There are a few things I regret. One being I did not take more time to smell the old lilac bushes on the grounds. I didn’t have a lot of time to enjoy wandering the inn. A blur of color and the swish of lace and tulle. Running from the rain. Trying not to cry during my toast. Speaking of, I wish I would have done a better job with the toast. I feel embarrassed about it now. As though I took my heart out and put in on the plate only to have it stared at. It was weird. I feel for anyone giving a maid of honor or best man toast. They take a lot out of you.
But. Here’s a memory I will never forget. The morning of the wedding, me, Mom and my Aunt Denise (Mom’s older sister, I call her “Nini”) made up the bridal bouquet and the bouquets for the brides maids. We laid all the flowers out on a table in the barn and got to work.
It was funny, because the act of working with the flowers was simple. Find the right shape and color and start to gather it. Take it apart. Regather. Tape it. Wrap it. Move it. Add things in. Take things away. The whole time we chatted about flowers and other things. It was a special moment, a labor of love. Mom and her sister and me helping create things perfect for my sister. Mom’s daughter. Nini’s niece. I swear MomMom was there. And Grandma. Grandma’s mother. Her sisters. Those friends long gone who felt like sisters. Special women. All somehow standing around the table as we were reaching for a flower: “What about this one?” “What about more purple?” Holding space for the bridal bouquet, standing sentinel in a moment of transition. Quiet, present. Hands pressed on our elbows, guiding our own towards a specific bloom.
It’s a shame we don’t all live forever. That we can’t be together in the important moments. But what secret treasure when a little moment of three heads bowed over a table of flowers turns into a prayer.
We made this for you.
We want you to be happy.
We won’t always be here like this.
But we’ll always be here for you.
Just like all the women before.