Alright, I am taking a serious karmic risk here but I promised to write about it so here it is. The epic adventure of my sister’s wedding. Now there are a few pieces I should fill in before I begin. This was the second event and first major family event since our mother passed and so there was a lot of tension leading up to the actual day. The wedding was 800 miles from home and I was maid of honor. MAID of honor, this was not up for discussion or debate. I think matron is the meanest thing you can call someone and still insist they pay for their own dress-sounds like you should be wearing a black, high necked Victorian dress and you will never have sex again! A month or so before the wedding, my sister has a complete meltdown over some discussion of taking a day to sightsee and decides that since I haven’t planned her bridal shower yet, I am uninvited to the wedding. Two weeks before the wedding, she calls me and says “we need to work this out and of course you are invited to the wedding.” I choose not to point out 1) I was trying to plan a shower 800 miles away. 2) She told me when first she asked me to be maid of honor that the only thing she wanted was my presence and 3) She is crazy! I try to let it go, but I was definitely still stinging especially since I can’t tell anyone in the family the personal dilemma I am having, with my husband a part of the wedding party. There is also another little wrench in that our father is bringing his girlfriend to the wedding. Yup, he has a girlfriend-met her at the family reunion last year, which sounds much creepier than it is as she was a family friend but she is also a bore and obsessed with her diabetes and fibromyalgia and is constantly bringing them up.
Two days of travel in which at every rest stop I had to log onto the internet to finish my work website-only to lose power in most of the metro area, just as we attempt to launch. Upon my arrival we go out with my sister, her fiancé, my father and his girlfriend-who can't eat anything of course. Because she’s diabetic. A strange form of diabetes which renders all food dangerous and spiny. Next day, finished the website, got reamed by my boss for taking so long to finish the website, cried in the hotel room for half an hour, and headed out for lunch with sis, Dad, and annoying girlfriend who is so very boring compared to our mother-in all likelihood, the attraction. Dad is hardly looking for another great love. I think he just wants companionship and the occasional knob shine-good for him, but gross! My sister’s fiancé (we’ll call him Sampson for the purposes of the blog) goes off to pick up our neighbor, our sister for all intents and purposes. While we wait, girlfriend (let’s call her Yoko ) just had to eat, then thought the stir fry she ordered was too sweet (sweet peppers apparently equal diabetic coma in her world). Our neighbor/sista shows up hammered and a bundle of nerves. So I steal Delilah (sis) away for a little manipedicurial pick me up-and to get both of us away from the madness for a bit and give us a little sisters only event. Then off to the bridal shower-which was a champagne and chocolate tasting; I highly approve!- one of the most awkward events I have ever attended but I suppose that is what happens with blended families who’ve never met! Serious chocolate hangover the next day. We are now two days before the main event.
Next morning it rains like the apocalypse is upon us, so my sister falls apart because both the rehearsal dinner and wedding are outdoor events. Then she calls me to tell me she has pink eye, another neighbor/sister texts me to say she is in labor. I spend the day just reassuring Delilah that all will work out while hoping I am still going to fit into the bridesmaid dress that I tried on the night before I gorged myself on champagne and chocolate…and chocolate…and just a little more chocolate.
I pick up the wedding dress and send my sister to bed while we meet to set up the meeting room for the rehearsal dinner. We have to wait on Dad and Yoko because they are trapped under ground waiting for the tornado sirens to shut off. I only wish that were a joke-well, not really, at this point I was just laughing. But we had a blast at the party, while the fish fry went on in the thunder and lightning. At dusk, the skies cleared and we had a beautiful double rainbow and the moon and stars came out to play. I knew my mother was close and we would be alright. My aunts even convinced Delilah to do a keg stand-a new experience for me.
The wedding was beautiful. The park was breathtaking and the atmosphere serene, simple and perfect. My sister looked like a 1940’s Silver Screen Grecian Goddess framed by gentle sunlight and fields of wildflowers. The rain which ended just before sunset Friday never returned. The skies were blue and my sister stunning. My sister and her fiancé had opted to take their photos before the ceremony so we were posing in the wildflowers and before the waning colors of a field of sunflowers. My sister looked beautiful and happy and I wanted to capture that feeling, bottle it and give it to her in a shadow box, so that no matter what happens in the future, she would always have the feeling of this moment which she had worked so hard to achieve.
The real excitement was when the bagpiper failed to appear and left a voicemail saying only "I'm lost." So as I walked back to the car to grab something, about 5 minutes before the ceremony was to begin, my sister decided to walk with me (not a good sign) and asked if we could sing something a capella to walk her down the aisle. No problem. Just the biggest day of her life and I'm wingin' it. But it was lovely and only the family knew it wasn’t planned. Though it was amusing watching all of us do the step touch with no music but the songbirds overhead, which in retrospect was all the music we needed.
Reception was charming although halfway through my sis leans over and asks, “Did I mention, you’re supposed to make a speech?” Sigh.
I danced until I could dance no more. Even did a couple of (fake) irish jigs since they had an Irish band and ended up leading the dancing which the band seemed to find amusing because they forewent their break in lieu of playing on. I don't think they often have people that get up and dance. Had this really wonderful moment when they started playing this really cool arrangement of 500 Miles (which I love and recognized immediately) and when they starting the verse, my sister came and joined me and everyone started clapping along from their seats. Next thing I know, the whole dance floor fills with our family-my Dad and my two Aunts (and Yoko, who wants so badly to be a part of the family). It was just a really neat and joyous moment. My Dad and his sisters haven't danced together in ages and it was just a very special, spontaneous event. I felt my Mom so close at that moment.
We spent the morning-after with Delilah and her new husband, my brother, OMG, at a super tacky hangout they always feel the need to go to. My sister calls me on the trip home, two hours from the end, and as I walk through the front door, I tell her I love her and I have to go. She confesses that she thinks that it was Mom that made the bagpiper late. And I hadn’t said a work. I had worried that the event would be sad as we missed her but instead I felt only her presence.
Upon my return, I felt her absence. And cried silently in my office, alone, for two hours. I only hope I made her proud.