Long ago, on a weekend of far, FAR too many activities I attended my cousin’s wedding on Treasure Island. It was a beautiful wedding as they go. Right on the beach. Great weather. Good food. Happy family.
However, as joyous as weddings can be, and most especially since my own wedding, they also hold a small spot of pain and anguish.
My husband sitting across from me noticed my dismay as tears came to my eyes and did his best – in his sometimes non-emotional women-are-from-Venus-men-are-from-Mars way – to comfort me. I excused myself to the restroom as soon as I could.
I collected my thoughts and stemmed the flow of tears after a few moments. It wasn’t too hard to repair the bloodshot eyes. I had only let out a trickle of tears when I really wanted to sob.
The cause of all this trauma? Childhood events. The father-daughter dance. My parents’ divorce.
The father-daughter dance at any wedding causes me a small amount of distress, but at this wedding, to see my uncle (my Dad’s brother) dancing with my cousin was almost more than I could bear.
I flashed back to my wedding where I danced with my father-in-law and where none of these wonderful members of my family had been allowed.
Unfortunately, in her dysfunctional and emotionally traumatic way, my Mom forbade my Dad from coming to my wedding. Arguing and pleading had no effect. I could have just insisted. After all, it was our special day – mine and my husband’s – not hers. In the end, I decided I really didn’t want my wedding to resemble an episode of Cops, and capitulated.
Later we had a 2nd wedding gathering with my Dad’s family. But that moment – the father-daughter moment – was lost to me forever.
After all these years missing that moment still has the power to hurt. My cousin, I wish you well. Never forget to be grateful for the moment you had.