There’s another reason why I’ve been so anxious about my cousin’s wedding. I mean, besides the fact that I look ridiculous in fuchsia. Besides the fact that strapless bras aren’t built for girls like me. Besides the fact that my hair is so sad (yes, in England that is an actual term on the packaging–“flat and sad“) that hairdressers remark about it as loud as possible in a room full of girls who consider hair their best asset, and then they all stare at me and whisper and wonder if they could possibly live with hair like mine. Yes, this happens. Yes, I hear you. Yes, life is possible and you develop other assets, like brains.
The biggest reason I’m anxious about my cousin’s second wedding is because of what happened at the first one.
I’ve always known that my dad would never make it to my wedding. The walk down the aisle, the toast, the first dance–since I was a little girl, I’ve always known that those would be moments we would never share. And it hurts. Even when he was still alive, even after years of accepting this fact, even after realizing that I hate weddings anyway for all the reasons listed above, I would see these moments at other weddings and it hurt.
My brother and his wife basically eloped, so when my dad and I were both present at my cousin’s first wedding, I knew it was probably the last wedding we would ever attend together. At the time, he was still relatively healthy, but I knew. I always knew.
I spent her whole reception waiting for a slow song–one that wasn’t too romantic, one that felt right, one that of course I can’t remember the name of today, though my mom has it on video somewhere–and I asked my dad to dance.
And the whole time we were dancing, I tried as hard as I could to remember that moment. I asked him about when he married my mom. He laughed and told me stories. Then I closed my eyes, put my head on his shoulder (which was hard because we were the same height), and pretended the moment was ours.
No one else knew it, not even him, but that dance was our Father-Daughter Dance at my wedding. Morbid much? Yeah. But in hindsight, I’m glad I did.
So tomorrow, I’m going to be thinking about that a lot. And I’m pretty hormonal this week as it is, which always makes me cry about him more than usual. So it’s going to be hard as hell to hold it all in, especially when my uncle is walking my cousin down the aisle–for the second time, so unfair–and I’m standing in front of everyone with no discreet way to blow my nose.
I want to end this on a happier note, so I’ll tell you something that I told everyone about in person but never wrote about: when I told Justin that my dad was on hospice, the first thing he said was, “I need to talk to your dad.”
And he came over, sat next to my dad’s bed, and asked my dad if he could marry me … someday. They talked for a long time and most of it is a secret between them. Isn’t that the cutest?
So my dad and I missed a lot of our moments, but thanks to Justin, at least we have one. Oh! And did you know my parents got married at St. Justin’s? Hahaha.
Seriously, though: tomorrow. Does anyone have a valium I can borrow?