“Plenty of Time”

It’s like clockwork. I am asked how wedding planning is going by family, friends, and acquaintances on a regular basis. It is sweet for people to think of me and ask how the wedding planning is progressing. I answer by telling them that I have most of my major vendors, little things here and there completed, and that my biggest concern is finding a wedding cake. (Backstory: My wedding is very kosher, so not only does my cake have to be parve, it also has to be baked in a kosher kitchen, with kosher ingredients, AND supervised by a rabbi. Not so simple.) When explaining this to people they say “Oh! Don’t worry, you have plenty of time!”

Plenty of time? Usually a bride would answer with a smile and say “yeah, you’re right!” However, this is not how I feel on the inside. I may present myself with a smile, agreeing with their belief I have plenty of time, but on the inside I want to shred them a part. Harsh? Maybe. But to continually hear that I have plenty of time from people who have no idea what is going on in my life or do know what is going on but choose to ignore it, is becoming frustrating.

They are right. My wedding is in January 2015. For most brides, they would have plenty of time to figure out all the details. However, in my case, I am doing this (for the most part) alone. I would have plenty of time if my mom was here helping me get everything organized. I would have plenty of time if I was not a full time student, with two jobs, and planning another major event set to take place a month after my wedding for the University I work for. However, that is not the case. I do not have plenty of time. I only have a week off from school until I go back for summer classes and start my summer internship. I do not have a mom who is able to call a million different bakeries in different cities seeing if they are supervised kosher. I do not have my mom here to calm me down and help me with every little detail. I might have time, but not plenty. From my perspective, I have less than 8 months to get everything planned and organized on top of the other responsibilities I am tied too and I am doing it all without the support of my mom.

I realize I complain a lot. I do not want to be a debbie downer. It is hard to change the way I feel planning this wedding without my mom. It is harder to plan it when I am surrounded by people who do not know what it is like to be doing this without my mom. Not just on a task level, but on an emotional level.

Today I went to the tailor where I sent my mom’s dress. Her dress is from 1983, so it was pretty outdated and dare I say, hideous? I knew I wanted to use it in some way or another. I decided to have them cut the neckline into a sweetheart shape. They added straps, and next the are going to shorten the skirt. It is going to be my party dress. I will wear my beautiful wedding gown until 10 pm and then will change into my mom’s dress. It is another way I can honor her. 

When I tried it on, I started crying. For so many reasons. 1: I wish she was here to see how beautiful it turned out. 2: I wish I could know her reaction to the decision I made to reconstruct the dress. 3: I just wish she was here with me. 

It is obvious the fact that being a motherless bride is upsetting and frustrating. I have come to realize one of the hardest aspects of planning your wedding without your mom is not having someone come to every appointment with you. I am constantly having to ask aunts and friends to come with me, and when I have multiple appointments in a week, I usually just go to some of them alone.

I have started feeling guilty when asking someone to come with me to multiple appointments in one week. When you have your mother, I assume that they attend every appointment with you. And how could you feel guilty about asking your mom to attend the multiple wedding appointments you have scheduled? You wouldn’t, because thats what a mom wants to do for their daughter. They want to be involved in the wedding planning process, help pick out decorations, find a cake, see you in their dress, even the dress you picked out to be your wedding gown. I cried multiple times today while trying my dress on for the first time since it arrived in the salon, and while trying on her dress, the dress I plan to wear later in the night for the reception. 

How do I get over this guilt I feel every time I need to go to an appointment. Sometimes it’s better to go alone and deal with my feelings, not be guilty, and just get it done than having someone with me who does not understand the pain I feel doing this all without my mom. It’s hard because to them, she isn’t a necessity, but to me she is all I need and want during this process and in life.

Motherless brides: Who goes with you to all your appointments? Do you ever feel bad constantly asking people to attend appointments with you?

I thought it would get easier as the planning process continued but am finding that it is only getting harder.

15 Ways to Show Your Love for Mom on Your Wedding Day

It’s been a while. School is wrapping up and being in a Master’s program is no joke. I have had more assignments due the past two weeks than should be legal! Thankfully, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and only have two more papers before I am home free… for a week.

I check my email probably five times every hour. I am obsessed. Being in school, I always need to be on top of my emails. I might receive an important email from a colleague, an instructor, or a student that I need to respond to quickly. I usually have no problem with checking my email so frequently on a daily basis. In fact, I love doing it because I feel accomplished when I can get through all my emails and organize them in their designated folders, leaving a clean inbox. In grad school, it has sort of become an obsession.

However lately I am dreading opening my email inbox. For the past 3-4 weeks all my emails have been overflowing about buying mom the perfect mothers day gift. Over and over I am seeing different subject lines like “Surprise mom with the gift she always wanted” or “Your mom will just love what’s inside this email”. I find myself getting angry at the emails. Yeah, sure, they do not know my mom has been gone for eight years, but really, there should be a button one can click to let these retailers know that they are wasting their time trying to sell me mother’s day gifts.

