A Letter to My Parents on the Day of My Wedding.
As I prepare for my wedding day, and the nerve wracking walk down the aisle. I realize now, more than ever, your absence will have a profound effect on this day.
My dearest father, your absences is by far the most deeply felt. In all of my life it has always been you there beside me. You have wiped away my tears. Held my hand in the best, and worst of times. You were there when I was most scared. Comforted me when I faced my own mortality. Laughed with me in appropriate, and inappropriate times.
You taught me to love life, and not to fear death. You raised me to be just like you – free thinking, caring, out spoken, strong willed, and loving. You helped me see the miraculous in the mundane. You believed in me when I failed to believe in myself, and no one but you will ever understand how grateful I am for “D-Day.”
But today, I face the future without your calm assurance. You are not here to take my arm and walk me down the aisle. Your smile and glittering eyes will not be here to help me face what is to come. I feel your absence, in this moment, far more deeply then you will ever know. Today, I face the world alone.
I asked you to be beside me in the walk down the aisle. You answered, “No.” I sent save-the-dates and the wedding invitation. The lack of an RSVP was a harsh way for you to again say “No.”
We talked, and I understood. I am not angry you said no. The choice was yours, and I still understand. Life is a series of choices; the outcomes of which bring either happiness or regret. I truly hope you never regret your choice. History is not on your side though.
You chose not to attend, because I was marrying a person of the same sex. You do not believe two people of the same sex should marry. Who I am, believes you have an outdated view on same-sex relationships. Who I am, however, is not making the decision. It is your view, your belief and to change it would be to change you. I would not change a thing about you. I wonder….would you ask me to change?
You grew up in a time where sex was rarely discussed. Where same-sex relationships were greatly taboo. You joined the military – The Fighting Marines – in a time of unrest. You survived Vietnam but gained a darker view of same-sex relationships. I’ve read the stories, I know the side of the fence you stand on. It is part of who your are, who you were raised to be.
Belief systems, phobias, inherited behaviors; they all make up who you are. I cannot be angry at you for any of it. I understood, and I understand, because I love you. You will always be my hero. And I know, you will always love me.
I could have used your strength, and your shoulder. I fell apart this morning because, for a moment, I felt so very alone. I could have used your calm voice, reminding me I’ve survived worse. I could have used your ability to laugh which, so often, accompanies your presence. The lost little girl in me could have really used her father.
I will make it through today. I will laugh. I will dance. I will be surrounded by amazing people, heroes and angels in their own right. I will marry the love of my life, best friend, and split-apart. But…
The absence of your presence will be profound, and have a lasting impact. I will never be angry at your choice, and I will ALWAYS love you.
My Not-So-Dearest Mother, they tell me little girls dream of their wedding day. They’re wrong in my case. Throughout planning my wedding I’ve never ‘seen it,’ as many girls would. I feel robbed of the anticipation I should have felt. In turn I robbed my girlfriend of hers. It should not be this way!
I have never pictured myself in fancy dresses. Lavish decorations, the perfect music, the wedding party to end all wedding parties. These things never found their way into my daydreams, or fantasies. It has made ‘The Wedding’ planning increasingly difficult. How do you say, “This is what I want!,” when what you want is empty.
The screen of my mind is blank. No picture perfect wedding day exists. No fanfare. No beautiful cake. No swishy, swirly, lacy dress with matching shoes. Just blank, black, endless nothing.
In a perfect world, you were supposed to be there for wedding planning. There were supposed to be conversations on makeup, hair, dating, clothes, etc. You should have met my first boyfriend, or girlfriend. I should have been excited to confide in you. Telling you my secrets. Seeking your opinion on everything, anything. You were meant to be there. You should have been there!
Instead, you disappeared into a fantasy world of your own design. You surrounded yourself with brick walls. Wrought iron bars locked the world out, and you in. You were more afraid of life than of living it. And in your disappearing act you took the world with you. The animosity I hold in relation to you is never ending.
My wedding day will not including you. No save the date, or invite, will ever be sent. You could barely be bothered to visit while I lay close to death. What point would there be in you attending my wedding?
Perhaps, one day, I will send you a wedding invite. You can add it to your filing cabinet, where possibilities have endlessly went to die. I’m sure you’ll find a way to blame my father for this as well.
The absence of your presence will be profound, but for all the wrong reasons. Your life must be so very cold and lonely.
To My Kids, I will never consider myself the greatest mom. I failed you in so many ways. I made mistakes throughout your lives. I failed to be there when I should have been. I pushed to much, or not enough. I yelled when I should have listened. I walked away when I should have fought. I was far from the perfect mother, but I loved you unconditionally with each breath.
It is with that love I tell you this now. I will listen to everything you have to say. I may not always hear, but I will listen. I will love you unconditionally, even when I don’t love your choices. You may be gay, straight, crooked, or cross eyed; and I will still love you indefinitely.
I am not perfect. I will always make mistakes. My first reaction to something you say, may not be the one you’re looking for…give me time to analyze and think things through. The reaction which follows will be worth the wait.
I want to share everything I can with you, but I don’t always know how. I will be awkward. I will embarrass you. I will make you angry. I will torment you. I will ask a million questions…or none at all. I will be annoying and send you “Are you still alive?” text messages. I will plot the demise of any and all who hurt you…until you tell me otherwise. I will drag out the baby pictures every chance I get. I will remind you that, while you may have 20+ birthdays under your belt, you are still my baby. I will welcome each and every hug; their value to me is immeasurable.
Each of you are my sunshine, and I will love you unconditionally and endlessly; until my dying day. Your absence from my life, even if just by distance, is more than profound. There are no words…