THE BIG DAY
This couldn’t be happening, I told myself, as, in my underwear, I
paced the upstairs hall in Grandma’s house between my aunt’s old
bedroom and the bathroom. It was the afternoon of September 10, 2005. In
the yard, I heard strains of music from the string duo my father hired
for the occasion and the chatter of arriving guests. Soon the ceremony
would start. Would I have to walk down the aisle on my father’s arm in
my underwear? Where was my sister–in–law, Kathleen, who agreed to be
matron of honor?
She was probably still at the motel with my brother, Andy; their two
sons, Dylan and Tristan, ages eight and six, who were to be ushers; and
their two–year–old daughter, Isabella, who would serve as flower
girl. Not only were we missing ushers and a flower girl, but my dress
was with Kathleen at the motel, or so I thought. Why wasn’t she here?
The front door banged, and to my relief, I heard the excited voices of
my nephews and niece.
“Go out back, and don’t mess up your nice clothes,” Kathleen
called before rushing up the stairs to greet me.
“You have my dress?” I asked, noticing she wasn’t carrying a
“No, it’s right there on the bed,” she said, pointing to somewhere
I couldn’t see.
With my limited vision, I could only make out people and objects close
to me, and in the heightened emotional state of any bride–to–be, I
hadn’t thought to look closely for the dress. I’d been pacing the
floor and wringing my hands for twenty minutes, wondering where it was,
and all this time, it was right in front of me.
“Just breathe,” said Kathleen, as she slipped the gown over my head.
That was easy for her to say.
Later, fully dressed, I sat on the toilet seat while Kathleen applied my
makeup. From the yard below, the string duo’s music and the din of
voices drifted up and in through the open bathroom window. When I was
ready, Kathleen said, “Okay, we need something old, something new,
something borrowed, something blue. Let’s see...”
While she wandered through the upstairs rooms, I made my way to the
ground floor, feeling anxious. The living room was deserted. Everyone
was outside, waiting. Just as I sat on the couch to compose myself, Dad
appeared and said, “Honey, they’re starting Pachelbel’s Canon.”
I leapt to my feet and called up the stairs to Kathleen, “Screw
something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.
Let’s do this.”
I took Dad’s arm, and we maneuvered through the living and dining room
and kitchen and out the back door. In minutes, Kathleen was at my side.
Isabella strolled down the makeshift aisle. “Oh, look,” said someone
in the crowd. “She’s dropping rose petals and picking them up again.
Isn’t that cute?”
I wanted to be annoyed, but she was only two. Still, I couldn’t help
wondering what else could possibly go wrong.
Finally, I heard the musical cue for my entrance. “Okay, now,” I
whispered to Dad, and we descended the back porch steps and moved down
At first, I didn’t see Bill. Was he still at the Mint Bar? Then, all
of a sudden, there he stood with his gray hair and sunglasses, wearing a
green suit to match my gown. He took my hand and said, “Hello,
sweetie. Are you nervous?”
As usual, his touch and voice were reassuring, and I smiled and said,
“No, now that you’re here.”
Nothing else mattered, not the lost and found wedding dress, the late
arrival of the matron of honor, the absence of something old, new,
borrowed, blue, the errant flower girl. After a long day of preparation
and celebration apart, we were finally together, unaware that tragedy
would change our lives in three short months.
WHAT IS LOVE?
Being warmed from within by another,
having someone with whom to share dreams,
a soothing voice that comforts you,
gentle hands that smooth life’s hardships,
strong arms that hold you close,
lips that bring you pleasure.
Love is a heart that’s yours forever.
Excerpted from "My Ideal Partner" by Abbie Johnson Taylor. Copyright © 2016 by Abbie Johnson Taylor. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.