my daughter set her wedding date. it's going to be a simple ceremony at home for now. they'll get their marriage blessed in the Church later on when there's money for a more formal ceremony. she called to tell me and it's taken me four days to be able to express this in writing.
my heart is happy for her. she's a wonderful young woman. twenty-five already. on my birthday. she was born on my birthday, 3 weeks late. i was very ill carrying her and had to have emergency surgery to present her to the world. as it was, i only got to hold her for 5 minutes, to kiss her before they knocked me completely out. long story and not the point.
the point is that she and i both miss my husband so much. the Marine, she thought of him as that until the day he stood up for her against her father. he kept his hands fisted at his sides. he never made a wrong move. it was his voice and his eyes. he let it be known that he would protect her. he let it be known that her own father should not be the one she should have to be protected from. with few words and a low tone, and those eyes of his, he shamed her father and thankfully he backed down.
i remember when she told me she wanted him to walk her down the aisle. she didn't have a boyfriend at the time, but girls think about stuff like that. she wanted him because in the short time she'd known him, he'd been more of a dad than her own had been all her life.
and now it's time for her to walk down the aisle.
and he's gone from us.
and it's killing me right now.
i'm making her dress, the flower arrangements, some of the food, designing the decorations with her, finishing her bridal quilt that i've been working on for two years, (yeah, i'll have to take a picture of it. hundreds of thousands of hand stitches). i'm even making carpet/rug thing, the path for her to walk down. embroidery and applique flowers on it. she's loving all the plans and what i can do for her. i'm going to be the photographer for her wedding, too.
her father will come with his wife who, oh my Lord, do i dare sound so cliche? the woman thinks i took all the money. i didn't. he lied to her. he took the house, my car, the stocks, the 401K, and the bank accounts. i got $1k to live on with two children. i got the bills turned over to my name. i got the debt and my fears deeply embedded. i got behavior modified. i've called a woman i met in the widow's group to come be with me at my daughter's wedding. she didn't hesitate to say yes to me. she knows how alone i'm going to feel on that day when my daughter is surrounded by her friends and her new husband's family who already adore her. i'm her mom. i'm always there for her. i'm the seamstress, the designer, the researcher of her ideas and wishes for this event. i'm the artist of the wedding. i'm going to need a friend. i am so grateful to this woman who knows me only as a recent widow, and the one who is making her husband quilts.
my son is walking my daughter down the aisle. she's nervous about telling her father so she's coming over here next week on her day off and we're going to do it together. i can't fight for myself, but i can fight for her. i can make this happen so that her day is beautiful.
she wants a candle lit for my husband sitting beside a photograph of her and him together. her dad. the one she'd wished she had all along.