Yesterday was my 27th wedding anniversary. Since that time, I have attended many weddings. I’ve heard horror stories about mothers, fathers, and other relatives demanding that so and so NOT be invited or they will NOT come. What they fail to realize is that the wedding is NOT about them, it is about the bride and groom. The person who objects to other people they personally dislike attending isn’t punishing the bride and groom. What they do succeed in doing though, is making themselves look petty and childish. I’m sure that many brides and grooms do give into these types of demands, which is unfortunate.
My family, like many had estrangements, divorces and the like. I had three siblings at my wedding, but only had two come. The other one was too far away It’s a shame. It would have been the only time since I was a toddler that my mother would have had all four of her children together. The next time we four were together was when my oldest sister was dying.
I was denied the presence of a niece and nephew because my sister was separated from her husband and they were with him. He refused to let them come. That did cause me pain. I adored them.
But, let’s move on. At the time, I had not seen my dad’s brother and sister in five years, since my grandmother died. I greatly loved my aunt and uncle. I knew that Dad was NOT speaking to his brother and there had almost been legal action between them. I actually have the letters passed between lawyers in which they threatened each other.
As far as I was concerned, this did NOT affect me. I heard that later, my dad had glumly said when he found out that his brother had been invited was “It’s HER wedding. She can invite whoever she wants.”
Graciously, my aunt and uncle and their spouses came. Two cousins came as well. I was thrilled. My dad’s branch of the family was willing to be there because I wanted them there despite the bad blood between my dad and uncle.
To this day, I am touched. It was a big thing to have them there, and they did NOT disappoint me.
Another person I invited was my sister in law, who was divorced from my brother. I loved my brother, but I also loved my sister in law.
I wanted her there. So I invited her. My parents had wanted her there, too. So, she came, with my niece and nephew in tow. I was thrilled that she had thought enough of me to come despite being divorced from my brother.
Twenty-seven years later, I have begun to realize the unusualness of people going to a wedding knowing that their ex spouses or estranged family members were also invited.
This year is a sad year. My husband and I are not together this day.
His father passed away this week, and my husband has gone back home for the memorial service. While I am sad that we didn’t celebrate our anniversary today, I know that he is where he needs to be.
Because of his military career, there haven’t been many anniversaries that we have had together. In recent years, we’ve been fortunate.
Today, I am torn. I miss my husband, but I am sad about my father in law. He had Alzheimer’s. In his last years, we had a special bond, and even when he was out of it most of the time, when he did come to, he would say one thing to my husband when he would fly to California and visit his dad in the nursing home : “Tell Judy that I love her.”
By then, I am sure that he had no idea about the events that had transpired to make us close, but one thing he DID know. He loved me. Because of this, he made sure my husband knew and told me.
In the end, isn’t that what life is about? Love?
My life has had lots of pain where family is involved. But one thing I do know. I have family members that love me enough that they overlooked resentments, childish behavior and wrong doing to be at my wedding for me. This is what stands out to me the most of all.
May I live up to their example.