June is the month for weddings....which boggles my mind because it’s so freakin’ hot...at least where I’m from and live. But, for some inexplicable reason, brides like June. I was born in June...17th to be exact, so I never planned to marry in that month regardless of what my groom would want...it’s not really about him anyway, is it girls?? Haha
Anyway, I chose April to get married....for many reasons...but one being because it was Springtime and Easter was around the corner which is a great time to start a new beginning.
We got off pretty easy. I think the whole thing only cost us around $5000. The sidekick and I planned and paid for everything. We had a friend who worked for the local radio station and whose husband just happened to be my husband CO (he was still in the Coast Guard at this time...but no, he chose not to marry in his dress blues, he wanted a tux...*sigh*. Dress blues on a man are so sexy!!)
Anyway...so we had a D.J. that charged us nothing, the hall didn’t cost much and the dinner (Mexican--of course) was only about $5 a plate...okay this was 20 years ago, so that was probably a lot. My aunt Alice (RIP) was scheduled to make the cake...she was a whiz at making them and they were just gorgeous! I said was because a week before the wedding my Aunt Delores (Alice’s older sister) became very ill. She’d always been sick, had had 5 bypass surgeries before she was 60 and at least one stroke. I don’t remember how old she was at this time, but barely in her sixties. Her illness, which I think was brought on by a myriad of conditions, including diabetes, sent her into kidney failure and she went into a coma. A bit of history, my aunt was the oldest of her nine siblings, was the matriarch of the family and was the legal guardian to me and my siblings when my mother passed in ‘75. She did the best she could, being that she herself was a widow of 10 years and still had two younger teenagers to care for. I always considered her a second mom and I don’t know if she ever knew how much we loved her and appreciated her. She once told me, ‘you always hurt the ones you love the most’...
Anyway, when she went into her coma the doctors said it would only be a matter of days. So, we started gathering the family, many coming in from out of town/state. I contacted my sister, who hadn’t been home in over 10 years, to let her know about Aunt Delores. She took the first flight she could and was there by mid week...three days before my wedding. After she settled in at my place I took her to the hospital to see my aunt. She was in a private room and they were keeping her as comfortable as possible. It was a waiting game. There were several people in the room, include my aunt’s oldest Eugene, who was sitting beside the bed speaking to her. When we got into the room I told him to tell her my sister was there, so he did. Well, my sister, my aunt’s daughter and my aunt’s sister all have the same name, so I told him to be specific, meaning say her middle name. When he did, my aunt’s eyes popped open, cleared for a brief second then closed again! Talk about freak out! She lapsed back into her coma, but at that time, I knew she knew we were all there and loved her.
Since I was still getting married in three days I returned home and tried to finish preparing for the wedding. My sidekick and his mom went shopping for wedding cakes and luckily found a bakery who could do one by Friday. On the morning of my wedding, my cousin (Aunt Delores’ daughter) was scheduled to swing by and help with my makeup (guess she didn’t think I could do it..hah). She was late arriving and we were about to leave for the church to finish getting ready there. But, she gave me the best wedding gift I could ever have hoped for. That morning, as she was getting ready to leave her house, her mom, my Aunt Delores, called. She had awoken from her coma, no longer in kidney failure and feeling quite fine. She sent along her best wishes and after the ceremony, my new husband and I went straight to the hospital to see her and give her a piece of my bouquet.
Before our wedding my husband had gotten orders to transfer to Alaska...hence the wedding. In August, before we shipped out, I went to see my aunt again. She was back in the hospital, but she looked well. We spoke for a short while and I knew she needed rest so I gave her a hug and kiss, told her I loved her and I just wanted to say, good-bye. She smiled at me and said, “Don’t say goodbye. Say, see you later.”
See you later.