Some of you may not know this, but when I was four, my mother passed away of stomach cancer. Most of my memories of her surround while she was dying. Her name was Suzanne, and my sister and I never really knew her. My sister was only ten months when she passed.
We were very blessed that God brought a wonderful woman into our lives shortly after that, and while technically she is our step-mother, she has always been just mom to me.
I don’t wish that she was never a part of our lives, and as far as I am concerned she is my mother. But there will always be a part of me that wonders what life would be like if Suzanne hadn’t died. My sister and I have spent our lives being compared to her by relatives and friends of the family. We have always known that people mean well when they say it, but the truth is, it has always hurt.
But it’s the major milestones that hurt the most. Grade 8 graduation, my first boyfriend, high school graduation, college… and the hardest so far has been my wedding.
I’ve always wondered if she would be proud of me, proud of who I’ve become, or proud of what lies ahead of me. Would she like my husband? Would she have loved that my wedding so very us? What would she have said to me?
My sister got married last summer, and the thought of not having Suzanne at my upcoming wedding was one of the most painful things I had ever experienced. It’s been 23 years since she passed and the truth is, I still haven’t dealt. I don’t know how to.
When my sister got married, she found a way to bring Suzanne into the wedding. She used parts of Suzanne’s wedding dress to add to her own and made a birdcage veil out of her original wedding veil. I couldn’t think of how to tie her into my own wedding. Any alterations to my dress would have made it too much, and I knew nothing about veils or anything. I wanted a way to bring both Suzanne and my mom into the wedding and frankly, I didn’t know how.
A few weeks before my wedding, my mom approached me with an idea. She had a beautiful clip from her veil, and there was a lot of material left from Suzanne’s veil to make me my own, special veil and wristlets.
The veil was beautiful. It was the most amazing way to tie two of the most important women in my life into my wedding. It fit perfectly, and it was the most special thing in my wedding.
Something old, something borrowed, combined to make something new.