Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 46

Saturday October 2, 2010

I didn't sleep much last night. I was overwhelmed by my feelings of happiness, joy, and gratitude for Eileen and Dave. Because of their love for our family and generosity, Nina was going to happily participate in their most sacred day. But then again...I was equally overwhelmed by my feelings of sadness and longing for all the things that Nina may never get to experience and subsequently that I may never get to experience. It is astounding how such polar emotions can co-exist, simultaneously pounding in my heart.

My brother Bruno and Michelle had arrived late last night. They, along with Larisa, were going to help us with the wedding today. All three of them were on photo patrol, with Larisa taking the lead. Larisa is an incredibly gifted photographer! She has captured some of the most amazing photos of my family during the past couple of months. I hope to repay her someday!!

Before breakfast, Eileen and I ran to the farmer's market and bought some incredible orchids and roses. When we returned, we had a lovely breakfast and proceeded to get ready. Adelae did all of our hair. The girl is beyond incredible. Not only does she get amazing grades, is incredibly gentle with her little cousin, is caring and giving, she is also a brilliant talent at doing hair! There is nothing this kiddo can't do!! Initially, Eileen had been a bit skeptical about my suggestion of having Addie do our hair but once she saw what she had done to mine, she knew she'd be in good hands. Sure enough, all three of us had gorgeous hair dos...then she turned around and did a spectacular number on herself! She is a rare talent indeed!

The girls with their pretty hair-dos preparing the flowers for Nina's basket.

Then the moment we had all been waiting for came....we got dressed. When Eileen pulled out her dress to show Nina, Nina's mouth practically hit the ground. She was speechless....Eileen's dress matched her flower girl dress! At the beginning of the week, Eileen had called me elated because she had found a second wedding dress at David's Bridal for $99 that matched Nina's. She had immediately bought it because she knew Nina would be ecstatic and also because it prevented her from having to shlep her lace wedding gown across the country a week before their formal wedding in Boston (10-10-10). Nina couldn't believe her luck and exclaimed, "We are twins!"

Beautiful, Happy Girls with Matching Dresses!

That's when the storm hit me. It was almost as if I had an out of body experience. I stood there watching myself with my daughter, helping her get into a gorgeous satin white gown, lifting her hair out of the way so I could fasten a flawless silver necklace. It was simultaneously a wonderful gift but also a curse. As I squatted down to help Nina put on her ballet slippers, I became completely overcome by a flood of emotions. This should not be my only opportunity to dress my daughter in a bridal gown and bridal shoes.  I felt dizzy...and hot...oh so hot! I looked up at Nina, willfully commanding myself to not cry and told her she was spectacular...the most beautiful girl in the world. Then I excused myself. Quietly and quickly I walked up to the upstairs bathroom and closed the door behind me. I was other word can describe what I was feeling. I have always understood from a clinical perspective why people cut themselves but I had never understood it from a human perspective...that is until that very moment. I stood there, drenched in so much pain that I actually opened a counter drawer and put my hand in it. I hurt so badly!! I finally understood why people hurt themselves...they just want to displace the pain somewhere else. That is what I wanted...I wanted the pain in my heart and soul to go somewhere hand. I stood there quietly for about a minute, actually contemplating slamming the drawer onto my hand. In the end, I am too big of a weenie in terms of physical pain and did not want to have to spend the rest of the day with a wounded hand. I instead prayed for unyielding strength. I did not want to lose it in front of the kid or Eileen. This was Eileen and Dave's amazing day and gift to us and I wanted to make sure I only gave her my very best.

I composed myself and went back downstairs. I found Todd hugging Nina. He had the same deep sadness in his eyes as he told her she was beautiful. I knew what he was feeling...I was feeling it! We were both lost in the heartbreak of possibly never seeing our honey-girl fall in love and marry. For us, this could be as close as we would ever get to that day. Although we were humbled and so grateful for the opportunity, we were also demolished! There is just nothing we can do about it!

The wedding was incredible. We went to Hendry's Beach. Teddy had inquired if it was just the 10 of us and I can confirmed. He said he could totally handle that and be the ring man. What I failed to mention was that it was just the 10 of us at the actually ceremony...but we would be accompanied by at least 500 onlookers sitting at the adjacent restaurant or lounging on the warm sand :) Once we got there he said, " said it was just going to be the 10 of us." Todd and Bruno laughed. Oops!

Todd was suppose to officiate. I had a gnawing feeling that it was going to be incredibly difficult for him to do so, so I prepared a back up plan. Todd opened the ceremony in prayer. Nina was standing right by his side. She leaned on him and he brushed her long hair to the side as he began to talk about marriage. I could tell that he was overcome by his love for Nina and the significance of this day...not just for Eileen and Dave, but for all of us. Nina looked up at him. He was her first true love and he knew it! His lips were the first boy's lips she had kissed, his hand was the first boy's hand she'd held, she sought his approval for her beauty, he was her first dance at a New Year's party, and his were the first strong pair of arms she'd fallen asleep in. She smiled at him and he...he began to cry. It is excruciatingly painful to see your husband cry. I rubbed his back and tried to help anchor him. I continued, reading the words and vows I had prepared the night before. Todd and Nina held hands. When I announced Dave and Eileen as husband and wife and proclaimed that Dave could now kiss his bride, Nina shyly hid her face in her father's shirt. It was all completely priceless!!

Shy honey-girl!

It wouldn't be a complete Santa Barbara beach wedding without the cute surfer!

The rest of the day and evening was spent in bliss...I bossed everyone around with photos (Dave had the audacity to question some of my demands :) I knew he was golden...he can even keep up with my craziness and Todd's! Welcome to the insane family Dave! Now it's too late to run!), we had Palazzio cater dinner, Eileen and I danced in a ridiculous attempt to get Nina to boogie, we laughed, ate cake, drank champagne, and Teddy ran around saying, "You may now not kiss the bride!" to which Dave and Eileen kissed each time. Each time they kissed, Teddy would get a wicked little smile across his face before he scurried off into another room, returning mere minutes later to taunt the new Mr. and Mrs. Feldman for another PDA! Silly boy!!

Love is a grand thing....sometimes it takes a very long time to find...but if we are blessed enough to find it....we should never let go....we should only praise God for it!

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