Mother of The Bride

On Facebook for Mother’s Day tons of my friends are posting pictures of them and their moms from their wedding day. And for the first time in this whole process, I got really excited.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to get married. But when you get engaged a year and a half out from your wedding, it can be hard to maintain excitement all the time. To be honest, I was starting to worry that I was a weird bride….until I logged into Facebook this morning and saw all those young brides and their happy mama’s posed in various states of wedding day bliss.

I started to tear up, imagining what that moment was like for each girl. The one in just her veil with jeans and a button down shirt (don’t want to mess up the hair) holding glasses of champagne. Were they nervous?  The picture of the girl and her mom as she is about to walk down the aisle. What was her mom whispering to her? The party shot of mom and daughter dancing. What song was playing? Was it their song?

I imagine that on the day of my wedding, my mom will be the rock she has always been for me. She will be the person that keeps us all smiling if the hair and makeup people are running late or the limo to the church breaks down. Because that is what she does. When things are bad, she smiles, and she finds reasons to be happy. And she encourages me to do the same.

I’m lucky that I’m basically a carbon copy of my mother. I used to not think this was a good thing. I think we all try to rebel against the inevitability of being our parents. But I’m lucky that I had such an amazing role model.  I think I have a little less of her Pollyanna outlook than she would like me to have, but that’s just my father’s pragmatism kicking in as I get older. But I have her patience, I have her can do attitude (most of the time), and I can only hope that I have half as much of her compassion and kindness.

When my fiance and I were picking a verse for our wedding, we went through all the obvious choices including, of course, 1 Corinthians. To be honest, while it is a beautiful verse about love and what love is, we were looking for something that meant a lot to us. We ended up with the same verse my parents had at their wedding, Ruth 1:16.

But in re-visiting 1 Corinthians, it seems more appropriate for Mother’s Day than for any other occasion. Read it again and think about the time you vomited on your mom’s favorite blouse, think about all the terrible school plays she smiled during, the ballgame’s in the scorching heat that she enthusiastically cheered through, the tears and snot she wiped with her other favorite blouse, the money she spent on your braces and not on buying a new favorite blouse…..your teenage years….

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Mom and Young Becky Easter

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

 

“Me” Time , Part I

When I was a kid and my mom would hear me wake up from a nap, unless I cried, she would leave me alone for about 20 minutes. She said that I really needed that time to be awake and by myself. And that if I didn’t have that time, I would be cranky for the rest of the day.

When most people hear this anecdote, it doesn’t make sense because I’m a pretty social person. My best friend used to say it was like I was perpetually running for homecoming queen. But whenever I would call my mother from New York upset, grumpy or sad, she would, in her infinite wisdom, ask me when was the last time I was alone.

In New York, that isn’t a silly question because in New York, you are NEVER alone. You live with other people so you can afford to live there. You work with other people, you go to work with other people, you walk with other people, you are surrounded by other people. It is very hard to get some me time.

In Los Angeles, it is different. You are alone a lot more. In your car, there are a lot more jobs where you can work alone (editing, writing..etc.) and more people can afford to live alone. With my fiance’s travel schedule, I am alone more than I was in NYC and yet, it isn’t enough.

See it isn’t about “I’m alone, now it is me time”, it’s “I want me time NOW”. Sometimes “NOW” is not when you want it to be. Last night, I just wanted to zone out and binge on “Scandal” (I’m in the middle of the 2nd Season!!) but he came home from being away for a day and wanted to talk. It was sweet. And I have to say I felt guilty for wanting to punch him for not letting me zone out and forcing me to pay attention. I couldn’t yell at him or get mad. I turned off the TV and tried to make the conversation as short as possible (which is totally unlike me).

Then, as I was nodding and smiling about a podcast he listened to on the plane, I thought “Oh God, this is my life from now on”. Then I thought “I am a selfish person”. This last thought is the one that freaked me out the most. Yes, I know I have selfish tendencies, and I can also be self centered. But never has it revealed itself as much as it did in that moment. This gorgeous moment of him really wanting to connect and me being totally annoyed and thinking about how in the world Olivia Pope is gonna get out of this one!

