Friday, November 07, 2008

A Wedding in Bits and Pieces: Bit 3: A Special Moment During the Rehearsal Dinner

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this or not, and some of you may be astute enough to notice, I’ve never mentioned my own father. He passed away when I was nine. There have been a few times in my life when the lack of his presence has been more obvious and gaping than others. When I made the softball team in high school. When I graduated from High School. When I was accepted and then graduated from college. When I purchased my first home and had to live through the first home improvement projects. And of course most recently, when I got married. I love my mother, I’ve said so often here. And I was proud to buck the system and have her walk me down the aisle. However, there were plenty of times during the whole wedding prep process when all my locked away feelings concerning my father’s absence came charging forward and F would come upon me in front of the TV or listening to a song on the radio, and I would be a complete snotty tear soaked mess. The last few weeks’ right before the wedding I was so consumed, and so medicated, that I never gave this fatherly absence a thought. Until we were passing out present at the rehearsal dinner. We gave flowers to our mothers, presents to the bridal party and flowers to Eldest Sister, where I collapsed into tears trying to thank her for her amazing work on my dress. I’m sure no one understood a word of my blubbering thank you.

Let me go back about 3 days before this night. I was frantically running around trying to get the poem I wrote for F for his wedding present, framed. I was on my cell with my mom when she tells me, “OH! Your honey is trying to call me, I’m gonna have to let you go.”
I thought nothing of it. When I arrived at her house and casually questioned her, she grew silent, “I can’t tell you.”
I continued on with my quest, which I finished and it looks amazing, btw.
When I arrived home I cornered F, “I just want you to know, that I know, that you and my mother are up to something together.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
As I was cleaning out the truck, which F normally drives, I found an old photo, of my family.
“AH-HA! What is this? What are you doing with this??!?!?!”
“I don’t know what you are talking about.”

Jump back to the Rehearsal dinner.
F asks for everyone’s attention, one last time, and I look at him bewildered, what did we forget? He holds his arm out to me and I snuggle comfortably against him.
F: “I’m sure most of you are aware of this, but DH’s father is unable to be here with us. (I shake my head in agreement as the tears return) So he can’t walk her down the aisle. ( I lose it as my hands start shaking) So I want her to have this to wear down the aisle so he can be with her.” He hands me a small gold box, inside is a white gold heart shaped locket. Containing a very small, very old, picture of my father. My hands were shaking so badly and my vision so blurred by tears that I couldn’t get the locket open. F had to do it for me. It was a gift of such caring, such understanding, I was beside myself. Thank you couldn’t express everything I was feeling.

My father could walk with me down the aisle.

The next day Eldest Sister sat on my living room floor and attached said locket to the necklace that her own daughter had crafted for me to wear on my wedding day.
I fingered that locket all day long. It comforted and calmed me in a way that is hard to explain.
I am so glad F is my husband. I couldn’t ask for anyone better.

I found out several days later that my friend from England, A was the keeper of the locket that day and she kept psyching out R(my childhood friend since 1st grade) that F was going to give it to me. We both got a good laugh out of that.

I just have to let you know I teared up the entire time I was writing this, made typing not so easy, plus I had to keep stopping to blow my nose.


Molly said...

I just teared up! What a wonderful gift.

Sarah said...

What an incredible gift! The two year anniversary of my own father's death is coming at the end of this month, and I often think what my wedding day will be like without him there. I hope to one day find a husband as thoughtful as yours sounds!