My younger brother is getting married this Saturday. He and his fiance have dated for four years and have wanted to get married since day one. They are innocent, sweet, and both equally into cute, nerdy stuff like steampunk.
This will be one of the last weddings on both sides of our families for a while. My whole immediate family is in the wedding; my older brother and Simon are groomsmen, my sister-in-law and I are bridesmaids, our kids and their cousins are ring bearer/flowergirls, and my dad is officiating. We have been anticipating this event for months and there will be 350 guests. My brother understands the timing of Simon’s diagnosis was out of our control. The range of emotions we are feeling as we balance this incredible time of joy and sadness is intense.
We are planning for Simon to not be there at all. We have to think that way so no one is disappointed and he isn’t pressured with expectations. If he is even there for a minute, it will be glorious. If we could get a quick family picture, it would be priceless. But his pain and energy levels are still very unpredictable. And I’m guessing wearing a black suit in 90 degree weather isn’t too motivating either. I may shove some ice packs down my corset – no judging.
God knew this would be a tough weekend. Simon has two friends from college coming out that didn’t even know the wedding was happening. They are ready to be his wing men and help him do or not do whatever he wants to do or not do. My dear friend who is a make-up artist has accepted the career challenge of her lifetime – to waterproof this face of mine. I’ll probably be strategic and watch The Notebook or some other tearjerker so I can dry myself up prior to the big day.
And to the folks attending the wedding: it’s my brother’s day. Hugs are warmly accepted but it’s not gonna be a good time to give me advice (especially the unsubstantiated kind) or ask 101 questions about Simon. Here’s a handy guideline for the event.
- Acting sad or weird around our kids? NOT HELPFUL.
- Dancing with our kids, especially our middle child? HELPFUL.
- Bringing me a second slice of cake or beverage refill? HELPFUL.
- Cornering any other family members to ask 101 questions about Simon? NOT HELPFUL.
- Telling me how awesome my waterproof makeup looks? HELPFUL.
- Bawling in front of me and telling me how awful what we’re going through is? NOT HELPFUL.
- Quoting things that sound like they’re from the Bible but aren’t really, like “God won’t give you more than you can handle”? NOT HELPFUL.
- Having the best possible evening with family and friends despite the current circumstances? HELPFUL.
Hope those guidelines are…helpful.
Congratulations, Brother. You weren’t the sister I was hoping for when dad brought us to the hospital to visit you for the first time, but I’m really glad you’re you.