Sunday, September 28, 2008

I used to think a wedding was a simple affair. Boy and girl meet, they fall in love, he buys a ring, she buys a dress, they say I do.

Yesterday, I went to my cousin, Andrea's, wedding. The ceremony was at Divine Child Catholic Church and the reception was at the Dearborn Inn. It was really lovely. Andrea is Anna's age, so she was better friends with Anna than she was with me. However, since I was 10, I spent a week at her house every summer. I can remember taking her to the park and having her bonk her head on the monkey bars when I was supposed to be watching her. Ugh. I can remember going with her to the Battle Creek Balloon Festival. I can remember her taking her first steps in our living room in Toledo.

Andrea is a special cousin to me because she is the daughter of Aunt Susie and Uncle Dave who I love a whole lot. As I watched them yesterday at their daughter's wedding, memories flooded my mind and I was so thankful (!) that I hadn't had the baby yet and was able to attend. I was the flower girl for their wedding 26 years ago. It was one of the most wonderful days of my life.

I felt like such a princess. My Uncle Dave was an outsider in our big family, just like I was. Neither of us was from the small town where the rest of the family lived. I wasn't Catholic and didn't have a Godparent like the rest of the kids in the family. That meant that at the big Christmas party, I didn't get as many gifts as the other kids which was a huge crisis. Uncle Dave recognized this and adopted me as his Godchild.
Me and Uncle Dave, 1990.

He and my aunt gave me a gift every year to make me feel like a part of the group. Aunt Susie stayed at our house for weeks while my mom was sick and in the hospital. They let me stay at their house every summer for a week and be silly and goofy and took me shopping and put up with all my antics. I remember sleeping outside at Binder Park Zoo in the rain. I remember shopping in Battle Creek. I remember going for bike rides. I remember biking to Feldpaushes for some dinner items and it wasn't such a great experience. I remember seeing "The Color Purple" at the movie theater. For one brief week, I was part of a normal family where no one was sick or dying. They were at every crossroads and important event in my life including HS volleyball games, the day my mom died, birthdays, HS graduation, wedding reception, birth of babies, rough times, etc... And they didn't live right around the corner. They lived 2 hours away but they always took the time to make me feel special. I love both of them with my whole heart.

The wedding was beautiful. The bride was beautiful. The reception was the nicest I've ever been to. I was able to sit with Anna and talk and laugh. We ate yummy food including mini-desserts. Don't you just love a plate full of mini-desserts? I sure do. I got to dance with Chris which happens almost never. I got to see most of my aunts and look into their eyes and feel, for a brief moment, that I was with my Mom.

It was such a wonderful experience. I wish Andrea and Ryan all the joy and happiness this life can bring. I sure have been blessed with it.

Anna, Aunt Susie and Me.


The Onofrio's said...

so sweet.

Rachel said...

What great memories. I will be thinking about you this week. Think dilating thoughts! You are amazing.

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