“I can’t believe this,” I shouted as I looked down at my feet and ankles and noticed massive inflammation. “I can’t be having an allergic or a flare. My brothers wedding is tomorrow. I promised him I’d serve as their minister and somehow I will.”
I took pain meds, Benadryl, and rubbed my feet and ankles with CBD balm before I put on socks and went to sleep.
In the a.m., the swelling was less but not completely gone. I took my heels but I also grabbed shoes I thought I could wear. Then, I headed off to get my parents and brother so we could go to Connecticut for wedding photos.
We stood by a lake in Greenwich getting chilled to the bone but we smiled. My mother looked thin but she was radiant. She held on to my fiancé and my father at times. She also kept a coat around her shoulders to keep the cold off her withered frame. Her body had been weakened by Cancer, blood loss and edema but she didn’t complain.
An hour later, I performed the wedding ceremony. I even got my brother and sister-in-law to laugh and cry at points, especially when we honored their departed grandparents by lighting a candle in front of a custom plaque bearing their names. I’d helped make their union official and I was ready to party.
My mother and I basked in the laughter and the glee in the room as the reception got underway and we were energized. Still, there were points when we both had to sit down to deal with the side effects of our ailments.
I know I didn’t want anyone to notice I wasn’t well. I feared it would detract from the mood in the room. After all, it wasn’t my day at all. It my brother’s and his new wife’s time to shine. And, I was determined to keep the spotlight on them.
My mother did the same. She clung to my brother during the mother son dance. My brother chose my parents’ song, “If This World Were Mine.” She sobbed, my brother cried and my father and brother teared up too. We weren’t sure she’d make it to see this day. But, she did and she danced. She danced off and on all night despite the chills, difficulty breathing and fatigue. She needed some assistance from our new in laws but she kept going. And, we both made it through the entire wedding without overshadowing the happy couple. And, boy did they shine.
(These are just some of my favorite shots from the night)
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