The most talented person I’ve known came yesterday to visit me: my cousin, Vania. She brought with her a wedding dress that she made for me. I have never tried on a wedding dress. My first marriage at 18 was at the courthouse. The second relationship never led to an altar and towards the end of the eighteen years I knew there would never be a marriage. It’s not that I haven’t been asked to get married…it’s that I have never found myself wanting to say “yes” and following through with it. Something in me always nudged and tugged and twirled inside with a knowing that it was wrong. Anxiety and fear paralyzed me with the thought of “forever” being a prison sentence. But, now standing in front of the mirror with this magical dress created for me I knew that I had been waiting for Matt all of my life.
Vania up-cycled this dress from my best friend’s wedding dress and an antique dress my mother bought for me many years ago. There, staring at the reflection in the mirror of a middle age woman feeling like a twenty-something girl I saw love and grace. The dress brings a mystical element to this marriage. There will be three strong women guiding me to the entrance of this union all threaded in this funky-hippie-like garment full of lace, joy and love.
I twirled around the room, bringing the bottom of the dress up like a fairy. I took off my socks, envisioning myself barefooted walking towards the gazebo in our retreat center, daisies in my hair, carrying sunflowers in a few months. I will be walking towards the one man who has accepted me in such a deep level, never wanting to change me, or mold me into a different woman, but has unconditionally loved everything about my goofiness, silliness, and sarcastic personality. He embraces the truth of me.
I am blown away at how Vania captured my soul in this dress. It is spiritually mythical in essence. I have never thought of me having any sort of wedding. I like simplicity. We will have a garden spring feast with close friends and family. I don’t want anyone dressing up. Those who are coming are meant to be here to witness the vows of two people who have been looking for one another until the perfect timing. Bobbie will be marrying us. It is a potluck celebration embellishing our harmonious gathering with those who love us.
There are people who don’t “get” our relationship. They can’t see past the differences. We are atypical in so many levels, yet the same in so many others. We both need space, alone time, as writers and creators. We can be in the same house all day and never feel the pressure of talking. Matt loves the military. I don’t believe in war or violence. He creates fantasy war games for a living. I would be creating unicorn-riding hippie girls saving the world if I knew how to make games. He likes heavy metal music. I prefer classical and Celtic instrumental melodies. I read self-help and spiritual books. He’s a history buff. I love vegetables. He’s a meat and potato man. I go to bed early and wake before sunrise. He is a night owl. But, here is the thing: I have never felt more understood and appreciated in my life. He respects me and each moment I walk into his presence his face lights up, almost as if saying, “There you are. I’ve missed you, babe.”
Standing in front of the mirror I imagined my mother smiling from Heaven. I could see her approval for such a simple righteous man in my life. There is no drama. Lord knows I’ve had plenty of it for a lifetime! There is a common ground of respect, laughter, sharing, and affection. I don’t think I’ve ever been loved this way…ever. With us what you see is exactly what you get. There is no guessing game. We can hike up a mountain and make an adventure of it. We can sit and watch a movie or read a book or just talk and it feels like home in a way I’ve never known. My spirit is comfortable and feels right.
A few nights ago my daughter, Matt and I watched a movie. I cry at every moving-sentimental scene. This big-tough guy beats me to it every time. He starts to wipe his tears before my daughter notices them. I rub his arm and his hair. I melt at his sensitivity. No one would ever know. He looks at me and I can feel his heart widening. I can feel the touch of spirit reaching in there and moving him through openness and tenderness.
As I stood inside this magical dress last night I was transported to my childhood, adulthood and future. Three women stitched together to bring me into a beautiful chapter of my life: Vania, Bobbie, and my mother. I will forever be grateful for my cousin’s love and creativity to have her as part of me on this special day. Thank you, my love! I am beyond humbled and honored with this divine gift.