Originally posted at Blogger in September of 2011 – I know I’m a little late on the greeting, but Happy 1st Anniversary Heather and Tristan.

There was a wedding this weekend. It was a very rare one for me, but one that my heart wishes, “dang it, I wish I could have been in it, instead of sitting in a chair watching”. I wish I could have danced, and skipped and sashayed down to that big old tree they were married under and witnessed it standing and not sitting. “On the outside, lookin’ in”, oh it was joy punctuated with giggles. My heart laughed and it was healing.

I lost my mother on Aug. 2nd. The wedding was Sept. 3rd. It was a good way to celebrate and come back from the grief that has taken over my days. My Mom would have loved this wedding; she loved Heather, knowing she was different from anything she had experienced. I know this because Mom would tell me that every time she saw Heather. Heather is my niece; her name has always fit her, at least through my eyes. To me, she is soft and gentle, a free spirit. She has always seemed to float into a room. I love her, and as usual I have allowed my thoughts to drift where I had not planned.

It rained on Heather’s day. Not just a soft rain, but it came down rough and hard, just before Heather and her Tristan would share a little of their love for each other with those of us who haven’t had the chance to see. That pouring rain was a mirror of my heart this last month. The rain stopped long enough, well at least to a light sprinkle, for me and I’m sure several others to say, “dang it! I wish I was in this shindig”.  Even though we were all damp and some of us a bit chilled, we were all warmed that day by love and joy. I am grateful that Heather and Tristan allowed me to share this day with them. For me to see a new start to life after so much time spent watching a life end has helped remove this weight of grief I have carried in my soul. My grief started its release at the Wedding with a little trickle of tears, what seemed at that moment to be a never-ending hug from an old friend, a dear friend who had been part of my wedding so many years ago. A friend who knows the pain I have felt. A friend whose pain I now feel as she watches her mother and her father slip from her a little more every single day. I have a hard time with the hugging. I did not grow up with hugging. I have gotten better. I want the hugs, I need the hugs, but they can still throw me sometimes. Theresa’s hug, at first I wanted to escape because of the sadness, “I’m so sorry about your Mom”, but then it became the release that it needed to be and the day was good and I became the one who was sad to let go of her and the emotion of the moment. I love Theresa, I always have and always will, we live miles apart. I have not seen her for many years, but she is Heather’s aunt too, on the other side. She and I were friends before Heather’s parents were Heather’s parents. We don’t have the opportunity to spend time together. Maybe that makes me love her more.

The celebration of Heather and Tristan’s day moved from the outside in, but as I sat and as I watched the younger crowd begin to dance on the tiny floor to folk music I could picture them all dancing around, floating, around a campfire, clear sky after the rain, with millions of stars above. The fire and dancing keeping them warm from the damp, chill in the air and at that very moment only happiness and love. No time to allow any sadness into this day. I was overcome once again with emotion. I am happy to be here, to be alive, and to witness this love and joy. I could not resist the temptation when what I like to refer to as “head banging” music came on to bang my head! Not literally on the table or wall, but banging it none the less, a release of all that has been pent-up inside, a release of sorrow AND of joy. My niece Nicky observing me from the other side of the table, enjoying my manic state, commenting something about Aunt Jerri being drunk, (I only had two and was only 1/3 of the way through that second one, for those who care, hah) . But yes Nicky was right. I was drunk. I was drunk on emotion that needed to be set free. At first I was taking the lazy old woman way out, sitting in my chair and banging my head, but soon I had to stand to get all the emotion to release. I stayed by my table, it seemed more personal to stay with my table; I could ignore all the other tables. My table of family, well they all seemed to enjoy my eccentric self, but deep inside this group probably thought I was losing my mind a bit. There are a few people who know me well enough to never be surprised by these rare outbursts, but this group, other than my children and husband haven’t had the joy to experience me on this “other” level!

I make no apologies for being the crazy woman I seem to be. I make no apologies for thoughts that sometimes come out of my mouth. As Popeye I think says, “I yam what I yam”, but I add to that I usually keep a lot of me bottled up till on days like these it explodes out of me.

It was a good day to be alive and I thank Heather and Tristan for the privilege of witnessing their day. I thank them, although I’m quite sure they did not know it, for helping bring me back to the living. I love my Mom. I did not always like her. I will always miss her. There were times I did not think I would miss her. I will shed more tears for my missing her, but today I feel joy at this rare opportunity placed before me to be set free, to say, “that was good, dang it, I WAS in it, not sitting on a chair watching.

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About jlturtlerunner

12 plus Years Surviving Stage IV Oral Cancer. I have become a "Turtle" runner since that diagnosis, as a way of saying, "Take That Sucker!" After 12 years of being a Turtle Runner, I'm adding a new title, Turtle Rucker!

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