It's funny. Growing up, I had quite an imagination to say the least. Once in the first grade I lied to my teacher and told her I had a sister who was getting married. Far from true- no sisters and not even close to one who ever got married. I was always dreaming and maybe even scheming. My parents liked it or at least didn't discourage it. It was a time when children still created forts out of sheets and couch cushions instead of watched t.v.. It was a time when we played in our neaighborhoods until the street lights came on and only checked in to eat or use the bathroom. No cell phones. No computers and we still listened to Casey Kasem every Saturday for the "top music" and hoped our songs were played and dedicated on the big countdown. Times were to say the least a little different.
The one thing, I haven't told you and most about my wedding is the absence of my father. My dad was my world..my hero...and I held him on a pedestal. It made it very hard for any man to compare 1/100 of his love. He was affectionate and complimentary. He held my hand when he drove, and told me I could do anything I ever dreamed to do, but most of all he taught me never to take anyone's sh*t and never to settle...and later that broke our relationship for I decided I wasn't settling for not having him in my life anymore and fought him tooth in nail when he chose another family over his first. But I love him and loved him. He died right before my 21st birthday while I laid quietly asleep in his hospital room one morning.
In the months before his death, he and I talked about what the future would hold and he tried to tell me he may not be there for my big life events like he had for most of my brothers'. I think he was wanting to show his sorrow for that and I never let him, because I wasn't ready at the time for him to give up on life...or me. One thing we did mention was my wedding. He had asked for my brother Andy to walk me down the aisle in his place...and Andy will in a month. I think we both know no one can take dad's place, but Andy and I have always had a very close bond. We've been through a lot together and both have great big hearts who would give anyone the world friend or foe.
I look for little ways to honor him and show that he is still my daddy especially on my wedding day. It's bittersweet losing my father's name which I have proudly owned for so long, and I never want anyone to think I do so easily. One way to show a tribute to him is I am attaching a locket to my bouquet with our picture in it so he can walk with me down the aisle. I am also leaving a seat empty for him closest to us. All of these were good for me. I never wanted to overwhelm anyone with dedications and I know he wouldn't want the attention away from James and I.
So now my story bring me to my wedding prelude. While I was picking songs for our cocktail hour, I came across a song that meant a lot to me and my dad. "Angel"by Aerosmith always brings a smile and most times a cry to me. What?! Aerosmith?!? I know. Let me explain...my parents were divorced growing up and I went to stay with my dad on some weekends. He always let me bring a friend to stay the weekend or night. Well, one weekend we were making the drive to his house with my good friend Rachel in tow. We were planning on a fun weekend full of tumbling around, eating junk food, and making home videos. We were listening to the radio when "Angel" came on. It was a "top song" at the time and we loved to sing to it. So, of course we pumped it up and sang our lungs out to it. I remember thinking how romantic he's in love with an angel (Oh that Steven Tyler). Well...my dad started singing at the top of his lungs mimicking us giving us a hard time and ultimately embarrassing me ( I was 9). "You are ruining our song, dad!"- I screamed....but he kept on...so we sang louder and eventually we all started to laugh. I love that memory. When I came across the song by the Vitamin C Quartet...I thought...wow that's what I should walk down the aisle to. How could or would it actually work out mechanically...I am sure it wouldn't blend with the steel drums especially jumping from one to another. So I'll probably leave my little tributes the way they are...but wow..wouldn't it have been great.
Anyway...that's my daddy. And now here's the 1980 version with the music video of course! And then the Vitamin C Quartet one which in my dream wedding in my head I would have walked down to (maybe when we renew our vows in 10 yrs?...Jimmy just fainted)...enjoy. I hope it brings a smile to your face, because it will to mine knowing ironically now my father is my angel.