…… to experience. Another “first” to go through without Jim. And really, the biggest one yet. The most emotional. The one that could knock me to my knees …… if I let it.
But I won’t. I can’t.
Instead, I’ll slide a very nice mask into place, and lock it down tightly.
No one will know …… for certain …… that as I watch Daughter #3 walk herself down the aisle at her wedding, my heart will be breaking again.
I won’t let my feelings steal away any of her happiness.
Besides, I won’t be the only one whose heart is hurting.
She’s right …… no one can take the place of her father. So no one will.
I have no doubt that her joy will be mingled with sadness as she makes that walk.
And her siblings will feel the same pain …… as they watch her walk with a huge missing presence on her right side.
But all of us …… all seven of us …… will smile through the pain, and feel joy for her …… and for Son #4.
Because that’s what you do, when you want life to move forward.
And when you want to choose joy.
I’ve been able to keep the pain in check, to ignore it …… until now.
I made it through Son #4 asking me for my blessing before he asked her to marry him.
I did feel the missing of Jim at that moment, but I also felt the love and pride and joy for both of us.
When we found the perfect dress for her …… there was a moment when the tears flowed because he should’ve been there. Damn it, he SHOULD have been there.
But, as with so many other times, the tears were dried. Because …… simply …… he wasn’t. And he won’t. And that’s life.
The next time she wore the dress, for her first fitting, there were no tears. Truthfully, I didn’t even think about feeling sad. Because we were busy, making sure the dress would be adjusted …… and fitted …… perfectly.
And this weekend, for her last fitting, it did. She looks beautiful. I can’t wait to see Son #4’s face when he sees her.
And maybe because it was just me with her, but this time …… this time I felt his absence. And I’ve felt it ever since.
When no one is around, I can let the mask slip …… and the tears flow.
Interestingly enough, I’m on a plane, heading back to Texas as I write this.
Not caring that the tears are flowing next to a stranger.
He probably thinks the movie I have on is a tear jerker.
Which is probably for the best.
For him. 😊
There are less than three weeks until the joyous day.
Three weeks to let the tears come.
Three weeks to feel the missing of him.
Three weeks to grieve his absence …… to wish he were here.
And then …… then it will be time to choose joy.
Janine, My heart aches for you. I welcome you to TX. Love to see you while here if it works. What an amazing love you have for Jim always and forever.
Thank you, my friend. I love you and am so glad that we have re-connected. Thank you for sharing this with me. My heart hurts, but friends like you help. Very much.
As always, your words are so beautifully written. My heart aches for you. I know what a heart breaking, bittersweet, joyful, mixed emotion day it can be. Will be thinking of you all over the next few weeks. Love you. Very much. I’m always just a text or phone call away.
Thank you, Beth. I love you.
I’m so happy for Lauren, but I’m sorry things will not be as they should be. I do know she will be surrounded by love on her special day and that Jim’s influence and presence will be felt by your family. Love you.
Thank you, Lee. Thank you for your loving words and thank you for your love.
I love you.
Wrapping you in love and hugs…oh, those firsts. 😘
My heart is heavy for you, Janine. Your friends and family will be lifting you in prayers and love in these days before, during and after the wedding. Holding you close. Always love seeing pictures of Jim.
Thank you, Vicki. I know I can count on you.
I love you and can’t wait to see you!
May love surround you and your family on her special day and Jim’s presence felt. Peace & strength.
My dad passed when I was 13 and on my wedding day i made the walk alone as well. I felt my dads presence. I carry him with me in my heart. Always.