Together Again

March 14, 2013
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The date was August 25, 2012. When I woke up that morning and opened my shade, I remember thinking to myself, “It’s so beautiful outside! The weather is perfect for a wedding!” After admiring the beauty of the weather, I went downstairs to take my shower and begin the process of getting ready for the big day! Today was my cousin’s wedding. I was so excited because this was my first wedding! I also remember how a part of me was sad. Just over two years ago, my grandfather had passed away.

As I put on my white eyelet dress, slipped on my pink heels, and looked at myself in the mirror, I could hear him say how grownup I looked. I wished, just for today, that he could be with all of us one last time. He was the type of man who could light up the room with just a smile. To complete my outfit, I put on the necklace my mom gave me for Christmas in memory of my grandfather. It’s a silver anchor, which has special meaning to me because it symbolizes the strength he gives me as well as our love for the ocean. Once I clasped my favorite piece of jewelry around my neck, I got the assurance that he would somehow be with me that day.

Before I knew it, it was time to go. My mom, brother, and I got in the car and drove from our home in North Smithfield to St. Veronica’s chapel in Narragansett. My dad was unfortunately not able to attend because he had gotten sick. When we arrived, my dad’s cousins, aunts, uncles, and the parents of the bride and groom greeted us. The chapel was small and gave a warm, welcoming feeling. When the wait was over and I finally got to see my cousin, she looked gorgeous. Her dress was simple, yet elegant. It was strapless and hugged her torso just right, then flowed out on the bottom. The color of it white, of course, with a champagne ribbon accenting her bodice. The four bridesmaids had two different style dresses on, but they were both the same turquoise color. The bride’s two sisters were wearing strapless dresses, while my cousin and a member of the groom’s family were wearing dresses with one strap that had flowers along it. The ceremony was filled with love and joy. Once the mass was over, it was time for the reception at Atlantic Beach Club.

When I got out of the car at Atlantic Beach Club, I smelled the salt of the ocean, heard the waves crashing, and felt the breeze against my skin. I couldn’t believe how lucky we were to be so close to the ocean! Inside the building we took the elevator upstairs to be greeted by the wedding party, as well as more of my family and the unfamiliar faces of the groom’s family. In the center of the room, there was a large table with appetizers ranging from cheese and crackers and garlic bread to clam cakes and chowder. We all chatted and ate our delicious hors d’oeuvres while waiting to move into the reception room.

When they finally opened the doors to the main hall where the reception would be, I will never forget the amazement I felt. All around the room there were windows that overlooked the ocean as well as doors leading out to a deck. The first thing I did was walk through those doors to see the breathtaking view. The sky was a perfect shade of blue with barely any clouds and the sun shining on the ocean like diamonds. There was a nice breeze. In the words of Rachel Carson, “The only sounds were those of the wind and the sea and the birds” (216). It was so tranquil.

At that moment, standing by myself on the deck, I felt a powerful connection with nature. I knew that was my grandfather’s way of telling me he was with us. I wanted to stay in that moment forever. The wind wrapping around me was his way of giving me a hug. The sun beaming down on me was his way of saying that he was watching over me. When I saw the waves crash against the shore, I imagined it was him reminding me that he’s always close to me. I experienced one of what Rick Bass calls “Lightning-spark transformative moments…an experience more profound somehow than even memory itself” (2). On many occasions I have felt connected to my grandfather through the ocean, but never this powerfully. As I write about this experience, it is a struggle for me to put it into words. It was so profound that my whole world was, again in the words of Bass, “illuminated.”

After having this amazing experience, I felt as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. There was no need to wish he could be with me any more because he was indeed there. For the rest of the night I couldn’t take the smile off my face. Shortly after the toasts were done, I remember looking outside to what was no longer an incredible summer day, but a picturesque sunset. After the yellow, orange, and purple colors sank into the sea, the sky darkened and the moon came up.

A full moon, glowed on the water, and I knew it was my grandfather’s way of saying to me “Buonanotte.” This was what we always said to each other when we said goodbye. I’m not sure how it started, but for as long as I can remember we said goodbye in Italian instead of English. This is the simplest memory I have of him, but the one I love most and will remember for the rest of my life.

Works Cited
Bass, Rick. “A Texas Childhood.” The Best American Spiritual Writing 2004. Philip Zaleski, ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2004.

Carson, Rachel. “The Marginal World.” The Best American Essays of the Century. Joyce Carol Oates and Robert Atwan, eds. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.

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Eljiasan said...
Mar. 17, 2013 at 11:18 pm
Hey its me Jia Moriah! Nice going getting it published! <3.
mgarzone replied...
Mar. 19, 2013 at 10:10 am
Aww thank you Jia! <3
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