If it seems like I have a lot of ‘Dad’ stories, it’s because I do. Most resulted from his stubbornness, but some resulted from mine. Inherited, it seems.
Please, understand I’m not implying that my father ruined my wedding in any sort of way. Yes, at the time he frustrated me, but there ended up being so many golden memorable moments. These moments still make me shake my head. But, also make me smile. That is what is important.
Thank goodness we had a photographer that knew what she was doing. Again, I’d never done this before; hadn’t even been a bridesmaid, so I was clueless.
Before the wedding, Jeff and I went with her to a park to capture the fall colors. Then, back at the venue, (bar sounds so icky, now,) the pre-wedding shots continued: families, bridesmaids, groomsmen, groups and individual, first dances, and portraits.
By the end of our wedding festivities, I understood why we’d needed to take these close-up photos at the peak of appearances, and of course, what sort of things could go wrong at weddings.
I also am grateful I have dance pictures with my father, because, well… that didn’t go as planned, either.
Oxygen related, again, when it came time for the Son and Mother and Daughter and Father dance, I went to collect him. He made a request, which I denied. He wanted to dance right where we were. I did not want to dance beside the dinner table where he sat.
The song was not an unusual choice, which is why we chose it. It’s the kind of song most everyone associates with happy occasions. Neither of us realized that, after a while, life would change our happiness into bittersweet memories.
So, my Dad followed me to the dance floor without his portable. Akin to holding his breath, he lasted less than a minute then hurriedly scurried back to his chair, leaving me standing alone on the parquet. This was not quite the dance I’d envisioned.
I’m only guesstimating on the 60 seconds, but that seems about right based on what happened next.
I glanced toward Jeff. With his back to me, he and Sally were more talking than dancing. I realized without her wheelchair, she was struggling, too.
My now Father-in-Law (whom I wasn’t sure was truly my father-in-law, yet, because I wasn’t sure we were truly married, yet,) had been watching from the side. I was still processing that I had been necessarily abandoned, when he stepped forward, opening his arms. Suddenly, I was dancing again.
At about another 30 second mark, my Uncle Sheldon tapped Roger’s shoulder, requesting to cut-in. I was handed off, and continued the dance with the man who had managed to speed to the hospital faster than my father was able to get there from his job when it was clear I was about to be born.
These are precious memories, and sad ones, as well. I realize now, that it probably wouldn’t have mattered where we danced, because we already had professional shots. I just stubbornly wanted to dance on the dance floor with my father, next to my husband and his mother.
I can’t imagine what my father was feeling watching me finish the dance from the sidelines. I wish he hadn’t had to. I wish I’d have had as much of a dance with him as possible.
Quote for the Week:
Follow this Week’s discovery Links:
It is: Louis Armstrong’s Wonderful World Bio
They are: Precious Memories (I don’t know why my parents had a gospel compilation record, but I played it often. I’m not at all sure who sang this song on that record. Might have been Tennessee Ernie Ford, but Jim Reeves’ version sounds most like my memory.)
If I could do it again: Dance With My Father
Bonus: PS – I don’t believe Nannee was wearing her oxygen for her dance with Jeff, either.