Just over a month ago was my nephew Mike’s wedding. He found the love of his life in Jenny Cirksey and he married her. I was honored to attend the wedding and help wherever it was needed, while my hubby, Jeff, officiated. This was his (our) second wedding in six months.
Weddings are exciting times. Much better than funerals. Seems we have gone to, too many of late to mention. With weddings there is so much fun, so much excitement, and sometimes a little drama, but there is always so much joy. Even with the planning that goes on behind the scenes. The thought process of what it takes to plan a wedding. Having a vision of what the bride wants and being able to pull it off, takes incredible thought and work. But to see it all go as envisioned, that is joy unspeakable.
Even the finances it takes to plan a wedding. Some, anyway. The elaborate and the grandiose, the flowers, the DJ, the photo/videographer. All of it costs money. And these days, it can easily be upwards of 20-30K. Nevertheless, it is all part of the excitement. Side note: You don’t have to be extreme to have a great wedding. My hubby and I spent less than $5k on our wedding. Got married in the backyard of the “garage” we were living in. It was anything but extravagant. But, it was memorable. It was exciting, and everyone we loved that we wanted to be there, was there. And guess what, we’re still married. Thirty-six years later. So many people spend so much money (and time) on their weddings and are not even married anymore. They invested in the wedding ceremony and not the marriage itself. Life happened. Things came up. Finances came to a head, one of the major issues in troubled marriages, and if they would have had half the money they spent on their wedding, maybe they would still be married or at least not fighting over the little they had afterwards.
Mike’s wedding was fabulous. It was elaborate. It was high-end. Very much so. My niece Kelly got married as well, just a few months before, that I was also able to help plan. Her wedding was just as spectacular as Mike’s. And my hubby and I enjoyed ourselves. At both. Especially given the few times we have had to do so in the last three years. We took pictures. We smiled, we laughed, and we even danced. We had genuine fun. And it did our hearts good. It made my heart smile.
But after all this, I awoke the next morning, sad. So very sad. It’s an amazing thing that even in the midst of feeling joy, you can experience pain. I had a deep cloud of darkness hanging over me while I looked out the window that morning and saw the sun, which could not be any brighter. It was as if the universe saw my heart and was trying to work itself through its darkness, overcompensating with the brightness of the sun.
The excitement of the wedding, (weddings), even as I type another nephew is getting married next year, which I will once again get to help plan; only highlights even more the absence of my Joe. I have five nephews. Each from a different one of my seven siblings. One married. One marriage to come. And another one, possibly on the horizon. And I can’t help but think and wonder about my Joe. How he would react to all this. Would he be next in line to catch the bug? Or would he have already been married by now? Funny, but ironic, that just a month before he died, he spoke of what he would wear to his wedding and how he wanted his dad to wear a white suit. (Joe, dad finally wore all that white we laughed about). All these thoughts flooded my soul. And I missed him.
I miss him. I miss that I will never know. I will never get to know. I will never have the answer to those questions. And I will never be able to witness the moment, as my siblings have, (and will), their “sons” getting married. I will never feel the excitement of planning his wedding and hearing him say ‘I do,’ to the “woman” he saw fit to `take the place’ of his mom in making him a better man.
And that’s where it hurts.
Yes, I’m happy for my nephews. I’m happy for my niece. I’m happy at the thought of marriage and excited about the planning stage and grateful that I have an opportunity to be a part of the process. So grateful. And I suppose I will be even happier when my girls find the one in whom their soul loves, too. And while I miss my Joe tremendously, and seemingly more and more with each passing day, their weddings yet helped (and help) to ease the pain… because although I am planning for them, I am planning as if I would for him. With all the excitement and love I have. From this day forward. Until.
As I continue to walk in the shadow of my grief,
Copyright ©2018 EvelynFannell
Joseph Malik Fannell
1/14/93 - 6/5/15