This was her third daughter to marry in less than five years. The mother-of-the bride who tends to have her hand as deep into the wedding as the bride (sometimes deeper) giving out orders for months and weeks prior to the big day. Setting expectations and “rules” such as no sunglasses during the processional, every detail being thought of and discussed right up until the last moment.
In theory she should be able to make her way into a beauty parlor, relax and be pampered until it is time for her daughter to make her entrance. But most of us live in the real world where every able body has an assignment at these events and even the last few minutes are filled with details to complete with anxiety levels at their highest.
Dressed in shorts, a tank top and her Teva sandals, she set out early in the morning to wrap up the odds and ends that would make my daughter’s wedding day special. First stop was my garage to pick-up the spirits, then on to the reception site to set-up with the crew awaiting her supervision. As she quickly loads the vehicle with cases of beer and wine, you would not be clued in that this tan skinned, slender box slinging woman was going to be attending her youngest daughter’s wedding just hours later. The night before, she could be found sitting on a hotel room floor methodically weaving miniature white roses through a head piece to be worn by the bride the next day.
Swiftly loading the car, utilizing a hand cart, she bends down to tip a case of wine onto the cart and SMACK!, as she lifts her head, her brow catches the upturned steel handle of the cart. Her head rings, her disbelief that she just did what she just did fills her thoughts, and the pain is not far away. She sits down on a case of wine for a moment, holds the side of her face in her hands and the tears slide down. The pain worsens as she realizes her eye is beginning to swell. The reception, the set-up, the ceremony, the photos!, the realization that she is not going to be able to pull it all together before my wedding. She lost it, sitting by herself, perched on a case of wine in my little garage. How did this happen? At that moment her soon to be son-in-law walks into the garage. She looks up, and slowly pulls her hand away. The look on his face gave her no comfort. It was as bad as it felt.
The afternoon was a blur of phoned in directives to those on-site as she sat in her hotel room where she had been banished. Her face now plump from eyebrow to cheek had turned colors of wine and blueberries. The videographer made his way into her room to ask her a few questions. He was surprised with her quick witted responses but also documented the pain that made her eyes glisten with tears. (The next day would reveal the pain was attributed to a strong concussion). She laughed a bit and he told her she was his hero. How many other mom’s get a black eye from slinging cases of booze?
As the sun shined down creating almost unbearable heat over the May wedding day, the ceremony began. Four flower girls tossing petals as they make their way down the aisle, six brides maids paired up each with their escorts, off in the distance was the bride and her father. Walking in front of them, the mother of the bride escorted by her son, both wearing sunglasses.