Friday, December 30, 2016

An Invited Guest - Part V


When you a girl thinks of her wedding she envisions all of her friends surrounding her, parties, and planning together. Getting dressed, hair dates, make up time etc. are all part of the plan. But my day came and went without any of the traditional plans. There were no parties, no bridal showers, no dress hunting. I picked my gown all on my own, went to fittings with my future MIL to help. I did not get to participate in most of the planning as my sister, according to mom, was far more qualified then me. 

I got off of work Thursday evening around 6 and drove the 2 hours to my parents house. Had to stop at a fast food restaurant to get food as I knew there would be nothing at home. The next morning I got up and went to get my nails done before the mall actually opened. After that I went to the hair salon to get a mock hair do so that they would know what to do for the wedding. Then went back to my parents home to wait for the rehearsal. After the rehearsal we went to my sisters house for the rehearsal dinner that she had arranged through my future MIL. Then home to sleep. 

The wedding wasn't till 7pm so I had a whole day to kill. No bridesmaids to hang with, no maid of honor to run around with. I went to the mall and walked around till 4 waiting on my hair appointment. Then it was off to the chapel. You get to enter the chapel 1 hour before your ceremony. Sounds like plenty of time to dress and get oh makeup right. Wrong......

I arrived and drove around town for 40 minutes looking for a place to park. Finally my future FIL saw me and ran over with some friends. One took my dress, one my slip and one the car. It was a silly sight seeing then run across the UVA campus with my white gown and slip in their arms. I slowly walked as I was still barely getting around. the wedding started 30 minutes late because of all of the debacles. 

The ceremony started and ended. We left the chapel and went around to wait for all to leave for pictures. As my mom left the guest stood to their feet and gave her a standing ovation. Again it was all about her and she stole the show. She was also kind enough to tell me I looked like a fat marshmallow in my gown during the pictures. 

We arrived at the reception that they had decided on. There was no special table for the wedding party. In fact there was no table for us at all. We finally found a place to sit and got a plate of food. When the DJ asked for the bride and groom to dance we did, came back to the table to find our food gone. We did cake, champagne, bouquet and garter belt (which again I had to make). By the time we were ready to leave almost all the guest had left. 

We went to the hotel and the next morning had breakfast with DH family and then went home. There could be a honeymoon as he had just started his new job and I had so much time off from the accident. We went to work the next day. Life was back to what ever normal would be. 

I worked full time retail as a manager trainer, 80 hours a week and hubby worked shift work. We would see each other in the coming and going for the next year. Life had begun. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

An Invited Guest - Part IV

January 5th was a terrible day for wedding planning. I would spend the next 4 weeks in one hospital or another before being released to my eldest sister. After surgery on my leg, I was told I may walk at some point but would not bend my leg well enough to sit properly every again. I was also told that they could not operate on my arm as they kept me under anastisisa to long. My arm would heal naturally but my hand would never turn properly.

My wedding was in 4 months and I was walking down that aisle. I had my dad find out how long the aisle was at the chapel. Fifty feet, that is all I had to accomplish. I told the therapist my goals were not her goals and I would walk down that aisle. There were no illusions on their part as to my success.

I worked hard even when not in the PT rooms. I was on a mission and would not be stopped.

It was a long journey. I worked hard in the hospital and out. I had to rely on my sister to care for me because there was no one else. My other sister had taken over all the plans for the wedding. She choose the dress, I got to say yes or no, or did I? I was asked my opinion on the ones she choose and told which was the right choice. She moved the reception from the hotel mom had picked to the Elks Lodge my parents belonged to. She changed the menu and the caterer. She cancelled the cake I had chosen and picked a different bakery. She even changed the top of the cake.

My husband, then fiance, packed up my home and moved everything to his place as that is where we would be living. He didn't get everything but did an amazing job for a fella. Having never been to his condo I did not know what to expect but was proud of how hard he tried.

While at my sisters I started to return to work. She would drive me to the closest store so I could work with another manager and get back up to speed. I could not stand for the full 8 hours but I did try and my boss gave me some leeway. I could not wear normal shoes so I was not up to dress code and had to sit a good portion of the day.

It was here that I learned of the changes that had been made. I found the cake topper I wanted to use and sent it down. They attempted to take it apart as the clear plastic that surrounded the young couple did not meet the standards that the baker and my sister liked. They ended up breaking it and when it did finally appear on the cake it was placed on there crooked. I held back the tears as they swelled in my eyes.

My invitations arrived and I started to put together the invitation list. Still having hope of a good wedding. My mom called a few days later and asked where I had put the invitations. I explained I had them mailed to me so I could address them. She was furious. I was to send them to my 2nd sister ASAP as she knew what was proper and there was NO WAY I could do it right.

Enough, my first act of open rebellion when I said NO. Later it would come back and hurt me. When I asked about a vale for my dress and was told she would not buy one. I ended up taking what few dollars I had and bought the necessary materials to make my own vale. It was not what I wanted and my father was not happy I did not add a blusher, but it worked. I also made the bird seed packs that the guest would throw as we left the reception.

