We've been cranking through our to-do list. Still on the high of being so close and feeling productive (I'm sure it'll crash and burn soon and I'll be near hysterics and screaming "but what about stickers for the out of town boxes" at a high pitch squeal and hopefully I'll remember to just let it all go...but anyway....)
There's just this one small issue I've been avoiding - avoiding thinking about, avoiding creating a plan, and even avoiding writing about here. But then today's A Practical Wedding post happened. And I realized, I have to start confronting it.
The "IT" you ask? The IT is that on a day when Marrv and I will be surrounded by the most important people in our lives and to show our commitment in building our family together, three of the most important people in my life won't be there. My mother went first. She passed away when I was 15. Next was my brother, the second oldest in the family, bringing my siblings count from four to three when I was just 27 years old. Then, about two weeks after I turned 30, and just before he turned 72, my dad died.
I make jokes that the wedding isn't that large because my family keeps getting smaller. We're all dying off. I won't go into great detail about the impact this has had on my relationship with Marrv (I'll save that for another post), but I have noticed that now that I have my partner, he is certainly the target of a lot of my worry, concern and fear. He and I both know that every time I nag about how much red meat he eats and how it's bad for his heart (usually as I am also trying to sneak a bite of the very same bacon cheeseburger..) that it's really my fear of losing him, my need to control the relationships in my life that is the cause. Every day when I harp on the need to take daily vitamins, we know why.
And although I have thought of my parents and my brother every day since they've passed, planning a wedding - especially a small, intimate family and close friends only wedding - puts it right up in your face a lot more. I know the day of the wedding I'll miss them tremendously, even though I know I'll also feel full of joy and love. I get more upset when I think about how none of them got the chance to meet Marrv and see how happy I am. And even more, it breaks my heart that he never met them - to never meet three individuals who helped shape who I am today. I know they would have all adored one another - my mom was sassy and fun, and full of love - she would have doted on him especially as his mom is so far. My brother, well, he was a handful- sarcastic, brilliant, and could almost squeeze the life out of you with one of his tremendous bear hugs. And I can just hear the conversations Marrv would have had with my dad about the Phillies, they would have talked for hours - with a few completely and totally politically incorrect jokes thrown in for good measure.
So rather than face all of this, and especially face the large absence that is going to be blatantly obvious to everyone at the wedding, I've been avoiding thinking about it. Until I ready today's post and realized I should be thinking about it - and I want to be thinking about it. For me, I think it's going to come down to carrying/wearing important mementos that will serve to remind me that my family, my whole family, is there with me - and always will be. I also like the idea of including them into the ceremony in such a way that we can all reflect on the joy that they brought and the impact they had on my life - not the feelings of loss and grief that so many in my family still feel. Because I know all three of them were full of love, and they would be happy for me and for Marrv. The day is for celebrating, and that includes celebrating those that have come before us.