Yesterday, three days before the wedding, I went to get a mani/pedi and ran into someone I haven’t seen in a long time. The reason she turned around was because the manicurist called my name, which happens to also be hers.
When she saw me she asked what’s new. I mentioned that my son Jesse is getting married in three days. Her eyes widened and she popped out of her seat. She was so excited, and gave me a piece of advice that I – of anyone – should already have been in possession of. But, in my haste and concern not to forget anything for the wedding, I wasn’t.
“It goes by so fast,” she said. Take a moment to take everything in, look into the eyes of the people you pass when you walk your son down the aisle, be thrilled and proud to stand under the chuppah with your family. Be present. Now this is a lesson I learned in spades when my parents died within three months of each other. There was no other option I could manage and still live with myself.
But this feels different, it’s a happy time, a beginning, something that will continue. There is no urgency. And therein lies my faulty logic. Where did I learn that tragedy requires full presence, when joy does not?
Her words hit me. My concern about my dress and shoes and handbag are small potatoes next to my child marrying, my new relationship with my daughter-in-law, the experience of witnessing love and marriage, being surrounded by those I care about most. Why would I, why would anybody, chose to be anything less than fully present?
With the awareness, I don’t think anyone would. Yet, taking in every second consciously without the metaphysical awareness of doing so, falls short. It’s too easy to get sidetracked. So, it is now my intention to take the weekend in slow-mo, starting with the rehearsal dinner on Friday. Frame by frame, step by step, one beautiful face at a time. This way the memories etched in my brain, my muscles, and my heart will forever remain. Just like when each of my children were born. It will be achingly magnificent and impossible to forget.
I shall report on the experience in the aftermath. I am curious about the guests, the music, the hora, the blessings. How can the same three days (two now) feel like a breath and an eternity away?