Two families gathered, one with IU ties and the other with Purdue loyalists. All afternoon long, the big question was...what's the score?
My thoughts were very different. I woke up that morning in the house I had spent the last 10 years growing up in. My mom, six year old sister and I shared the morning, but it's all a faded dream now. I was raised in a very traditional Polish, Italian, Catholic family. Weddings were a huge event! Four friends, some from school others cousins, arrived late in the morning. We all dressed at my mom's house. My photographer was another friend of the family...he'd been a volunteer fireman with my dad and a neighbor for the past 10 years too. He arrived early and took a lot of candid photos. Number 16 would make my sister angry! What six year old wants someone to show her skirt up over her head as her mom pulls up her hose? Number 99 would bring tears to my eyes...just before Chris and I would leave the reception, very late in the evening, Eileen came to me and buried her head in my lap. She was crying because she was worried she was losing me as a sister. After all, my last name did change. The two of us were huddled in a corner of the hallway. My photographer found us and captured that moment. The tears I shed early in the day as my dad's mother came to me just before I walked down the aisle and said, "You look beautiful. Your dad would be so proud of you." were long replaced by the happiness that over filled that day. Just 17 months before my wedding, my dad had suddenly past away. He was young, just 52. It was such a shock. My wedding was really the first joyful event that brought the family together. Not only did it give my mom something happy to focus on and plan, it allowed the extended family to be involved and heal too.
Chris and I were barely together that day and night. We were in the same room, but always chatting, hugging, dancing, laughing, drinking with our guests. It was an over-the-top party. My mom out did herself. It really was the most perfect day. I don't mean to slight my brother in all this, but he spent that day with the groom. Since they arrived at the church when they were suppose to, I figured that were good.
Since my anniversary always falls near Thanksgiving, it's easy to pause and think of my blessings. Two years ago my mom passed away on our anniversary. She was surrounded by family; my sister and I both holding her hands and each other. I was thankful that my mom's suffering was over and that I could be there for her in that part of her journey. I was not very thankful that I had lost her on that day. In this world, when I look at the bigger picture, I am so very thankful that I was able to find my soul mate to share my life. Ups and downs, tough times financially and better times, births and deaths, simple joys and complex thoughts...I hope my children will be as blessed in their lives.
It's about time for IU to take on Purdue once again, in West Lafayette...I wonder what the score will be?