Wednesday. I wouldn’t say things were normal, but there we were doing our thing. Making lunches, commuting, working our jobs – all while waiting for whatever might be coming next.
At least 2 fighter jets passed over Ann Arbor that day. The windows shook, the ground rumbled, and each time, I held my breath, wondering if they were “ours” or “theirs.”
Jeff was dispatched on a late afternoon run. So, I went back to Hudson’s after work, hoping to complete my wedding outfit, or maybe find something… I don’t know… more traditional wedding-ish. I loved my gold skirt, but I knew the likelihood of finding something in a perfect match was slim.
In the formal, evening wear area, I quickly scanned the clearance rack, half-heartedly. I pulled an all-white suit from the clearance rack that was sandwiched in between those round markers that usually don’t accurately indicate the sizes that are housed there.
Amazingly, it was in my size. Even though the skirt wasn’t a style that would be attractive on me, the jacket-styled top looked like it might work. At $45 for the set, it didn’t really matter if I’d ever wear the skirt or not. The price was right.
Headed for the dressing room, a voice came over the paging speakers calling for a minute of silence, recognizing the fall the south tower a little after 5:20 PM on the previous day, September 11th.
I, other shoppers, clerks, we all stood silently. Most people just stopped where they were, doing what they were doing. For me that meant holding my find, and looking at the woman on the other side of the round rack.
That’s when the tears decided to come. When the minute was over, I smiled weakly at her feeling the need to explain. “I’m hoping it fits… for my wedding… in a few weeks…”
“A wedding!” she smiled kindly. “What a blessing!”
“I’m not sure how much of my family will be here now.” I sighed.
“They’ll come,” she said. “They’ll come.”
I turned and went straight to the register. I bought the suit without trying it on, and drove back to Jeff’s office building to wait for him to return. My eyes leaked fear and gratitude, despair and anticipation, for the unknown and the known; both, mourning and hopeful, as I planned for my happy-ever-after.
When Jeff was ready, he got in the car, looked at me and asked, “Have you been crying?”
I told him the story of the suit in the back-seat and the silence of respect that made me cry. I told him I’d have to try it on at home and see if it’s OK.
Mr. Agreeable said, “OK.”
After dinner, I went upstairs to change. I looked at the skirt, and I looked at the jacket, and thought this may not work, at all. On me, though, it didn’t look too bad. I went downstairs.
Jeff was on the couch, with his back toward the stairs, so I said, “Hey, what do you think? Does this look ok?”
He glanced over his shoulder, and threw his arm over his eyes.
“Arg! I’m not supposed to see the dress!” he exclaimed.
“Jeff,” I argued, “I need to know if this looks good enough. I’m running out of time.”
“You’ll always look good to me. If you like it, I’ll like it.” Jeff answered.
“Besides,” he continued, “The only thing I’m going to be thinking about your dress when I see it is how hard it’s going to be to get off of you.” I giggled.
“I’ll wait for my mom, then, I guess. Maybe ask your mom, too.” I said.
Without turning around again, Jeff drew an exaggerated hand across his brow, and muttered, “Phew. That was a close one”.
Quote for the Week:
Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:
What a Difference a Day Makes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmBxVfQTuvI