At the rehearsal dinner I sat across from the bride's father. The bride sat down and said "Hey, Pops!" On the eve of the happiest day of her life, I could tell she was happy and her dad was just beaming with pride.
Then this awful thought popped into my head:
"I wonder what she would feel like if I told her she'd find out that in just over 3 years her dad, the man who would be walking her down the aisle tomorrow, would turn out to be an alcoholic, relapse out of rehab twice, be getting divorced from his wife, sell his home, lose his job, and essentially lose all of his family through that process?"I, of course, would never wish this on her. I just had a moment of reflection of me and my dad at my wedding. I told Jay that I had that thought last night, and that if someone said that to me 5 years ago I would have bet my life that they were full of "it".
I looked at her and I saw the bride that I once was. Weddings are so happy and full of joy. They bring two people - the bride and the groom - together as one. They also bring two families and a lot of friends together in this joyous occasion.
I looked at her and prayed that she would never go through what I have gone through the last 2 years of my life.
I looked at her and was sad, for the bride that I once was. The bride who's father who walked her down the aisle with tears in his eyes....who she now doesn't speak to anymore.
I looked at her and wanted to cry a bit, for the memory of the man that my dad once was. The man I grew up knowing and loving.
And then at their amazing reception...I saw something that really made me want to run off and cry:
A grandfather dancing with his granddaughter. Hunched over, holding her tiny little hands as they danced together. My dad has yet to meet his one and only granddaughter, and he will not be meeting Squishy either, unless he turns his life around.
The bride also danced to the song "I Loved Her First" by Heartland which was part of my father/daughter dance song too. It made me remember how much I loved my dad on my wedding day. Those memories are all I have left of him.
All I can do is pray that one day that man returns into our lives.
I'm not trying to be a buzz-kill after and amazing weekend. I have a ton of wonderful, happy, joyful news and pictures to share. But this was on my heart and sometimes I wear my heart on my blog.