Pam and I saw our five-member family grow by one November 16. And we are blessed beyond measure.
Our son Andy married Brooke Bullock in a beautiful ceremony on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.
For weeks we had been watching the weather. As it grew closer, the prediction was sunshine and temperatures rising to near 60.
And the forecast was correct – perfect weather for an outside ceremony on the lawn of the historic Ogletree Alumni House. It was opened in 1912, and it is one of the five original buildings on the campus. It then served as the president’s home.
On Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, an EF-4 tornado ripped through Hattiesburg. One of the buildings that received heavy damage was the Ogletree Alumni House. On Sept. 5, 2014, the Southern Miss community celebrated the post-tornado reopening of the Ogletree House.
Both Andy (2016) and Brooke (2019) graduated from USM, as did our oldest daughter Emma (2013).
In recent years, Hattiesburg and USM have been like a second home for the Burlesons. It was a fitting location for the wedding.
The night before, Pam and I hosted the rehearsal dinner at Cotton Blues, a restaurant in the city.
One of the highlights was a slide show of photos, compiled by our daughters Emma and Erin, featuring Andy and Brooke from childhood to now. The photos brought smiles and good conversation.
I had the pleasure of welcoming the wedding party to the reception and adding a few personal remarks.
Here are a few of my thoughts from that evening.
Andy has brought lots of joy to our life and many laughs.
On May 19, 1994, Pam and I were in the delivery room at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. Believe it or not, I was watching the Atlanta Braves, waiting on Andy to enter the world. And thank goodness, he waited until the game was over. The Braves lost the game, but Pam and I were winners for sure that day.
I also mentioned Mrs. Linda Belk’s visit to The South Reporter office a few days before the wedding. She brought a gift for Andy and Brooke, and talked about Andy’s elementary school days at Marshall Academy. Mrs. Belk was one of Andy’s favorite teachers.
“Andy was an excellent student but he loved to talk,” she said.
Pam and I knew when Andy first brought Brooke to our home in Holly Springs that she was “the one.” We could see the glow in his eyes.
We love Brooke, and we are so happy and excited to welcome her to our family.
And I also made it a point to thank Brooke’s parents, Greg and Suzanne, for accepting Andy and loving him.
My advice to the new couple – put God first, love, communicate, occasionally dance with one another on the living room floor and share your dessert.
The wedding ceremony was conducted by Brooke’s brother, Brett Sutherland. It was outstanding.
At the reception afterwards, the mother and groom danced to Paul Simon’s “Love Me Like A Rock.” And then we all celebrated the union of Andy and Brooke Burleson.