|We won't get to dance at the Scottie Mom Wedding but at least we got to dance.|
Years ago, when I was a little girl and my Papa asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I told him I only had one wish: for him to dance with me at my wedding one day. He looked at me, smiled and said, "I can't promise that but I will try my best because I'd love to be there."
Flash forward a decade or two and just days after we laid Papa's wife of 56 years to rest in December 2012, Scottie Dad and I got engaged. On the one hand, I was ecstatic. On the other, I was hesitant to let Papa in on the news so soon after he himself had just lost the love of his life. How would he react? Was it insensitive to be so happy he was still around to take part in this milestone in my life?
I called Papa the next morning and told him I was engaged. The news didn't register with him right away and he went on to talk about his favorite topics: the weather, food and outrageous medical bills. I was confused. Maybe this his way of gently letting me know now wasn't the time to have brought this up? Just as we were about to hang up 30 minutes later, I had a fair hunch he hadn't understood what I had said and decided to try again.
"So I guess I'll see you at the wedding, then?"
He stopped short.
"What wedding? Who's getting married?" he asked.
"My wedding, Papa...that's why I called. To tell you I'm getting married!"
The next words out of his mouth were ones that will have me laughing the rest of my life.
"Oh, thank God!" he exclaimed, as if he had been waiting to hear that for quite some time or he'd thought I was doomed at the ripe old age of 25 years old to be a spinster because I hadn't yet settled down. Even then, he never committed to seeing me at the wedding and simply wished me the best of luck. Less than nine months after that call, he was gone and with him, so was my one wish.
It has been one year since I lost my Papa. And while time has made it easier in some ways, the closer the Scottie Mom Wedding gets, the more memories like this bubble up to the surface - leaving me saddened by the realization that he won't be there and neither will any of the other family members I've lost in recent years. What I struggle to remember is that while Papa and I won't get to dance at the Scottie Mom Wedding, we did get to dance and celebrate other occasions in life. That doesn't seem fair even now as I write this but such is life. My hope is to build a strong and loving marriage that spans 56 years (or more) like Papa and Grandma did...and that Scottie Dad is ready to dance!
|Papa and Grandma at their wedding in 1956.|