An event that most do with their girlfriends and sisters and maybe a mom or mom in law. I did all alone without an utterance from beyond.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

An Invited Guest - Part III

The age of the Pager. For those of you who are too young to know, a pager is a small device we used before cell phones where vogue. I had learned to send code by using police numbers to my then fiance.When I arrived at the hospital they asked me who I would like notified and I said my fiance. When I told the social worker what to send to him, he thought I was delirious. I was not.

                               number. ext.

Made perfect sense to my fiance. He stopped what he was doing, (taking his mom out for her birthday), and placed the call. He and MIL headed immediately to C'ville and to UVA hospital.

MOM was headed to the OR, her neck was broken in 3 places, she suffered a head injury which pressed into her brain, a broken leg and multiple cuts and bruises.

ME, I was in bad shape. My left foot was crushed. My large toe was protruding from my skin with other bones leaving a three inch gash. Gotta give credit to full time ER nurses, she and the head of UVA's orthopedics came in to look at me toe. While she distracted me and kept talking he grabbed my toe and yanked into place. I screamed, and without missing a beat she continued talking and said "I know that hurt but it was better to do it this way." (Later the podiatrist would say it was the worst broken foot he had seen.) Six broken bones total that would take 3 screws to repair.The wrist joint on my left arm popped off the bone, not an injury the orthopedic surgeon had ever seen. My left femur was broken so badly that surgery would be required. They gave me a shot that was supposed to numb pain so I could feel nothing when they decided to put my leg in traction for the night. I FELT THE PAIN! My sisters heard me screaming all the way down the hall. And lets not take about my face that went through the windshield. 

The Paper reported the next morning I was not expected to make it through the night and my fiance was instructed to cancel the wedding.

I will not forget how laying in my hospital bed my MIL feeding me soup a sip at a time. She barely knew me and yet was showing more love the my own family was. They were all with my mom. 

It is funny what you remember. I remember my sister Linda asking why we were shopping. I remember dad stopping in to bring me up to date on mom. I remember Leann (other sister) telling me they would not put me to sleep for the traction because I was too fat. But what I cherish the most was being spoon feed the soup before I went to bed by a lady who barely knew me other than her son LOVED ME. 

A lady named HOPE.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

An Invited Guest - Part II

After choosing my gown I began the next steps. I choose the invitations that I wanted without much resistance. I met with the lady who I had chosen to make my cake and planned the event. I spent over an hour choosing the cake topper that represented what my husband and I wanted to say. It was all white ceramic couple in a crystal (plastic) gazebo with white flowers surrounding it. I choose the candle we were going to light. We wanted to show that we were one. 

A few weeks later I wrote the program and choose the poem I wanted inside along with the covers. I asked my friend to be my matron of honor. She declined due to a previous engagement, so I asked a second friend to be maid of honor and she accepted. Even though I was alone it appeared to be going well. But the end was coming quicker than I had planned. 

I received a phone call that mom had been rushed to the hospital. My roommate, her kids and I raced home (2 hours away). When we arrived we were told that they were moving mom to UVA because she needed open heart surgery. They believed she had torn her aorta. When we arrived at UVA the doctors disagreed with the previous diagnosis. My roommate was doing a good job occupying her kids across the room while we spoke with the doctors. After a few minutes I asked my dad if he needed anything and he replied "take those kids and go home," so I did. We drove two hours back home with no answers as to what was going on. 

A few days later my dad called and said mom had a rare disease called "Guillian-Barre Syndrome." It was new in the states but common in Europe. She was only the second reported case at this time. We came down as often as we could. Being in retail it was hard to make schedules work and find the time off but somehow we managed. Over the next few weeks she improved and the doctors cleared her to drive.

Remember, I said "Cleared her to drive." January 4, 1995, I drove home to make more wedding plans. Mom had made appoints with the caterer and the florist for the next morning. We drove to C'Ville to meet the head of catering at the hotel she had chosen. We spent over an hour while she decided what would and would not be served. I said nothing the whole time. Yes, that is correct, nothing. After we finished we headed over to the florist. Mom was driving and I was asleep in the front seat. Fifteen minutes later I was awakened by the sound of my mom saying "oh my God." The next second I was flying through the windshield of the car, I looked around and saw mom but could not find her head. Don't laugh, I am serious, I looked around the car for her head. Her hair was the same color as the fur coat she was wearing and I could not tell it was her. She had broken her neck in three places and her right leg. She would spend the next four weeks in a coma in the ICU. 

As I said I was going through the windshield. My head went through and then I fell back in the car. She had collapsed in the car and her full weight had gone into the gas peddle. She hit an extra large telephone pole and moved it 12" in the concrete sidewalk. The force on the impact sent all the energy up the middle of the car. My foot was crushed, my thigh snapped in half and my wrist joint popped off the bone. 

We did not make it to the florist. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

An Invited Guest - Part I

Every little girl dreams of her wedding day. We see pretty dresses and we wonder how we will look in them. When we have a boyfriend we think of our lives to together. We write Mr. and Mrs. Right on our notebooks. All until the next one comes along......, we are so fickle. We are girls, we are supposed to change our minds often. More than that we romanticize everything we do.