It’s not as if he is always around. Or even that when he is around he is always demanding my attention. Which makes my reaction even worse!

Whenever I think of sacrifice in marriage, I think of the big stuff. Moving because of the others job, giving up something you love to better the life of your spouse, taking care of a sick spouse etc…
It never occurred to me that sacrifice is something that happens in small ways on a daily basis. Sacrifice is giving up something for the other person’s benefit, whether it is giving up your seat on the couch or having Chinese even thought you feel like Mexican.

As my exhausted fiance fell asleep last night, I had a terrible headache, and as I am wont to do late at night, I immediately began to think about all the horrible things it could be. My mind wandered to a conversation I had about the left brain vs. the right brain. And I just had to tell him.

And this bone tired man opened his eyes and started to have a conversation that eventually lulled me to sleep.

I am a monster.

Marriage, Mortality and a certain CBS sitcom

There are very few TV shows that my fiance and I must wait to watch together. Breaking Bad was one. Mad Men, House of Cards and….this final season of How I Met Your Mother.

I came to How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM) late in the game. It is my fiance’s favorite show and he forced me to watch the first season that he had on DVD. And, as I predicted, I hated it. I hated what a wuss Ted was and how we knew RIGHT AWAY that Robin wasn’t the mother but we would waste 8 years on Ted’s love for her. I told my fiance that I’d given it a shot, but no thanks.

Then I went away for a month. One of my best friends and I drove cross country one summer. It was the greatest, most awesome trip I’ve ever gone on and one that was 10 years in the making. But somewhere around Amarillo, Texas, I started to miss my fiance…..so to feel closer to him, I started Season 2 of HIMYM …..and I was kind of curious what would happen to Lily and Marshall. By the season 8 premiere that fall, I was all caught up.

*Warning spoilers ahead*

With 4 episodes left in the series, last night’s episode turned the show on it’s ear. With certain well placed comments, glances and tears, it seems that we have met the mother only to have her taken from us….yea, she’s dying.

The episode has a middle aged Ted telling his middle aged wife about the day of Barney and Robin’s wedding. There were moments where the two got choked up and said things like “when moments are too heavy, you distract yourself with nothing”. And the wife urging Ted to not be the guy who lives in his stories “life moves forward”, she says with tears in her eyes.

By the end, I was a sobbing mess. Because she’s going to die. We have wanted Ted to find love for so long, he’s struggled and he found her and now she’s being taken away too soon.

And then I looked at my fiance. And I realized the thing that you know as a logical person but don’t really think about until you love someone so much….he is going to die. And so am I. (I know……this is not even close to a funny post about “first looks”).

And unless we die as I would like, together in our sleep at age 90….one of us will go before the other that though made me sob harder. What have I gotten myself into? I mean, we’ve been together 3 years and I know that  I would be destroyed…what will another 20 or 30 years of life with this man do to me?

Love is a tough thing. It is something that we all want and that we strive for, pray for and hope for, but ultimately, it causes the most pain somewhere along the line.

So why do we do it? Why do we seek love, find it and hitch ourselves to someone for 50 years only for the risk of them leaving or dying to be right there in the background, waiting in the shadows. Why not just keep everyone at arm’s length and live happy solitary lives?

I guess it is because the moments we have with the people we love are so much better because they are there; the highs are higher and the lows aren’t as low.

Don’t get me wrong. It ALL terrifies me. Loving someone so much that them being gone would ruin me. Depending on someone so much that their absence will leave a huge gaping hole in my heart and life. But the other side freaks me out too…never loving someone that much, never experiencing that and never having that person…being alone. It’s something that I struggled with every so often when I was single. Loving and losing or never loving at all? Back then it was such an abstract thought, simply an existential argument. But now there is a person attached to it, a face, hands, a heart, a smile, a laugh…and clearly I made a choice.

But even when it was a theoretical exercise…it wasn’t that hard of a choice for me. To quote Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias:

“I’d rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special”.

Personally, I’d rather have a lifetime of wonderful…but when you are a diabetic Julia Roberts and want a baby these are apparently your only options.