Petal Painted Aisle

May 5, 2011
My mother was stunning. White silk wrapped around her milky skin like an angel’s glow. The red curls piled atop her head shone and fell in perfect ringlets on her flushed face, contrasting beautifully with her sparkling, deep blue eyes. If I had known I’d be the spitting image of her one day, my already rapidly beating heart would’ve burst on the spot.

Not many kids can say they were the flower girl at their parents’ wedding. I just happened to be the fortunate soul to witness the blossoming of love between my mother and step-father at the age of six.

The memory is like a silent film, filled with intervals of static. Hardly anything is remotely clear, though that’s how it felt when actually living the experience.

One could say my mother and I were feeling the same level of anxiety. Having lived with my grandfather as the only male figure throughout my life, this new intruder, soon to be known as “Dad”, gave the feel that I was being married as well.

All day I had endured the storm of butterflies ripping at my stomach, but as I began my tread down the aisle, the butterflies were replaced with what felt like heavy artillery. Constantly muttering a mantra of “Toss the petals, don’t throw up”, somehow I made it to the end. I could’ve given myself a pat on the back then and there. After all, not ruining an entire wedding is quite the accomplishment. But even after this brief surge of relief, I was struck with another fit of trembles as the music stopped and words began to flow from the preacher’s mouth.

There I stood next to my mother, trying to understand the vows being said. Tears filled both of our eyes, threatening to glide down our made over cheeks and glossy lips.

What seemed like hours later, the happy couple finally embraced. Being the hopeless romantic I’ve always been, I wiped the escaped tears from my face and sighed happily. It was overwhelming to experience what being in a whole family was finally like. I was now going to have the father I never had, and my mother was going to receive the love she never had.

Now after almost nine years, I’m still witnessing the same love (though occasionally strained) that was displayed on my parents’ wedding day. Three years later, I was “blessed” with a brother named Brady. I’m proud to be able to say I’m part of a whole, loving, and very dysfunctional family.

And though we’ve had quite a trip over time, this is where I’m at, and this is where I hope to stay.

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