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.