Where did the time go?

Published 9:39 am Tuesday, June 12, 2012

There she sat, adorned in a tiny red velvet dress trimmed in white accented by a toothless grin; flanked on one side by her older brother and her first cousin on the other.

That exact photo, snapped over two decades ago in front of my mom’s and dad’s Christmas tree, ranks as one of my all-time favorites. It spent 10 or more years attached by a magnet to the side of my refrigerator at home.

It’s hard to believe that in five days the little girl in the center of that photo will walk down the aisle of Conway Baptist Church and become Mrs. Jonathan Louis Martin.

Born April 26, 1989 to my brother and sister-in-law, Tommy and Patricia Bryant, Rebecca Lynn Bryant was a beautiful baby. Twenty-three years later that beauty, along with those big blue eyes, still persists.

Along the way Rebecca was groomed in the art of womanhood by three of the best at that business – her mother, Patricia, and both grandmothers, the now late Mina Martin and Blanche Bryant. She learned that being a woman was not all about ruffles and flowers, but more along the lines of how to present oneself with poise, grace, elegance and self confidence. And, of course with that trio of mature women showing her the ropes, Rebecca transformed into a certified shopper. I can speak from experience that when my mom went on one of her thousands of shopping excursions, Rebecca and/or my own daughter, Danielle, was in tow.

Now, years later, that little girl – the one with her front baby teeth missing in the aforementioned photo – is about to embark on perhaps the most important stage of her life….that of being a wife. All that training she absorbed from those feminine teachers of her life has prepared her to take this step and I know deep down that she will make Jonathan a very happy man.

And speaking of Rebecca’s husband-to-be, I feel she is as fortunate as Jonathan in having a perfect soul mate as he comes from a great family as well. His father, Johnny, is a Northampton County native. He and I were at Northampton County High School at the same time, although he graduated two years before my class received diplomas. And while Jonathan’s mom, Becky, hails from north of the border (Boykins, Va.), she is just a country girl, thus fitting right in with these two families.

As Rebecca’s uncle, I feel a certain level of responsibility to ensure that she is doing the right thing when it comes to choosing the man she’ll spend the rest of her life with. From the first time I met Jonathan and learning who his parents were, I immediately felt comfortable that he would be a good provider. And it didn’t hurt his chances for my approval upon learning that he aspired to become an industrial engineer….he is a 2011 graduate of East Carolina University, receiving his Bachelors of Science degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering.  He is currently employed as an engineer at Metal Tech in Murfreesboro.

Late in the afternoon of Saturday, June 16, I’ll proudly sit and watch as Rebecca and Jonathan are joined in marriage. I’m sure they’ll be plenty of tears of happiness falling that afternoon, as well as an abundance of smiles, including the memory of one toothless grin from long ago.


Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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