Bride Elect (Evolution of a Bridezilla)
Chapter Forty-One— Six Years and Still Counting Sleeps
One day, while on Facebook, one of my cousins IM’ed me. She lives in the States, and we tend to see each other maybe once every couple of years or so. Thanks to social media, however, we visit far more frequently. She just popped up to say how excited she was for us as the days were creeping closer. She asked me how many days until the big day, and it occurred to me: I had yet to start counting sleeps!
Notoriously challenged by counting, I asked her to give me a moment or three. My first attempt at counting rendered 24—days. Not to put myself at risk I told her our big day was approximately three weeks away. I was quite surprised, however, that I didn’t have a ready answer for her. Usually, by the end of any school term I am counting sleeps until holidays. I hadn’t even counted sleeps until summer holidays—what was wrong with me?!
Was I so distracted by things like wedding cakes (which my mom was baking and I was “decorating”), and ceremony programs to savour the anticipation of it all? Granted this year the “all” was a little bigger than past years, nevertheless, I felt as if I had slighted a time honoured tradition. I felt…guilty!
I searched for a calendar, but was too lazy to actually get up and walk around looking for one. All calendars in my reach were school calendars that seemed to omit July—the month least relevant to the school system. Simple math was not so simple without a pen and paper. However, I could try. Let’s see…there are eleven days left to this month…no…wait…ten days left to this month. We are getting married on the thirteenth of next month. That is twelve days into…no wait…thirteen days into the next month. Okay….so add eleven—no ten—to twelve…no—thirteen…carry the…no—wait don’t carry anything….ummm….ten plus thirteen is…23! Woot! I did it!
Okay! Twenty-three sleeps until the “big day”. As for the workplace…there remained one sleep until Grad; and seven sleeps until our last day of work for this school year. Wow! It really snuck up on me! I usually start my “sleeps until holidays” countdown at ten. Clearly I was distracted and losing my edge over this.
Twenty-three sleeps! That seemed like both a lot, and very little. It was not unlike the last year. It both flew by and dragged on. It was an emotionally rich year. Many things happened, and not all of these events were instantly joyous. There were enough of these “things” to poignantly remind us of all there is to be grateful about.
The whole crazy-bitch car drama wasn’t just financially draining, it was emotionally draining. I had a car that was a favoured car-brand with my dad, and I had become so attached to that brand that I had never owned any other kind of car. The intensity and frequency of repairs with that car felt like a personal betrayal. When I finally decided to give up the car, I had family members—not just my dad—trying to talk me out of doing so.
Then, there was my dad, and his health. Sure, things turned out miraculously well in regards to the stroke on Friday the 13th. However, living through that experience, and others similar in the months prior to that day in July, did push me through a gambit of pretty intense emotions. Nothing clarifies what really is precious to you, until those most precious to you have their health and wellbeing hanging in the balance.
It wasn’t just about our upcoming wedding—there was so much going on this year. Life is like that. Nothing is really static—nor should it be or we run a real risk of withering on the vine. We were surrounded by changes at home, amongst family and friends, and even at work. Not everyone we knew and loved were so fortunate to count their changes amongst the blessings. Yet, among, and in some cases despite, the challenges we were blessed beyond measure—and all the more so for realizing it.