Friday, October 9, 2009

The story of my wedding and the death of my mother.

Four years ago today, Patrick and I were married. It was such a crazy time; I hardly know where to start. Six days before the wedding, my brother came home from Japan and my mother was hospitalized. He got off the plane and went to the hospital where we all were. My mother had breast cancer that spread to her liver. She left the hospital on Friday, the wedding was on Sunday.

Three days before my wedding, my grandparents were in a car accident after visiting my mother in the hospital. A driver made an illegal U turn causing the accident. Grandpop hardly had a scratch, but Grandmom was in really bad shape. They were unable to attend my wedding.

I spent the week before my wedding visiting my mother and grandmother in the hospital. I was being referred to as the bride in two different hospitals. I didn’t go to the hospital on Wednesday in order to have a trail run for hair and make-up. I also had to deal with a very badly fitting handmade wedding dress. But I didn’t even have the time or energy to deal with that dressmaker.

The night before the wedding there was a dinner with Patrick’s mom, step dad, dad, step mom, his maternal grandmother, aunt, and uncle. My brother and father were there but my mother was too sick. My aunt Mary came in her place and read a note my mother had dictated which made me cry.

That night I shared a bed with my mother. I hardly slept, every time she moved I had a little heart attack. I remember she got up to close the window and I tried to help her. I lay in bed next to her and cried. She was 59 but had aged so much that week; she was a shell of her former self.

There was so much rain that week and Saturday was a deluge. The morning of my wedding I got a call at 6 a.m. from the V.F.W, where our wedding was to be held. The location was flooded and I would have to find a new location if I wanted to get married that day. I fell to the floor and cried not knowing what to do.

I called Action News and left them a message about my situation. They called me back and there was a reporter at my mother’s house by noon. I got ready for a wedding with the location to be decided by generosity. Many people called Action News wanting to help which was such a blessing.

The Jeffersonville Golf Club donated their space to us and the ceremony was only a few hours delayed. I used to pass by this place often when I lived in Collegeville. I never would have imagined I would get married there. I wanted to get married by water and we did not want to get married at a golf course. But I was thankful we had a place for our 150 guests.

We left the house before my mother. She got sick along the way and we waited for her arrival. I remember her face when she saw out flower girl who was a man in drag. She was happily shocked and we all needed the comic relief. She walked down the aisle flanked by my brother and Aunt Mary. The rain had stopped and the clouds cleared. We were able to have our ceremony outside. By the time I could see my soon to be husband’s face, I just wanted to kiss him. I just wanted to hurry thorough the ceremony and kiss him and hold him tight.

There was great food, music, and dancing. My mother danced and seemed to have a wonderful time. Many of her friends and family were there and I was glad we could all share this time together. Fox News showed up to the reception to get a piece of the story. I wanted my grandparents to be able to see me on my wedding day even though they were in the hospital.

The next day was my mother’s 60th birthday. Many people were celebrting at her place. Her friends got together and bought her a dream come true, a Chinese crested hairless puppy. Mr. Broadway was about three months old and a little sweetheart. My mother was so surprised and happy but Mr. Broadway needed a few more shots and went home with my mother’s friends that night.

On Wednesday, Patrick and I left for our 12 day honeymoon in Hawaii. I arrived in paradise and cried. It was so beautiful and I was so tired and sad. I had been afraid to leave but was convinced to go by family. That day, my mother fell and fractured her hip but I did not know this.

Thursday, we had massages and we went food shopping as our little place had a kitchen. Friday, we hit the beach. I was amazed by all the fishes in the crystal clear water. Saturday, I got a call to come home. Once again, I fell to the floor and cried. I opened a bottle of champagne as my husband tried to get us on the next fight home. When we got to the airport, someone had to give up their seat and spend another night in paradise. Patrick and I got on the plane but couldn’t sit together and I cried silently to myself.

I got off the plane and my father was waiting. His voice was shaky as he told me that my mother had died. The last time I saw her was on the birthday when I tucked her into bed. The day she died, her friends smuggled Mr. Broadway into the hospital for a last visit. In October, Patrick and I moved out of our place in order to keep my mother’s puppy. We renamed him Squeeky, which was my mother’s motorcycle name.

I think of my mother everyday and miss her with all my heart. My wedding will always be connected to her sickness and death. I have tried to make sense of these events but have to accept them as they are. And now I really hate these bridezilla shows because they don’t have a clue. I wanted a simple wedding but you can’t always get what you want. But I did get what I needed, Patrick.

1 comment:

  1. It seems like every time I turn around, somebody's asking me why I'm so calm about stuff. This is a big part of why: nothing I've ever gone through before or since has seemed significant compared to what we went through our first year as man and wife.

    As I was saying them, I knew I meant the vows I spoke to you four years ago. I didn't know how fast and hard that commitment would be tested, but that's the way things go. I still mean those words, and I think I will as long I as draw breath.

    I love you, Charlotte.