Well, it didn’t help that I was completely under enthusiastic about the whole thing. Leading up to the weekend, I had a lot of “I just don’t give a damn” feelings. I felt incredibly sad, yes. We were supposed to be planning this, and accommodating our time around our 7 months old. So the entire ordeal that was her wedding felt very empty to me. I expressed my feelings to my mother, and brother… but they gently tried to help me see things from another perspective. “It’s about her. It’s her day. One doesn’t have to do with the other”. I get it. I know that. But still. God, but still.
We were able to get ourselves packed up Friday morning, and I found myself feeling…OK. Kind of uncomfortably OK. I was just going through the motions, and got ‘er done. The drive in was good. I surprised myself with only one stop needed to pee, and we got to her in-laws farm for dinner.
And it started to unfold. This feeling. I’m not jealous, I insisted upon myself. I’m not bitter. I couldn’t put my finger on it. My sister showed up over an hour late, and this melting pot of guests just swirled around me and I felt like I could jump out of my skin, I was so uncomfortable. I eventually isolated myself to this gazebo style outside room attached to the back end of their farm house, and just waited to be summoned for my part in the rehearsal. I was a horrible pile of unpleasant hormones and emotions. My mother found me, and didn’t even have to ask the question. She knew I was pissed off, and DYING to leave. The dinner invitation stated 5PM with the bride leaving at 8PM. It was now 6:30, and NOTHING had happened. There were sorry excuses for food randomly scattered throughout the house, and people were getting too drunk to care that dinner wasn’t even in sight. Call me a snob, but if I invite people over to my place, or eek, host a dinner party, I make sure people are happy. Everyone was hungry. Everyone was reaching for conversation, and everyone that wasn’t directly involved with the wedding or the wedding party didn’t know what the eff was going on. So, on top of my complete disappointment that I wasn’t being hosted to my satisfaction, I was a messy pile of my own grief. I shouldn’t be here. This is stupid. Everyone’s life is so fucking SIMPLE. I don’t even know who KNOWS about me. Fuck all of you who do know, and are not giving me some sort of sentiment. I dunno, I’D say something, do something, if I knew. I’m not going to make the effort to play normal. I’m not going to MINGLE! Could you imagine?? “how many dead children do you have? Oh, none? Must be nice. What’s that like??”
My sister planned her entire wedding. She budgeted everything. Singlehandedly hired everyone needed. Picked the time, place, colours, dresses, everything. It’s been 18 months in the making. But really, she’s been playing this day over in her head for over 10 years. I knew that. It was evident when she rallied us all up, and had a custom made itinerary, full page – front and back, with different colours, fonts, text sizes – to read from for something that was going to be less than 10 minutes in real time.
And it hit me again. This feeling. Look at her. Look at everything. This is all so pointless. This all means nothing. ANYONE CAN DO THIS. This is nothing special. This is nothing worth celebrating. A pretty awful way to feel about your sister getting married. But I couldn’t help it. I was getting so frustrated with myself that something so important to her was only coming off as something pointless and trivial to me.
Pesky details regarding the ceremony were finally behind us, and it was now time to eat. IT WAS 7:30. I checked out the spread. Cold cuts, cubed cheeses, iceberg salad, and Kaiser rolls. What-the-fuck. This is what took an EXTRA 2 and a half hours to prepare?!?! I was shaking I was so hungry. But the lonely, pathetic rolled up ham slices had no appeal to me. I needed out of there, ASAP. Daniel fixed himself and plate, and wolfed it down and we got the hell out of farm country and to our hotel in downtown Ottawa.
(Side note: I love farms. I love the country. We had several close family friends growing up who lived on farms, and I have wonderful memories playing in haystacks and barns. Wearing wellies and walking through poop while petting pigs, cows, horses and chicks. LOVED IT ALL. I have farm living associated with fresh foods, colourful spreads, corn on the cob, potato salads, and more. We had BBQ’s out on the farm that could feed an army. So… my farm living expectations were not met in my experience above.)
The next morning:
The feeling came to fruition. I got it. I understood all that I’d been feeling.
This was all happening for them. All the planning, and budgeting, and WAITING… it was all finally happening for them. And there was NO RISK of it being taken away. They wanted something, they worked for it, and they were in a matter of hours going to get it. How about that? Just like that. And for me and Daniel, it just didn’t.
“They’re gonna get theirs. And we didn’t get ours. That’s why today sucks.” I said to Daniel as I was putting on my make up. “It's not like they had to survive anything to get here, or do anything particularly HARD to achieve this. And it’s just so incredibly unjust, I could be sick.”
