This process is a strange one. A whirlwind of activity. A torrent of planning. All leading to a one-day performance of a well-rehearsed show. That makes it sound disingenuous , but somehow it feels pretty authentic. It's a production, but it's one into which you're injecting your desires and personality and preferences.
There are plenty of days that you're so mired in the to-dos, you lose track of what you're even to-doing. You find yourself mindlessly pressing a stamp into gold ink. Tap. Hit paper. Repeat. You find yourself swimming in a sea of dish towels and cheese platters and ribbons you can't break during the un-wrap because they'll represent the babies you're supposed to have. You'll smile and say thank you to the avalanche of well wishes. You're not used to being in this position—there at the center with all eyes upon you. You do better as the one-liner sarcastic-remarker a the back of the room. The guest of honor isn't a role you've played in the past.
And in your unfamiliarity with the situation, everything will start to blur.
It'll come at you faster and faster until you've 48 days to go and you can't seem to keep the dishes clean because you keep getting new ones that need to be washed. Every weekend will include the smashing of boxes and discard of tissue.
But every now and then, you'll catch yourself in a moment and time will stop. The blur will sharpen and you'll remember what awaits you.
Driving in your car, you'll hear a disco song and your mind will wander to an image of yourself wearing the gorgeous gown, dancing on a parquet floor. You picture your nieces gathered around you, taking turns holding your hand, spinning, grinning from ear to ear. And suddenly, there in your car, you'll be crying. Sobbing in sweet anticipation of what's to come.
Or maybe you'll be buried under mounds of cards with veils and blenders on them. Thoughtful messages from caring women in your life. Wrapping paper and torn envelopes will surround your sandaled feet. And you'll get to a particular gift from your mom. A poem attached to a handkerchief with a small angel charm sewn to it. A message from your two grandmas who are no longer with you. A message channeled through your mom that could have been written by these two women as if they were sitting at the kitchen table all together. It'll stop you dead in your tracks. It'll fill you with love and longing. Gratitude for what you had in them and what you will have in 48 days with your new husband. And you'll wish so much that you could talk to them and see the joy in their faces during this time. But you'll feel them. And you'll know that when you dab your eyes on that day with that hanky, it'll be their hands wiping your face clean.
Things will continue to go in and out of focus. Surely, even after every single to-do has been done and every scene perfectly rehearsed, it will still feel like a blur. But those moments when the fog clears and the feelings are crisp—those are what will make it all worthwhile. Those are what will define this time.