11.29.2007 - An Empty Chair For A Full Day of Love

Di had planned my wedding for years in her head, I'm sure. 

"When did you tell me your getting married?" "Do you have a date set?"  "What can I do to help?"

Di was on the marriage track probably from the very beginning of that first meeting of me introducing Ken to her and Jerome.  She was my marriage cheerleader over the years. I also knew Ken was the one for me; my soul mate.

In the months leading up to the wedding, Di was adamant about wanting to be there for me and I was so happy that she wanted to be there.  She looked at the many pictures of dresses with me in magazines, we talked about colors and possibilities and shoes and hairstyles that I should have for the big day.
Then back in the late summer of 2007, we went shopping for my dress.  She was so excited.

I'm so sad knowing that she never will get to see her girls try on their own wedding dresses someday when they approach that time in their lives.

It was the first time ever in my life that I had tried on a wedding dress.  We walked the long aisles of the white and cream colored dresses, Di had her cane with her but she was not totally reliant on it, in fact she used her cane as a tool that day to sort through all the hundreds of dresses.  Each one of them had their own special personality, their own style.  Upon the first sweep of pulling hangars, taking first glances and standing on my tippy toes in my perusal I just could not find the "one".  I kept saying no, no, no, no.  I remember glancing at one particular dress but Di had her eyes on the poofy dresses and the princess dresses even though I remember specifically saying that I did not want to even look at those.  She told me several times that I will never get the opportunity to try on dresses again and she just wanted to "see" what the dresses looked like on me.  So, I obliged her of course.  I could never turn Di down.  She had that convincing way about her.  I can't remember how many dresses I tried on that afternoon, it was a lot.  I stopped counting after the third sweep of the store when I finally grabbed that ONE dress that in the initial sweep I had seen but never picked up.  I pulled it from the rack, it was heavy and long but no train, just a long trailing chiffon scarf and it was beaded from top to bottom, sleeveless but it had a collar that went around the neck.  When I pulled it out, Di said "I Love That One, Cath".
Well, that was the ONE after all.  But, I know that we had to do all that work to get to "that point" on that day.  This is a day that I will forever cherish.   A day that Di and I were free from the ugly green cancer monster, we smiled, we laughed, we were looking forward to the future and I was looking forward to having Di with me on my wedding day. Afterward, we went to the Cheesecake Factory, had dinner and Di bought lots of desserts to take home.  It was a wonderful day.

Unfortunately, Di could not come to our wedding and it broke my heart; but I knew that it was breaking Di's heart more than mine.  Her health was not treating her well in the fall of 2007.  Di gave so much to so many so often and I think that her body needed to take a break and her not taking the trip was indication that she needed a rest break.  I had always wished that she would be there for me, to keep me focused, to keep me on track, to help to guide me, to hold my hand as I walked through the sand in my heels and to be the one that I would peer over to as she stood there as witness to our beautiful bonding on our wedding day.  I know that Di felt bad for not being able to come but I told her that I understood; because I really did deep down inside understand.

She was a part of my wedding, even though  she could not be there; it was a small wedding and there were only four chairs set up on the beach, one for Ken's mom, and three other chairs that I designated in my mind as one specifically designated for Di, one for Ken's uncle Jimmy who had his own health issues that morning and was devastated that he could not be there and one for my sister, Nancy who is always in my heart.

Three years later, today I celebrate that day that I made the commitment to my husband and I am sure that Di is smiling down on us today and wishing us happiness forever.


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