Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I wore many bridesmaid dresses from the time I was a teenager until I was in my twenties as my friends swept down the aisles to marry the men of their dreams.
I wanted a church wedding, the white dress and all the trimmings, when my special day arrived, but I had no idea how much it would cost. I couldn't imagine my parents coming up with money for flowers, food, and fancy dresses. But Mother wanted that wedding for me and I'll never know where she found the funds. We were married in the First Methodist Church and my brother Ray escorted me to the altar because my father said he'd never given anything away and he wasn't about to start with me. He was joking, but, at the time I was hurt by his refusal to "give me away." With time I've gained a better understanding. I think he felt the experience would be way too emotional for him, a quiet and shy man, to handle.
It was a lovely wedding I'm told. I cried all morning from "nerves" and then couldn't stop laughing like a ninny. What a mess I was! I'm sure my family and friends thought I'd lost my mind. I've seen brides and grooms on Funniest Home Videos faint dead away before they could utter the words I do. I suppose I should be grateful I didn't do that.
In my white wedding gown tiered in lace and wearing a lace mantilla, I gazed at myself in the mirror as I waited to make the walk that would change my life. I felt like a butterfly fresh out of a cocoon, and just as fragile. Leaving home to live with a man I'd known for one year and promising to live with him the rest of my life? Had I made a horrible mistake? The year was 1964. We celebrated 44 years together in June.