Here I am embarking on one of the most exciting times of my life: Planning my wedding. I have been dreaming about this day since I was a little girl. But in all of my imaginings, you were always there.
I would be putting on the finishing touches of makeup, and you would walk in and see me, for the first time, not as your little baby girl, but as the beautiful woman you raised. A tender smile would dance with the small wrinkles around your mouth and your eyes would sparkle with joy and tears.
You would take me by the hand and embrace me and a photographer would capture the raw emotion of the moment so that I could look back on it forever.
You would lead me down the steps and to the car where you would ask me how I was feeling. I would answer only with a small, nervous laugh. We would arrive at our destination and you would whisper to me, “This is it, Pumpkin.”
We would take small steps and your arm would stay wrapped in mine, securing me in my place as the winds of change would attempt to sweep me off of my feet.
And we would walk down the aisle together. The sounds of the Spanish guitar strumming somewhere in the distance and my gaze entirely captured by the man we were nearing. I would finally catch my breath and my balance. And you would know I was ready.
You would lift my veil and all of our childhood memories would pass between us in that one moment. And you would lean into me and whisper, “You will always be my baby girl, no matter what.” securing the final safety net you always made sure was there.
The officiant would ask who was giving me away, and you would respond that you were along with my mother.
The moment would come too quickly where I would leave that altar, but not with you.
Words are incapable of capturing the exact feeling of knowing none of this will come true. I will not walk down the aisle with you because you are no longer here to fulfill that duty.
I want to scream at the top of my lungs to God and beg him to send you back down to me for just this one day. I just want my daddy to come back home.
But, you already are home, aren’t you?
I know God only gives us what we can handle. In this moment, I could not agree with Mother Teresa any more when she said, “I only wish you didn’t trust me so much.” After all, I am only human. I make mistakes. I have regrets. My life is a stained-glass window, a collage of beautiful broken images held together by my faith in the idea that everything happens for a reason.
Perhaps, I won’t see the twinkle in your eye. But I will see the twinkle in my own which you would always tell me were the most beautiful eyes you have ever seen.
Perhaps, I won’t hear the laughter in your toast when you wish us the best of luck. But I will hear my own laughter which you would always say was the most beautiful sound in the world.
Perhaps, I won’t have you by my side as I go down that aisle. But I will have the music to carry me forward and that is a bond we will forever share and I know that in every single note struck on those guitar strings, that is you.
In the end, perhaps I won’t walk down the aisle alone at all.