48Posted: March 20, 2013 Filed under: cancer fatigue | Tags: cancer sucks, losing a spouse to cancer, losing mom to cancer 20 Comments
Apologies if you receive this post twice; something went wonky and the post disappeared. Here it is again.
On this day 48 years ago, an accomplished and driven schoolteacher from humble, rural beginnings married a confident, athletic Greek who was making his way in the petroleum engineering industry. The mother of the bride had passed away nearly 15 years before this wedding. The father of the groom, who had immigrated to the United States from Greece with limited funds and even less English in his vocabulary, died before being able to watch his son’s life unfold with his new bride.
That bride’s life was cut short, too. By cancer. Stupid cancer. While that bride lived to see her son and her daughter into adulthood and she welcomed and adored four grandchildren, her life–and her marriage–ended too soon. Stupid cancer.
That bride was my sweet mama, and I miss her dearly every single day. I’ve written about this topic in this space a lot. And I will continue to do so. I know my dad misses her every single day, too. He still refers to her as The Bride. In caps. I’m sure he’s missing her even more than usual today. Because today he should be celebrating with The Bride. They should be celebrating 48 years of marriage and a life full of happiness. She’d be laughing right now, recalling her simple wedding and her sweet pale yellow suit and pillbox hat. She’d be self-effacing about the number of years that have passed and the wrinkles etched in her face and the extra pounds settled around her middle. She’d be tempted to surrender the battle against the grey hair, but would continue seeking the ash-blonde color. And she’d be infusing our lives with her unique blend of meddling, hovering, and loving.
I really miss Barbara too. Cancer is stupid.
I know a Bride feeling the same way about her Groom. It really doesn’t get easier, does it? I imagine losing a limb might be similar in that it never gets easier to be missing a leg but you become accustomed to it. In those moments when I am missing my dad it hurts as much as it ever did; perhaps more since I was so emotionally numb when he actually died. The only change is I am no longer surprised by the immediacy and power of the grief. Instead it has become a companion, a fellow traveler on my journey through life.
I guess I’m not really helping.
Yes, I know that Bride is missing her Groom, too. The phantom limb analogy is a good one, Ed. And the idea of grief as a companion…that’s good stuff.
Happy anniversary, Barb & Leon. I can’t believe how much your father looks like your brother in these pictures. I remember being at their 25th anniversary party. They were such a good couple. Cancer sucks.
They really got to laugh at their wedding. What a blessing. I’m glad it was captured for them/you/us. Continue to endear us to them. I’ll put all of you in my shirt pocket andpatyouandloveyouandcallyournameGeorge. Doing it now.
They do look so happy, Wendy. My mom had a smile that truly lit up a room. I’m feeling pretty comfy in your shirt pocket right now. Thanks for the ride.
Sweet pictures. Of course I never knew your parents but I think it’s wonderful to see both of them in your face.
Awww, Marcie! Thanks. It’s hard for me to see it, since I just see me when I look at myself, so it’s nice to know that others can see traces of my parents in me.
What a beautiful shiny happy wedding photo. I am literally in tears reading this as you know how much my heart is aching at losing my own beloved mama.
I know, Marie, I know. I had the same feeling looking at the beautiful photo of your mum in your post on her birthday. I wonder if they know how beloved they are and how very much we miss them? My guess is that they wonder the same thing about us.
OMG…I love her outfit! The hat is so stylish. It’s a gorgeous photo of a happy, sweet couple. Cancer does indeed suck!
I do wish I still had her outfit and especially that hat!
you look so much like your mom!! 😉
Ha ha, Renn — I’ve always been told I favor my dad, and that his Greek genes dominate (they certainly do in my kids!). Thanks for the compliment! 🙂
Oh, Nancy. I am so sorry. Such joy and anticipation of a happy future together in those beautiful pictures.
Thinking of you today …
Thanks, Yvonne. They had 40 years together, and that’s a great run.
So sorry for the loss of your beloved mother and to your dad on the loss of his beautiful Bride. What a beautiful tribute you paid to her. Really to both of your parents and their marriage. What a legacy of love.
Thank you, Eileen. I hadn’t thought of it as a tribute to them as much as an outlet for me. Thanks for the perspective.