Last night, as I took Sister's hair down and had her remove the lovely tiara she got to wear in the wedding, she cried woeful, crocodile tears. It had been an exciting day, so she was, of course, tired. But she had felt like a beautiful princess in her flower girl finery and her little heart couldn't bear that the magic had come to an end.
Truth is, I understood how she felt completely.
As I removed the pins from my own hair, I slid back into my old self, wishing I could wear the pretty dress and coax my hair into staying so neatly swept up. I caught myself pretending once or twice.
My sister, Teresa, got married this weekend. We haven't been close in a while, and I wasn't especially excited about the marriage. But I've had a change of heart, and today I find myself feeling a sense of real joy for her and for the future.
The rehearsal was Friday evening and Teresa had made hair appointments for Sister, herself and myself for Saturday morning, so she put us up at the Holiday Inn Friday night. We don't get out much, so we were all pretty excited about that. As you can see by the picture, my children couldn't contain themselves. And I didn't allow any photos of my reaction. You'd have thought we were the Clampetts just arriving in Cal-i-forney fresh from the backwoods. The kids were going nuts! Even the bathtub proved to be much more fun than ours here at home. I was worried the other guests might call hotel security about the jubilee and merriment coming from our room. Mental note to self: Get the kids out more often.
After the kids finally calmed down and went to sleep, I treated myself to a thirty minute long shower with all the hot water I could stand. I might have stayed in longer, but I was starting to see spots and I took that as a bad sign. When I emerged I noticed my beautiful tan (courtesy of self-tanning spray) had been steamed off my shoulders, leaving me with large, white, flakey patches. I knew a nice, even tan to wear with my strapless dress was way too much to ask. Another mental note to self: Long, hot showers + self-tanner = something that looks like a skin disease. Luckily I put on tons of lotion and it wasn't as noticable. And my dress had a matching wrap to hide my farmer tan.
The big day arrived. Sister, Teresa and I went to our hair appointment where the stylist transformed us into glamorous wedding divas with lightning speed. Teresa, who I thought would be a nervous wreck, was the very picture of peace and serenity. She was cool, calm and completely happy. And I began to think I was wrong about this wedding. Maybe she really does love him. Maybe she was going to be all right. We spent some time bonding and being girls together. We laughed about our failed attempts at tanning and her neon pink toenail polish she hadn't had time to change. It was time I had missed and wanted so badly. And for the first time in years, I felt we were close again. I felt like she really wanted me there to share this day with her and hadn't asked me out of obligation. In a sense, it felt as though my heart had come home and found my family.
We made it to the chapel in plenty of time to get changed and be ready for pictures by 1:00. And let me say, the chapel was perfect. It was very old, and decorated accordingly. It felt as though we were transported in time to a place where beauty and romance were the principle reasons for living. It was elegant and classic, without being at all overdone or frilly. It was the kind of place that made me want to get married all over again...to the same man, of course.
The photographer began the pictures outside, at the front of the chapel. It was a lovely, little garden shaded by magnolias and wrought with charm. She took pictures of my children first, then some of Teresa and I together. I stood next to my sister, gazing at her lovliness and awed by her confident composure. She put her arm around me and whispered in my ear, "I'm so glad you're here," then planted a kiss on my cheek. Our eyes met and I began to well up as the emotions overwhelmed me and came to the surface. It was a pivitol moment when I felt sure that all was right with the universe and we were all exactly where we should be. I returned her kiss, unable to speak for fear of ruining the makeup we had both worked so hard on. The photographer snapped her camera, capturing that moment in time forever.
The ceremony was beautiful. There was no feeling of dread or fear. It was a testament to love and a chance to find it again. It was joyful. It was a celebration. It was everything I didn't expect. They will have issues to work through. And it will not be easy by any stretch of the imagination, but I feel confident they will make it.
I believe she loves him.
I believe he loves her.
Call me a hopeless romantic, but that puts the odds in their favor. Perhaps my sister got the fairytale after all. May they live happily ever after.