The day of my family bridal shower looked perfect from the outside looking in. My aunts had put together a wonderful breakfast/brunch setup on the outdoor patio, overlooking the Kansas plains. A warm breeze filtered through the portico, rustling the decorations that were so thoughtfully placed around the deck. The most insane cake I’ve ever seen sat on a side table, and the handmade ski slope complete with a snowboarder (aka me), alpine trees, and snow, showcased the talents of my sister-in-law. I’m pretty sure a pretty housewife in pretty rich suburbia would have dropped four figures on that badass piece of dessert.
I had purchased a white F*ck Cancer tshirt to wear with my white bubbly skirt. Once on, it was the tightest tee. You would have thought I stole it from a younger cousin, size 2T. Perhaps next time I’ll buy a larger size!! Luckily, I packed a couple of white tank top options. And the F*ck Cancer shirt went back in the tiny carryon.
Us girls sipped on mimosas outside, while we kept the guys inside to feast on their premade casseroles (ok they could have beer inside, too). Some of my mom’s closest girlfriends drove in from Tulsa, OK, and honestly after the night before, it was so comforting to have them there. The familiarity was much needed. If I was going to be anywhere today, I’d prefer it with family, I thought.
We all did our best to keep positive, and keep the focus on the upcoming wedding and catching up in general. Somewhere in the background, Jesse was trying to get my dad and mom connected on Skype.
And that my friends, is where shit got weird. I mean, a little. If my mom couldn’t be there in person, I damn well wanted to make sure that she could be included somehow. Once connected, we all sat down to chow on breakfast casserole, cinnamon rolls, and various other goodies my aunts had cooked up. That included my mom, who I placed in a chair next to me. Not weird at all. Her face, and her body, on my laptop, doing her best to stay engaged with the group, all while under heavy medication. Lots of repeating, and lots of huh? but it was perfect in its own strange way.
You really can only talk so long to a screen before it is just slightly awkward for the rest of the guests. I know it wasn’t ideal, but looking back now, I’m so glad I could do that for her. She had to understand we needed to eat, so we took a little break, and told her I’d call her back once the gifts started. The conversation went back to doing our best to avoid the inevitable, and we chatted weddings, farm life, shopping for new homes, etc. Anything to bring some normalcy to the situation.
With full bellies and a few mimosas later, we (I) opened gifts. I was able to mom back on Skype for some of it before she became pretty tired. We said our goodbyes, and kept the wrapping paper flying. I secretly always wanted one of those hideous bow bouquets, and I had one! Yes, you better believe I used it at our rehearsal!
I can’t remember when, but somewhere along the way, we decided that Jesse would drive back home, and I would ride back with Ryan and Kelly to Dallas AFTER THE SHOWER. That’s right. Jesse and I had literally just pulled in from Colorado the night before. And now I’m going to leave to go to Dallas the next day, and Houston the next. “Doesn’t matter. It’s mom,” I thought. From there, we’d get belongings together, and drive to Houston on Sunday to spend Mother’s Day with mom.
So, after we chit chatted with friends and family, had another mimosa, it was time to hit the road. It wasn’t ideal, and I would have preferred to stay and visit longer, but life happens. And you have to be able to roll with it. Or at least you try. Jesse and I said our goodbyes, and as he loaded my suitcase in the car, he said “go be with your mom.”
Off we went down the longest stretch of Kansas plain I ever did see.