So what happens when we actually get engaged? We start to plan, and so I did. In 1994 my boyfriend, of very few months, and I decided we wanted to get married. I never wanted to be a June bride so I planned to marry in May. At the time we had no home church nor did we know any pastors. My parents arranged for their pastor to preform the ceremony and choose the chapel at UVA. When you marry at a place as popular as the chapel, the date is chosen based on what is available. May 6, 1995 at 7pm was set.

I started looking for a dress immediately. I didn't spend hours or weeks looking for the dress. The few times I went to look at dresses I was confronted by polite associates asking,"how may I help you" and then informing me that I was too large for anything in their store. I stopped looking, why bother. I started looking in magazines. I was fortunate to meet the owner of the bridal shop in the mall and told him what the problem was. He was amazing, he brought down his stock magazines for me to look at and told me to let him know what I decided.

I choose the dress I wanted and several alternatives. He wrote the prices down for me. I then meet my parents for dinner at a place half way between our homes. I told them I had picked a few dresses. Dad asked to see the catalog and mom informed me I was wearing my sisters dress and she was not buying another. (Now you need to understand, the dress had been worn twice already. It was pretty, knit, accordion pleat and a size 10.) In the '70's it was all the rage. This was 1994 and I was a size 26.

My father thumbed through the books and looked at the pictures I had tagged. My mom popped up and said that if she was being forced to buy a dress I could have $150. ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS, ARE YOU KIDDING ME. Not one dress I looked at was under $500. I barely held it together as my father suddenly said "I like this one, what do you think?" It was the one I truly wanted. I almost burst into tears as it was over the $150 mark. He then said "order it." I held my breath as mom asked the price and I told her and she said no. Dad said, "it is her wedding and she will wear this gown."


Friday, May 23, 2014

Oblivious-Part II

So that you don't think my mom was the only person on Crazy Street you should meet baby sis LL. She definitely was a piece of work to reckon with. Let me tell you one of her tales from when she was 17.

LL had a girlfriend, Kelly. They were certainly besties, not a term from the day, and came from the same pod. One evening while they were supposed to be at the movies, they met up with some fellas. LL had a strict curfew, due to other violations, so she needed to come home but Kelly did not want to. So, LL took her to the fellas house and came home.

The next day, Kelly's parents came looking for her. It was a Saturday so we were all home. My parents asked LL over and over if she had a clue what happened to Kelly. She continualy said no. Kelly's parents were worried sick. Both sets of parents went on a hunt going over to all of her friends homes asking questions. I called everyone I knew.

Several hours later the phone rang and LL answered it. She said she would be back soon and I did not give it a second thought. When she returned she said nothing.

A few hours later Kelly's parents returned home to find her in the kitchen eating a snack.

LL knew the whole time where she was. The phone call, it was Kelly saying she was ready to come home. LL, went and got her, took her home, and said nothing. She felt it was no ones business where Kelly was and she was not going to say a thing. We found out by accident when the girls were bragging about getting away with it to their friends. 

What happened to LL? I became her permanent chaperone for the summer.


When ever there is a disaster you brain will mark the location of where you were when you heard about it and what you were doing. I was working for a marketing firm as an account representative. I was not aware of the situation when someone from the office brought it up. I remember being shocked that kids where killing kids and wondering what kind of anger would be necessary for such an activity. 

But what I remember must was the anger I felt for my mother. She had nothing good to say about the parents of the teens that committed the crime. She condemned them as the criminals as if they themselves had pulled the trigger. She was full of "if only's". If only the had paid attention to their children, if only they had kept an eye on their kids, if only they had known what was happening. Coming from her it was most hilarious. Well I can certainly come up with my own list of "if only's" for her.

Oblivious, that is the word that describes the true state of mom. She angered me so much when she accused these poor suffering parents that I started to tell her how little she new of her own children. I preceded to ask her if she remembered telling me I had to quit cheer-leading because my grades where bad in Biology.

     Me:     Mom do you remember telling me to quit cheer-leading when I did not do well in bio?
     Mom: Of course I do. You were failing so we made you quit.
     Me:     Well I never quit.
     Mom: Yes you did.
     Me:     No I didn't, I just told you I did. When we had games I would tell you I was going over to Judy's to study bio. Mom, who was Judy.
    Mom: Judy was one of your girlfriends.
    Me:     Mom there was no Judy, you never asked her last name, you never ask for their number, you never confirmed with her mom. I left, went to school, dressed in the locker room and never missed a game. You were oblivious to what I was doing because you never suspected we would defy you. Do you remember telling LL she could not see her friends down the street any longer because they quit school? Well she went down almost everyday while you were at work. You never had a clue what we did when you were away from home. There was no one around to check on us so we did whatever we wanted and you were never the wise. As for what goes on in the house? In 15 years you have not gone to the basement of this house. You would have know no more than those poor parents did. You are being very unfair to them.

   Mom: (in her continued denial) Why do you make up these lies?

Oblivious, it is so easy to blame others for what they did not do then to look into your own life and accept the truth.