I am back from the dreaded wedding and I have so much to write about! Honestly, it’s difficult to know where to even start; I’m sure it will take a couple posts. Let me first say that for the first time in six long years, I am seeing a better future for myself, one with hope and possibilities. What I thought would be the worst experience of my life turned into something that enlightened me and brought everything to a satisfying culmination.
I guess I first must explain my last post. The day before the wedding, I still hadn’t heard anything from my son. I finally messaged him, asking what time he wanted me to arrive on his wedding day. I could see that he saw the message but he didn’t respond. That was the first bit of crushing weight on my heart. Then, two hours later, he wrote back and said that I should be there an hour early. ONE measly hour? So he didn’t want to spend any time with me! He might as well have brandished a sharp blade and jabbed it into my heart! That sealed my decision to cut everyone off completely after the wedding.
On the long drive to the wedding, the last 6 months of worrying flashed before my eyes. I had no idea what to expect, just that I would face it, whatever may come. We arrived at the designated parking spot, where there was supposed to be a shuttle, but no one was there. There was no cell service and we must have waited a good 30 minutes. All the while in my head, I couldn’t help but hope it was not intentional and that some game was not being played on us. I know that’s an irrational conclusion to jump to but when you have already been through horrible and cruel things, you always jump to the worst possible conclusion (I’ll save that little tidbit for another post). This stress on top of everything else was unbelievable. We finally drove out and saw a sign with directions which we had somehow missed earlier. Thank god! (By the way, on this, the wedding day, I was feeling sick and I also accidentally jabbed myself in the eye getting ready and had double vision for the entire day and some of the day after).
We pulled up to the venue and I saw two of my nephews, who were groomsmen, standing just ahead of our car. We made eye contact and I waived but my nephews just turned and walked away. Ok, so that’s how they wanted to play it. I just shook me head as we parked. We went in and I saw my son – it was so good to see him after 5 1/2 years! We hugged and chatted a little before he took off to do something. I saw where my nephews had walked over to and I knew then how I would react at this wedding – I would face everything head-on, with my head held high and with civility! No longer would I run away in fear. I marched right over to my nephews and said ‘Hello’. One of them, Sharon’s son, smiled and hugged me, and the other one, Sandy’s son, barely acknowledged my presence. But I just smiled and chatted a little before walking back to my husband. That would be the first of many proud moments for me, pride in my courage and pride in my strength!
It was then that I realized that my son’s father and step-mother weren’t there yet, nor was anyone else from my family. It wasn’t just me that hadn’t been asked to arrive earlier. Suddenly, I felt stupid for getting so upset the day before. But who can really blame me when no one had ever told me what was going on? You leave someone out in the cold long enough and they can start to burn themselves! Finally, my son’s father and family arrived. I hadn’t seen or spoken to Dave in 5 years and had no idea what to expect. Dave walked up to me, looked me up and down and said, “Sarah – wow – you look fantastic!” Huh? Wait! I wasn’t ready for a compliment! But at the same time, I felt the tenseness drain right out of me, falling from my head and out through my toes. We talked for a while, off and on all evening actually. I hate what he did to our son (and ME) all those years in speaking ill of me, but in that moment, I was so very thankful for him, for his being so kind and welcoming, for making me feel comfortable. It was unexpected but very welcome. I can’t even believe I am saying this! I’d say that stranger things have happened, but this one ranks way the heck up there!
Dave’s family was nice to me too, although his wife was a bit spacey and unfriendly. She seemed really off. In fact, she wore pants to her step-son’s wedding! I think we heard after the fact that she was feeling sick but she could have at least worn a dress for the photos. When it was time for the wedding ceremony, she told me that parents would be sitting in the first row. Well, by the time I got there, all the seats were taken and not a soul got up and offered their seat to me; I was only the groom’s mother after all! But, I let it go and sat in the second row behind my soon-to-be daughter-in-laws grandparents. Yup – they got the first row but not the mother. My son, who was standing up at the alter, could easily have made sure I sat in the front, but he didn’t. It was then that I started realizing something that I will be posting about after all this.
Well, it was time for the wedding to start but low and behold, my family still hadn’t arrived. Seriously? That can’t even get there on time? I just shook my head. At the last second, they arrived, all together even though they had been coming from different places. I got up to go say “hello” to everyone. I got to my mother first and just as I hugged her, my sisters rushed away. I was walking in while they ran away. Okay, guess they are going to play this just like my nephews – and it didn’t bother me one bit. My strength began to blossom! My brother’s son, however, ran up to me and wrapped me in a huge hug. As the evening wore on, I would come to greatly appreciate him and his wife. (My brother and sister-in-law were unable to attend). The ceremony started and it was really nice. Even with all the prior hurt and sadness, I couldn’t help but be proud of my boy int hat moment. After the ceremony ended, we were all instructed to go find our dinner tables, which were unassigned. “Here we go,” I thought to myself, without a clue what I was going to do…
Okay, I think I need a new post because now that I have gotten to the part of the story that involves my sisters – it deserves it’s own post!