May 8, 2009

was may 9th, not may 8th. the dates don't match up, but the memories do. it was the second friday in the month of may in the year of 2008. the day before my wedding. the day of the rehearsal dinner. the biggest friday of my life.

i woke up and immediately fell into survival mode. my coping method was just don't think about it too much. i knew that if i thought about it, the weight and reality and significance of the next two days would produce a fountain of unwanted emotion and nervousness. it would just be too much. i would be crushed under the momentousness of it. i fought back any special day thoughts. i put on my normal face & forced myself to think about normal things. it was kind of like sitting on the paper-lined bed in the doctor's office, as the nurse jokes around with me i laugh & act like the needle in her hand is not making my head pound with fear. just close your eyes and pretend it's no big deal. that's how i would get through this day. besides, i would not be getting a shot today. there would be no pain. it would just be my dreams coming true and everything that i've built up in my mind & everything i have my heart set on coming at me in one fell swoop within a thin stretch of 24 hours. that's all.

i put on some makeup, drove to wheatfields bakery & cafe and sat with my best friends. each of them a bridesmaid. we wore zip-up jackets and ponytails and shared a plate of pastries with an orange glaze. we didn't really talk about wedding things, which was good for me. they helped with my coping efforts. they made me laugh. it was all very normal of us. at the end of our breakfast we walked out by our cars and prayed. i love that we did that. we stood together and prayed for a good day. that everything would go smoothly and that we would all have fun during the wedding. it made me feel calm and strong and so confident in our friendship. then we slipped on our sunglasses and went our separate ways to face the rest of the day.

i drove to the mall, where i saw people going about their oh so regular days and that made me feel good. little did they all know, i was here to get my nails done for my wedding. i liked walking around all by myself, carrying around my little secret. i stopped by bath & body works and picked up some hand soap that was on sale. i wondered why i would bother to get hand soap on this day. i went to the top floor and found my favorite nail place where i got french tips painted on my own nails. i can't stand the fakes. i told the lady sitting next to me under the dryers that i was getting married tomorrow. i could not believe those words came out of my mouth. they sounded so surreal. i couldn't hold it in while she talked about her daughter getting married in 3 months. the secret was out. it was fun to see how happy it made the women around me when they all heard it.

when i got back to my parents' house, grant was standing by the fridge with a glass of water in his hand. he had arrived. for our wedding. we looked at each other knowingly. after today, we would never again be apart. we sat at the kitchen table eating lunch out of a white bag containing a big mac and a 1/4 pounder with cheese. i thought it was strangely fun that i would choose to eat so unhealthily hours before i would have to step into my wedding dress.
i ate my whole burger with relish. we slumped onto the couch in the living room and thought about what we should do. now that grant was with me, i was feeling better about acknowledging the importance of the day. we felt like we should be doing something wedding-ish. but everything had been figured out. all was in place. so we just sat there for awhile, thinking. waiting for nothing. discussing whether or not we should take a nap. enjoying the anticipation.

a few hours later, i walked into the church, holding grant's hand, freshly showered and feeling fancy free. the flutters had dissolved and i was ready to get this show on the road. i wore a skirt that i had borrowed from mom and my mini black sweater. i decided that it was too cold to be wearing flip-flops, but i didn't care. they were my favorite. plain black, worn-thin. i can be myself in those shoes. i wore them. once inside, i was engulfed in hugs. i couldn't wipe the smile off my face. all of my favorite people were going to be in one room together. for a minute or two, i felt the nervousness come creeping back in. i felt like i should be playing hostess. after all, this was my affair. i had invited all of them. i should make sure that everybody had been hugged and talked to and made welcome.. but i just couldn't do it. i was overwhelmed. i saw my bridesmaids and family and grant's family doing the small talking and hostessing for me and felt a wave of relieved gratitude sweep over me. such wonderful people. i resorted to clinging to grant's side, where i felt safe and serene. i sat back and let it all come together. i didn't have to do a thing. just smile and enjoy the evening everyone had worked so hard to create for us.

thank you, everyone. you made my rehearsal amazing.
i will never forget this friday, one year ago.


Tesa said...

Happy happy anniversary, Summer!

Kelli said...

What a well-written tale of the day. It's sounds wonderful and refreshing. What will you do tomorrow?

stina1125 said...

i love it. oh, happy day.

Ash said...

It's fun to hear your story of the day before your wedding... It was a strange (and kind of overwhelming) but nice day for me, too.

marta said...

wow. what a beautiful story. i love that you said it was like your li'l secret to hold onto throughout the day, i can just picture you and your girls at the bakery and i love how grant did the small talking.. what a perfect tale for generations to come.

hand in hand.
happy anniversary.

project simple life said...

I love how happy you look in this picture! I can't wait to enjoy the feeling of being married, thanks for letting me read about your special day:)

Renee said...

how are you going to eat the top layer of your wedding cake on your anniversary... when it's in my freezer?? miles away from you??
Happy "cakeless" anniversary! (so appropriate for you two!)

Sarah T. said...

I cried when I read this. To be completely transparent, I cried in part because I miss you, but I also cried because I am happy that Grant took you away from me. I'm still so happy that I could be part of your special day. When we used to sit on my bed and talk weddings I would hope in secret to be your bridesmaid but never say it out loud in case it wouldn't happen. But it did!

Riss said...

Such a sweet fairy-tale story. I could just imagine every little detail as you were telling it! Enjoy your anniversary! I'm sure you have something up your sleeve to make it special for the two of you. =)

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary, Summer and Grant!!! I can't believe it's been a whole year. May you live happily ever after. :o)

mj said...

wow, what sweet memories that filled such a special day. how fun to reminisce what it was like having breakfast with your girlfriends and praying for a good day, walking solo through the mall with the biggest, most wonderful "secret" about to be lived out ... remembering the normal to-do's like eating lunch or going to the mall not feeling so normal. wishing you a happy 1st anniversary!

wunderbug said...

very happy one-year anniversary! great post, as per usual. i love your love story.

i also wanted to let you know that i tagged you for something. check out my blog for more info, if you'd like. :)

(ps - great job over on marta's panel, by the way.. i dont remember if i'd mentioned it earlier.)

amy said...

i just got so nervous reading that! what a beautiful day. I love the idea of doing normal things on the most abnormal day in the world. found you via marta.



about this blog

Hello, I'm Summer. A people-loving introvert whose hope and life is in Jesus. His promises are my passion and my ministry is homelife. This blog is a place for me to write about everyday things. Especially food. My favorite thing to do is sit around a table, lingering over a long meal with good conversation. I live with my husband and our 2 littles. We like blizzards, thrifting, grammar, guacamole, cheerful hearts, nice manners, good movies, and making simple, real, nutrient-dense food.

"If Christ be anything, He must be everything."
-C.H. Spurgeon

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