Missing and Memories
It's been a hard weekend.
Not that anything bad has gone down - far from it. It's just that it's been a weekend of reflection.
Weddings can do that to you.
Maybe it's why I don't like them so much.
From the last two days of photos, you;re aware that I went to a wedding in Friday. The bride, Tori, is the daughter of my mother's best friend. Over the last forty odd years, I've spent weekends, Christmases, family functions and the like with this family. My "Aunt" and "Uncle" have been part of my family for as long as I can remember. They took me in when I was at university, spending many a weekend evening with them getting a feel of home when my mother was in Saudi Arabia. They've always been around. When in Adelaide, I've always made an effort to go and see them.
I've always said that if I was ever to get married, Uncle John would be walking me down the aisle - though I think that he'd have to fight my step dad for the job.
Not that I'm getting married.
Weddings brings out so many emotions. Being in my forties, partner-less and alone, I do keep telling myself that it doesn't matter - I'm fine. The bride was in her forties showing that there is hope. I wasn't going to be attending the reception on Friday. When I saw Tori a few months ago I said I'd make an effort to come to the ceremony, not expecting an invite. I was called the day before the wedding. My uncle rang - would I like to come to the wedding? There was a last minute cancellation - the seat was paid for. I was honoured to go.
At least now, after years of attending weddings, people no longer have the bad grace to ask you when it is going to be your turn.
I've asked myself that questions a few times over the weekend, but as it leaves me all too morose, I think of other things. I have a great life. I can do what I want when I want. I had a breakthrough after the gym about home ownership thanks to one of my gym buddies who's a mortgage broker.
Just keep looking at the positives and keep moving ahead.
The day was great. After leaving work early I raced home, showered, changed and went out to Werribee making it to the ceremony with about five minutes to spare. After saying hello to the folks and a couple of other family friends, I went and stood by Tori's brother, Toph.
Toph and I are different people. Barely seen each other in twenty years - Toph's lived all over rural Australia, he captain's fishing boats. A man of few words is Toph.
After the normal pleasantries and being introduced to his new girlfriend, we stood and waited for his sister and father to appear.
We looked at each other. Tears were streaming down both of our faces.
"I'm missing your mother." I mumbled to him.
My aunt passed away nearly two years ago. She should have been there.
She was there. We could feel her there.
Inside the door of the reception were the wedding photos from my Aunt and Uncle's wedding. My mother, in a younger incarnation, was smiling up the back, a newlywed recently back from her honeymoon with my father.
The candle was lit in my aunt's memory.
I don't think I have ever missed anybody in such a total manner until this day.
I think, maybe, for the first time in my life, I am experiencing what it is to grieve.