in passing, and we exchanged phone calls or texts every once and awhile– always saying “We have to do lunch sometime!”
One day last year, I received word that Ben was injured and was in kidney failure. His prognosis was dire.
I didn’t know if Mariana was still in touch with him, but they had remained friends after the break-up, and I knew she would want to know that Ben was in critical condition. So I texted her.
Life went on, Ben got better, and I didn’t think anything of that text. I saw Mariana a few months later, but it was just in passing and we didn’t really get a chance to catch up. (“we have to do lunch sometime!”…)
The next time I heard from her… she was engaged to Ben.
Thank goodness for deathbeds and text messages, eh?
So in honor of me “lassoing” them, I got to lasso them today. Um, something gets lost in translation. But you get the drift. Rightly or wrongly, Ben and Mariana both say that I’m the reason they got back together (I like to think the Holy Spirit had something to do with it instead, but I’ll take some of the credit). And so they asked me to be the madrina de lazo.
If you have ever been to a Hispanic wedding, you’ve probably seen the custom of the lazo. A lazo (sometimes made of flowers, or rope, or rosary beads) is placed around the bride and groom after the vows. Mariana and Ben used the same lazo Mariana’s sister used at her wedding, which is the same one their mother and their grandmother used at their weddings.
It was like a double rosary – two large loops were hooked together with a crucifix at the end. After the vows and the exchange of coins (another Hispanic tradition), I stepped forward and put one loop over Ben’s head and one over Mariana’s. I think there is supposed to be a special prayer, but Father didn’t have it on hand, and so he led the congregation in a Hail Mary in Spanish, which was perfect. (Then I removed the lasso and returned to my seat. I think it’s tradition to keep it on, but they had to walk around too much for that.)
I don’t think I’ve seen a bride and groom smile so much in my life. The two of them already smile all the time… but today? They were giddy. I’m pretty sure I whacked Ben in the nose when I was putting the lasso over his head, but he wouldn’t have noticed if I would have knocked them both over.
The happy couple:
And Mariana with her madrina de lazo:
Another line on my wedding resume complete. I honestly thought I’d be cantoring at a wedding before I’d be a madrina. Who knows what’s next?