(((((Hugs))))) to all who need them.
I am blessed to have both of my parents, although I think I said that.
What I decided to write in about this time was my best friend from High School (I'm 40 in Feb and we're still close friends).
She got married to her long-time boyfriend in 1990. It was a BIG wedding, and I was part of the wedding party - it was a lot of fun. I flew to Chicago from NY and hung out with her and her best friend from college (who I'd met numerous times before) for several days before the wedding. Her parents were SO thrilled, and her dad loved John. Both Lisa (my friend) and John are VERY family oriented people. Lisa's house was where we always hung out, and her Dad always said "Hi" and hung out with us for some time. Both of her parents were professors, and were just great people. Her Dad always cracked us up - he had that disease where you fall asleep in the middle of a sentence (doesn't matter whether you're sitting down or standing up) - and sleep for several minutes to several hours. He had a great sense of humor and would always joke about it himself.
The day of her Wedding came. I popped over there first thing in the morning, and of course everything was in chaos. Lisa's mom ran up to wake up her Dad because it was "getting late" - and he had passed away. It was so so sad. The death of a parent is always so difficult - but on your wedding day? Lisa and her mom, of course, was in tears. We all were. Julie (best friend from college) and I took over. With over 300 people coming and the massive "to-do" planned, we agreed with Lisa's mom - if she could go through with it, it's what her Dad would want. Fortunately her Dad's "assistant" of many, many years was a close family friend - kind of like an older brother (it was just Lisa and her little Sister). We all decided he should give her away.
We took care of everything there that needed taking care of. Lisa and John had rented several suites at a hotel downtown in Chicago (same hotel where the reception was being held later). They went to get dressed for the wedding, etc. Julie and I turned up later.
Lisa pulled it together, and we were ready to go. Julie and I took a cab together to the church - Lisa was supposed to follow in the Limo with her Mom and John's Mom. We're at the church, and Lisa's "older brother" makes the announcement to the whole church. It was a short, beautiful speach - and avoided wails by ending by saying that the family had decided to go ahead with the wedding as they were certain it was what Lisa's Dad would have wanted. So everyone's there, everything's ready - and we see the Limo pull up. We give the go signal to start playing the wedding march. Out of the Limo comes - Lisa's mom and John's mom - but no Lisa! THEY'D FORGOTTEN HER!!!! She realized it pretty quickly, and just a few minutes later (as we're all scrambling to call the hotel, track her down, etc.) she pulls up in a cab, runs into the church and shouts - ANYBODY HAVE MONEY FOR THE CAB? She didn't have a purse or money or.... it broke the ice and provided a much needed laugh.
It was sweet, but so sad. I've never asked, but I'm sure Lisa's anniversary celebrations are tinged with sorrow.
BTW - it was a beautiful wedding. After their vows and the kiss, Lisa spoke a few words about her Dad before they walked back up the isle. Her strength was incredible - although the whole place was in tears by the time she was done.