I know it’s a wedding, and not a child. But so what. They’ve been gushing over this for 18 months. And a full 9 months of those 18, I was pregnant. I was a very quiet pregnant woman. I didn’t go ahead and jump into conversations and make everything about my expected arrival…I would sit and listen, and comment on how great everything was going to be on that day (their wedding day), but I’d have my own dialogue in my head. You’ll have the wedding you always wanted, and I’ll have my child. Way more exciting, much more anticipated, WAY-BIGGER-DEAL. And there I was, the morning of her wedding…in the hotel room, just myself and Daniel, facing this nauseating injustice. I didn’t find anything about the day worth celebrating. So what? She’s getting married. ANYONE CAN GET MARRIED. As if it’s HARD?! And I know too much about their union to be expecting monumental, against all odds type years to unfold.
I’ll bottom line it. Even though my sister would probably SPIT ON ME in disgust for summing up her marital intentions in this way, but….
She’s almost 31. All of her high school friends have been married for 5 plus years now, and 90% of those friends have a child. And, a hand full of said friends are working on their second. My sister has been in 2 long term relationships that ended because the guys didn’t want to get married “too soon”. My sister summed them up to be “not marriage material” and was forced to move on… because her end goal has always been to be married and to have children. AND THOSE ARE NOT BAD GOALS TO HAVE!! But in my sisters’ case, it seemed more about the end result and less about WHO she reached it with. Her husband is 24 years old. He’s younger than our little brother. She’s on more than one occasion called him by my brother’s name. She says it’s because they both start with “M”. ooookaay then….
Now that that’s out in the open, you all can formulate your own opinions.
Truth of the matter is before I got pregnant… while I was pregnant… I was completely indifferent to what my sister did. As long as she’s really happy. That’s all that mattered to me. But something about the way that this life is all unfolding has got her life really rubbing me the wrong way. Not fair, not fair, not fair. I was off doing my own things, living my own life… and now I cant help but feel like I’m desperately needing to play catch up. She got what she wanted. She got her happy. I’m still chasing mine…to no avail.
The ceremony was fine. There were a few mistakes that I’m sure my sister will NEVER be able to let go once she gets off her wedding day high (music was choppy, and not synchronized. The song they arranged to walk down the aisle as husband and wife was in the wrong spot when they began their stroll. Whatever, nothing’s perfect.)
She threw a little private party for the wedding party and the bride and grooms siblings and dates. Free booze. And yes, everyone got all loaded up before the reception. I for one, stood out like a sore thumb. I stayed by Daniel’s side as he loosened up, and started to mingle after his third gin and tonic. I did my best to join into conversations while they were in full swing, not leaving any openings for the dreaded question “so, what have you been up do lately?”
She had a custom guest book made by Shutterfly. She had pictures of all 100 guests, and started to pass it around at this pre party for everyone to sign.
I flipped to the back. I remember her saying she didn’t want anyone to write anything on the back pages as they were in remembrance to those who were no longer with is. There were pictures of my two grandmothers, and my father. And that’s it. “Forever in our Hearts” was written along the bottom of the page. I could have ripped it out. What a fucking hack. MONTHS ago, my sister asked if I wanted her to make something to memorialize my pregnancy with Alexander. I emailed her back telling her I wasn’t ready and was unable to think clearly about anything like that… but I definitely wanted to do SOMETHING. And I wrote the line, “9 months in my belly, forever in my heart” as something I wanted to incorporate in a collage, or in a frame… So when I saw that last page, I could have stopped the show right there. But I didn’t. I calmly found my picture, and wrote some cheezey, meaningless sentiment and signed my name. But you’d better bet that I’ll ask about his absence that day in that book. Especially after she’s claimed Alexander is an actual absence in her life, and that she thinks of him and misses him in all the ways an aunt would miss their nephew.
My brother and Daniel walked out of there a little shitfaced. 6 drinks each in just over an hour. Yeah. Smart moves on their part.
On to the reception. That was probably the more tolerable part of the evening. My brother was pretty persistent with his jokes, and pokes towards the happy couple. He hasn’t swallowed one bit of their relationship since day one… so this wedding has been front and centre to all things he makes fun of these days. And hearing him let loose at our table was just what I needed.
And then my sister said her speech. And she said a few things that I had to shut out, and not let replay in my mind as reasons to hate her. She talked about how she looks forward to facing “the challenges” as a couple that life will bring. She talked about how she’s “been through so much and if it weren’t for Mr. new husband, she doesn’t know if she would have made it”. She dedicated a part of her speech to my mother… on being a mother… and how that is her lifelong dream. And how she “knows” what being a good mother means because of my mother.
