The Mother of the Bride by Patty Lien
This is a wonderful story written about my Mother attending a wedding a of good family friend. Thanks Patty for writing it!
Dorothy has been a major part of my life since I was born. She has as well, been a part of the lives of my children. My parents were best friends to Dean and Dorothy; and they built their retirement homes side-by-side. My parents passed away young, and my husband, children and I, ended up being neighbors to Dean and Dorothy. It was Dorothy who hosted my own first bridal shower, and it was only natural that she was included in my daughters wedding preparations and celebration. She had watched her grow all the way from birth through college.
On the day of my daughters, Kelly’s wedding; the gals at Dorothy’s care center took special preparations in dressing her and fixing her hair. All the while, she apparently told them about the wedding. At the Catholic ceremony, Dorothy, who is Lutheran, wanted to receive communion. And she did…not only from the priest, but from each of the four others distributing communion to the congregation as well. Right down the line she went, getting a Host from each of them. And, as she turned to walk back to her pew, with her son Scott helping her navigate; she smiled and bestowed the “Queen Elizabeth” wave to the entire congregation as she passed. She visited and shook hands all the way back down the aisle.
After the ceremony, I went up to Dorothy and greeted her, “You look so pretty today Dorothy”, I said. “Did you enjoy the ceremony?” Without missing a beat, she advised me that, “Of course I did. I’m the Mother of the Bride. Aren’t my children beautiful? I love my children.”
To me, that was one of the “beautiful moments,” of the day. Reality isn’t for an Alzheimer’s patient, necessarily what we perceive it to be. She was happy. That was her reality. The wedding was about love. Being loved, loving others, and sharing a moment with those people in your life that you love. It did not matter that she was confused about which people were her children. She had known each one of them since the day they were born. But in that brief moment, when she was happy and celebrating…she knew she was a Mother. She was a Mother who loved her children, and that made her happy. This is what makes it a beautiful moment. Her reality was complete. She was surrounded by those who made her happy, safe, and loved.
And, if this is your reality at that moment…and you aren’t the Bride…you may as well be the next best thing!