She wanted a wedding at home, in our childhood backyard, and she got it.
We dressed in the house and walked out, into the warm September day, with a yard full of over two hundred guests. I was one of eight in my sister’s wedding party. I’d watched her, for over a year, plan the wedding of her dreams. I felt the frantic moments and the months leading up to the big day. I felt the happiness of my big sister, the wedding planner in her, trying to manage things as the date drew closer.
I had no problem with my spot as one of several bridesmaids. I preferred to blend in with the group. The dresses were burnt orange, but I could no longer see this color that suited the start of the autumn season. I did what I could do to feel a part of the festivities and to show my congratulations. I used words that were my everything since losing the ability to see colors. I wrote a speech, and I was proud of that speech. It made people laugh, and I pointed out the fact that she was ending up marrying a man with a last name even harder to pronounce and spell than her own already was.
life isn’t always what you imagine
I am in my thirties now, and my life is nothing like I thought it would be when I was eight. I lived in a house with my sister until she met the man who she would marry on that hot September day. I’ve had a few relationships, close calls I suppose, but now I live life on my own.
That wasn’t how I saw things growing up. I saw what I assumed I would one day have. It was just what you did, what my mother and her mother did before me. You grew up, you met someone, and you got married. I heard the stories of my grandmother’s marriage. I flipped through the square shaped wedding album in her living room, with the close-up photo of my mother, as a new bride, veil surrounding her face. I stared at that picture, while faces were still visible to me. I wondered about my own album, long into the future.
I didn’t take into account the difficulties in dating when you’re blind, in even the simple missed act of first eye contact with a man who might someday stand at the end of an actual aisle. I couldn’t imagine what my dress might look like, no matter how much I watched Say Yes to the Dress and tried hard to picture myself walking down that aisle, all eyes (that I could not see) on me.
I have wondered what my dream wedding would be. I lost the sight I had as a child and colors were lost to me. I would have no real clue about choosing colors, but I have all the music mapped out. I lost the guy and the dream I had, but I still have dreams that grow and evolve everyday.
looking forward and looking on
I now battle with my fear of ending up alone, of missing out on love, and on having nobody in the end. I see a possible future of me, as an old lady, with cat on lap, writing probably.
But in the years to come, I also see myself achieving things I couldn’t have guessed at as that young girl. I am farther along in my writing than I ever could have predicted ten years ago. I have traveled exciting new places and written beautiful things. I have started learning to play an instrument, the violin, in my thirties, bucking all studies that say learning something so difficult at a later age is nearly fruitless. I have nieces and nephews I am thoroughly enjoying watch grow up and being an aunt is the biggest honor of my life.
I’d imagined a destination wedding for myself, because I love travel so much. I’d always envisioned one giant party, people all actually showing up for me, and I’m requesting a quiet room, adjacent to the hall of loud music and people. There are all kinds of weddings, for all kinds of people, and I haven’t ruled it out.
Being blind makes all this more complicated, but not impossible. I’ve seen it. I can’t say how my tale will turn out, but there will be magic and wonder to look back on when I’m nearing the end of the story.