Tuesday, December 19, 2006

From MA to CA

I have made it to California with two suitcases, a carry-on, my violin, and my wedding dress.

I try not to be the type of person who complains about constant "stress," but I have to say it:

That was the most stressful travel experience of my life.

And actually, I am absolutely stressed in general right now.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

"Hi, Sweetie"

Yesterday I got to hear my Mom talk to me over the speakerphone on Dad's cell! The doctors put a cap on her trach tube, so finally her whispers became audible. I could hear her say, "Hi, sweetie." That pretty much made my day.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006



... and then I'm getting married again nine days after that.

Let me clarify: TWO weddings; ONE marriage.

I have tried to avoid being giddy over this engagement and upcoming marriage. But at this point, it's so close I can hardly help myself anymore. How did the time pass so quickly? The countdown has changed from months to weeks to... days!

Friday, December 8, 2006

Wedding News

I'm counting down the days until I can see my Mommy again. She's talking now (through a valve on her trach tube), and I can hardly wait to talk to her and have her respond! I miss her so much. Several times a day I find myself thinking, "Mom would have good advice about this," or "Mom would know what to do about that," or "I wish I could tell Mom about this."

FavoriteBoy and I chose and purchased our wedding bands last weekend, and we went and picked them up today. They're beautiful.

A truly wonderful thing has happened with regards to our weddings (yes... plural!). Our pastor is going to be present at both ceremonies to marry us! We never imagined such generosity. We had arranged for him to officiate at our wedding in Pennsylvania, and all those plans had already been made, but then my Mom was hospitalized and we decided to be married in California where she is. We had been trying to figure out who could marry us out there. We both hoped to be married by someone we both know. Our pastor here is wonderful, and Nathan is on the church staff with him, and we've enjoyed getting to know him further through our premarital counseling sessions. We met with him this week, and before we even had a chance to speak with him about our wedding plans he offered to come to California to marry us there! He's not even letting us reimburse him for most of his expenses. We're amazed. It is really humbling to receive gifts that you can't possibly repay, and lately I've been learning a lot about that.

The not-so-good news is that I'm having a harder time holding things together with each passing day. This week we passed the four-week mark and the one-month mark since Mom's aneurysm, and it's been really hard. I think I naively hoped that Mom would be much better by now! And in a way, I think that things are only now beginning to really sink in. I keep realizing little things -- things I've known for several weeks but haven't really processed. Mom won't be in our PA wedding pictures. Mom won't hear our harpist or our choir or our other music. Dad probably won't be there to walk me down the aisle. I'll have to tell the florist to cancel one of the mothers' corsages. And while I think we have made a good decision concerning our wedding plans, I also think it is going to be really hard.

In the midst of the sadness, though, there is a lot of goodness. My Mom is alive, and her mind is clever and witty and intelligent. I get to see her in ten days. I get to have a wedding with my Mom there, my Dad there, and my sister and brothers there. My sister wasn't going to be at the PA wedding since she is expecting a baby shortly after our wedding date, so it's wonderful that she will be present at our marriage after all.

And then there's just the general goodness of getting married, too. It's all so good I feel guilty to be receiving so many blessings! A group of women from Nathan's church in PA had a shower for us when we were there for Thanksgiving, and we came back to Massachusetts with mixing bowls, a tea kettle, cutting boards, hand sewn Christmas stockings, wall clocks, kitchen gadgets, a waffle iron, a picnic hamper filled with picnicking things, and more! It seems too good to be true that we get to get married, and other people are so excited for us that they shower us with blessings!

Monday, December 4, 2006

A Wedding Decision

It's hard to know what to write about lately. Just one month ago, I had planned to write about FavoriteBoy's brilliant success in performing the Shostakovich Second Piano Concerto with the orchestra at school. The concert was on November 5, and he was a big hit. He received the most enthusiastic standing ovation I've seen in a long time! Our friend Michael conducted the performance and I know they enjoyed collaborating together.

I had planned to write about the speeding ticket I got but didn't deserve, and how I went to court twice and finally won and had the ticket revoked.

I planned to write about our pre-marital counseling, and how much we enjoy our sessions with our pastor. We have found the counseling to be very affirming of our relationship; our pastor even told us that we are uniquely mature in our preparation for marriage, and that we're unquestionably "good to go!"

All of that seems a very long time ago now.

I miss being able to talk to my Mom. Most days I am able to hold things together well, but sometimes the little things make me very sad. FavoriteBoy and I chose and bought our wedding bands on Saturday, and I wanted so much to be able to call Mom and tell her about them.

Last week in church an elderly man had some medical problems during the second service. A team of EMTs rushed in and took him out on a stretcher. And silly me, I burst into tears sitting in the front pew of church. I didn't even know the man, and of course it wasn't about that. And as it turned out, he was fine -- he was back in church yesterday. It just hit too close to home, seeing the team come in and take him out, and all I could think about was my Mom.

Well, Nathan and I have decided to go ahead with the wedding on January 6. Mom won't be there, of course, and I doubt that Dad will attend either given Mom's condition. It was very hard to make a decision, but we had to just do the best we could given the circumstances. Dad agrees that we are doing the right thing and shouldn't postpone things indefinitely, and knowing he thinks that helps me feel a lot better. In any case, I obviously can't get married without my parents present, so wonderful Nathan is coming out to California with his immediate family, and we will get married the weekend prior to our planned wedding date. We'll get married wherever Mom is -- in the hospital, in a rehab facility... we don't know yet! It will be unique and memorable. My family and Nathan's family will be there; that's what matters. Then we will fly out to PA and go through with the ceremony we had planned. It will be busy and crazy and I'm not sure yet how I will deal with everything, but we'll make it!

And there is so much to do between now and then!