Needless to say, Jenny’s wedding has consumed most of my time and definitely my thoughts as well. It is interesting the range and depth of emotion that such as event can trigger. While in Spain, (and yes, I will be blogging about that trip as soon as the wedding is over!) I was sitting with the parents of Angel, Paula, Candela and Hugo enjoying a coffee after dinner. We were sitting on the veranda of their beautiful home enjoying a nice evening outside. Of course, the wedding was brought up and after discussing all of the preparations John and I have made to make this as perfect a day as possible for our daughter, I was asked a question. A simple question, really. As they were about to ask, I remember thinking that these parents have young children and a wedding date for any of their kids must seem like a lifetime away. Then they asked me, “Has any part of the preparation been more emotional than another?” It only took me a moment to answer the question as I remember that day quite clearly. I was not prepared for the emotion of that day to still be so vivid, but it was. To all of our surprise, the tears began rushing down my face as I shared that day with them. In between the sobbing and running for more tissue, I told them this story.
What was sure to be one of many trips, I took Jenny and her bridesmaids shopping for dresses. I was mentally prepared that they would try on about 60 dresses…each! I have heard the horror stories about how difficult the selection process could be. But my little girl, stayed true to form. Those who know her won’t be surprised when I tell you that she came in with pictures from David Bridal’s website. She had her list organized in preference order with her most favorite at the top. The consultant was stunned and said aloud that in her many years of experience she has never had a bride that organized. In less than 2 hours, Jenny had found the perfect dress not only for herself but her bridesmaids too. That was a record and although the shopping experience was painless, that is not what brought me to tears. It probably would have brought tears to my husband’s eyes though. Haha!
Anyway, back to choosing her dress. She gave the list to the consultant and off she went to collect them. I was in battle mode protecting Jenny from the many solicitors offering their services from photography to wedding consultants to DJs so she could focus on finding the perfect dress. When I finally got to the dressing area, the dresses were in the dressing room and the consultant was standing outside the door. She waved me over and said that Jenny wouldn’t try on any dresses without me. I went in the room and she was sitting there waiting for me. When she looked up at me, my mind flashed through the last 24 years and the many occasions that she and I went shopping for dresses. When she was so small I had to find the perfect white dress for her baptism and here we were looking for another white dress. I gave her a big hug and asked her why she didn’t start without me. She couldn’t explain it except she didn’t want to try on any dress without me there. We hugged again and then started on our mission. I have never seen so many buttons and snaps and twists and ties. It wasn’t until she stepped out of the dressing room that it hit me like a ton of bricks that my baby girl was wearing a wedding gown. I managed to keep my emotions intact as we were in the middle of a store surrounded by so many people and Jenny’s bridesmaids too. I kept busy helping all of the girls because I knew if I stopped for one moment, the tears would come and I wasn’t sure when they would stop. As I mentioned earlier, we were done in record time and I took the girls for coffee to reward ourselves for the accomplishments we made that day. But the moment I got home, John asked me how the day went and I couldn’t even speak. He waited patiently as I described the events through the many tears.
I spent the next few weeks with a pain in my heart as I thought of all of the moments I would have loved to share with my mother at this time in my and my daughter’s lives. I was only 13 years old when my mother went to Heaven and I thought then of the many things I wanted to share with her but would be unable to. Those thoughts were of school activities, especially my high school graduation. I couldn’t imagine her not being there as she had for every important event in my life so far. I also couldn’t have imagined how much I miss her later in my life, as I do now. I didn’t share this pain with my daughter as I only wanted her to have happy thoughts and not to worry about me. But one day recently, unbeknownst to her, she brought me such joy and peace in. We were sitting on my bed and discussing the items she still needs for her wedding. She said she had something borrowed, which were my diamond earrings. The blue something was her garter belt. The new something was her dress that she absolutely loves. She only needs something old. She asked me if I had anything of my mother’s that she could use. I thought my heart was going to leap from my chest. “From my Mother?” I asked. She said she had been thinking a lot about the Grandmother she had never met but didn’t bring it up because she didn’t want to make me sad. Once again, I couldn’t speak. My throat was closed, but yet I managed to breathe. I took out my mother’s jewelry box from my closet and together we went through it. I told her stories about many of the pieces and then she found an old diamond heart pendant. “This is perfect”, she stated with a proud smile. All I could mutter was, “Thank you”.