This I Believe:
Wedding Day Advice
1974. October 19th. to be exact. Annapolis, Maryland. The Officer’s Club at our wedding reception was a small affair with just close family, friends and relatives. My older sister Ellen had made the dresses for herself and my younger sister, Gloria, in beautiful fall colors.
Can’t honestly say I remember every little detail of my wedding day with a photographic memory or with the literary talent to spew adjectives and adverbs to every sight and sound. But I remember some big things.
My Dad and I standing in the back of the church’s cavernous vestibule. Waiting. Fussing over hair, smoothing my wedding dress and dismayed at how cold the day had turned out to be. The silence did the talking for us.
My Mother’s advice to me on my wedding day was given during the reception I guess. Don’t remember the details. Just the words and how funny they seemed to me at the time
“You’re going to have to do some things you don’t want to do but you’re going to have to do them anyway.”
Humor being my defense mechanism, I repeated this advice often over the years with a laugh, a wink and the retort that “so far, everything’s been fine”. After the first decade or so the advice was passed on to my sons illustrated with examples like clearing the yucky stuff in the sink strainer, loving your brother even if he does terrorize you or sticking it out when a class got too hard.
Thirty four years after my Mother’s advice was first given, it is so clear that it had become a guidepost for my life. Through years as a Navy wife; back-breaking, soul wrenching family businesses; four pregnancies and three babies; thyroid cancer and CFIDS for me; a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease for my young husband and the death of my father, this advice summed up how to make it through the tough times. This I believe: You do what you have to do; what needs to be– has to be– done because you have to own all aspects of your life. The course of your life is yours to chart– the good, the bad and even the yucky food in the dish strainer.