I know you don’t have to have a dead baby to know what it’s like to be a mother, or want to be a mother. But that part of her speech hit a chord with me. Just let me be the first to flick her on the forehead and tell her to shut the fuck up as she hasn’t a clue as to what she’s talking about.Dinner was OK. I’m allowed to be picky and insulting. My baby died, and I’m gonna call a thing and thing. The soup was mediocre, and the chicken breast was dry. It was cheaply catered food. There, I said it. La dee da, my baby died, and your wedding sucked and your food was bland. HA!
The reception plowed through the evening and the dance floor finally opened up. I got out there with a few of my aunts, and older family friends (as all the occupants on the dance floor under the age of 40 were all the grooms old high school and current university friends… and I didn’t know ANYONE) and did some pretty mean side to side moves. I had really sparkly shoes on, and I couldn’t deny them a dance floor. They played the typical wedding party dance songs… YMCA, Macarena, SHOUT!, but the majority of the play list was very much catered to the groom’s generation… lots of top 40, and songs I’d rather not admit to knowing.
Finally, a few slow songs rotated on the playlist, and I dragged Daniel out of his chair, and we swayed, hugging, and missed our son. I sang “Don’t wanna miss a thing” and “Always” into his ear as I felt him cry while nestled in my neck. It was the most bittersweet and heartbreaking part of the night. But I couldn’t help but feel ever the more in love with him.
We went back to our hotel room at around 1:30AM. There were still a few people hanging on, including my brother and his date/friend, but for the most part, we were of the last group of people to leave. When we got back to our hotel room, Daniel broke down. He told me how much he missed our son. He told me how much he felt like he was out of place all night, and not a single person could tell. He told me how celebrating other people’s happiness is impossible after what we’ve been through. He told me how his heart was breaking every time he looked over at my mother, and caught her alone at her table in between songs, and just thought how she wouldn’t have had a moment to herself on this day of Alexander were here. I thought that too. I looked over at her, too, a lot throughout the night. I wondered if she was missing his presence as much as I was. I danced with her a few times, and she saw the ache in my heart as I tried to enjoy the evening. She said, “Don’t worry, the next big party will be for your baby’s Christening”. I just felt defeated. God, she tries, and I know it. But I just wanted her to tell me she missed him.
Here are a few shots of us after the ceremony. It was windy, and overcast skies. My sister ran off with her photographer to get all the pretty shots of bride and groom on a park bench taken…AND, Daniel forgot to bring my camera to the reception… so I don’t have ANY pictures of me and my sister! She did make for a lovely looking bride… too bad I couldn’t be happier for her. (But I’m not THAT short sighted in my not gushing over her… she did enough of that on her own. When we were at that little private in between party before the reception… I can’t remember what we were talking about, but she was standing in front of a mirror, and checking out her waistline….while we were talking. Turning, slightly twisting to see how much of herself she could see over her shoulder…all whilst we were chit chatting. She stopped herself, and finally looked at me and said, “I’m sorry, I just can’t believe I’m finally looking like this!” gag. Sister or no sister… it’s hard to be happy for someone when they’re just so into themselves. I know she was DYING for everyone to gush over her… but sorry hon, it just ain’t gonna happen coming from me.)
With mother and brother
And are we total nerds for doing a DRESS REHEARSAL a week before our trip. Because we did! And this is us in front of our home, with the camera on our CAR, timed to catch this shot. I'm so vain!
Now that you've made your way through this extremely long post about a wedding that means next to nothing to you...
I have some news...
In those pictures...I didn't have a big lunch. There's a reason why a week before the wedding outside our house I look slightly different than the day of the wedding. And no, I don't think it's because my hair is down and I'm wearing makeup.
I will quietly tell you... I'm pregnant. This time, I hope it's for real.
In the dress rehearsal pic I was 7 weeks, feeling pretty good about myself, and our little secret. By the time the day of rolled around, I looked like I swallowed a football. I'm sure everyone could tell, or maybe those that didn't know me just think I'm belly heavy. But that's what 8 weeks pregnant looks like on me, 7 months after having a full-term baby.
I've been very apprehensive to release the news. I'm afraid I'll be back here tomorrow... to tell you all how it's all over...
The more people we've told in real life... the more I feel like it's all a matter of time now until this pregnancy ends too.
We're hoping for the best. Because man, we need a bit of the best right now.
Hang in there baby, we need you <3