So for weeks, not only have I been enduring the Facebook and instagram posts about how lucky people are to have their mom’s (and yeah, they really are) or the commercials on television, the ads before my youtube videos, and the grocery store advertisements, I have had to go into my email on a daily basis and delete the mother’s day emails. At first it sucks a lot. But after almost 25 days of it, I am becoming numb.

And then I opened my email yesterday. It was an email from Weddingwire.com.  I am using their website as my planning guide and my website builder. I like the layout of the website better than the Knot. Anyways, I opened my email and the email from Weddingwire.com said “15 ways to show your love for mom on your wedding day”. I thought, ‘finally! Wedding wire is acknowledging how to honor moms who are no longer around on my wedding day. FINALLY!!!’

Well, I opened the email and it was not about showing your love for a mother who has passed. It was all about what you can do in your wedding to show love to your mom who is still with you. “Wear her veil, giver her flowers, let her get ready with you”. Okay, I get it. My mom won’t be here to do that. Thanks for the reminder.

I realize other people need to celebrate their moms, and I am one bitter motherless bride/daughter. However, could you blame me? Our society is obsessed with the mother/daughter relationship during weddings. I am so over it. It just reminds me how much I am missing out on having my mom with me.

In wedding news: I picked out my Save the Dates! It took a while. I asked for advice from my friends, future sister in law, future mother in law, aunt and cousin. Finally, my aunt and cousin helped me figure it out. My aunt was my Mom’s best friend back in the day, and even introduced her brother and my aunt to each other! My mom was such a match maker… a few other couples have my mom to thank for their love too! Anyways, my aunt and cousin helped narrow it down and I love their style so I am thankful for their love and support. My aunt also said she wanted to be with me when we went to the bridal registry and for picking out invitations. I am thankful for her help in those areas because frankly, I would be lost!!

I still have a lot to do, but at the same time I have a lot done. I booked make-up a couple weeks ago and our engagement pictures came out beautifully!!! We are going to send an announcement out in the paper soon using one of the photos. I need to take care of the cake and the ceremony music, both are taking me so long to find! I just want it to be perfect…

All my bridesmaids except 2 have their dresses so I am on track with that. They have one more month to get on it and I think my future sister in law and I are going together next week. That will be a stress I will be glad to check off!

Update on my future mother in law. She is great! She had her surgery, everything went well! No cancer in her lymph nodes thank goodness! She is healing beautifully and right now we are waiting to see what treatment she has to do! So far we have only been receiving good news -besides the fact she was diagnosed- but at least only good things have been associated with it!

Overall, I am stressed and anxious dealing with school, wedding, and finally personal life issues. I am lucky to have such great friends helping me out, and that my aunt had stepped in to help me out. I am very thankful for her. My fiancé is pretty amazing too. He is a great emotional support system to me, even though he is dealing with his own worries with his mom’s cancer. It’s good to know we work well together in very stressful times. I picked the right one!

 

 

Trouble in Paradise.

Not that we live in paradise. The weather in Ohio is horrible.

One month ago we received a call from O’s Dad. We were at a new restaurant, trying their seafood because we heard it was delicious. We had spent the day hiking together and enjoying the beautiful sunny weather. When we sat down for dinner, O received a call from his dad. What was bizarre about this call is he had tried to call him multiple times, which set an alarm off for both of us. Right away, I knew something was wrong. I did not know the extent of how bad it was, but I could feel it in my veins.

O called his dad back and his dad told O his mom wanted to talk to him. As I looked at O, I saw the muscles in his face fall farther and farther. He covered his eyes with his hand and began rubbing his forehead in a way he only does when he is receiving stressful news. I knew right then that my instincts were right. Something was wrong. After what felt like hours but in actuality was only a 10-15 minute phone call, O said goodbye to his mom. I immediately  asked “What is wrong?!” knowing I did not actually want to hear the bad news.

O told me his mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. My heart stopped. I began to cry knowing I should be strong for Oren in this moment, but I could not control my tears. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 9 years old. I started to tear up asking questions O did not know the answer too. I asked him if we should leave the restaurant, but we had already ordered and we could not exactly take our dinner home (my house is kosher, ironic). We sat at dinner and ate our food quietly, neither of is having anything to say, or having much of an appetite. We left shortly after and went home, a quiet car ride.

Fast forward to today. In the last 3 or 4 weeks we have learned a lot more than we knew that day. We found out she has stage one breast cancer (good) and has the BRCA 2 gene (bad, but BRCA 2 is better than BRCA 1) it hasn’t spread (good) and she is undergoing surgery Monday for a double mastectomy. Since she has the gene, she wanted to do a double mastectomy even though the cancer has not spread. Worth it in my opinion, as she won’t have a reoccurrence down the road. After Monday we will know what treatment she will need to make sure she is clear of the devil, breast cancer.

My feelings have been through the roof. My first priority is O. He has been traveling back and forth from Indiana and Ohio to be with his mom, attend doctor’s appointments, and just support her through this stressful time. I want to make everything okay, but I know that is not possible. He is stressed and anxious as anyone would be in this situation. We try to keep busy but it’s hard to not think about it 24/7.

My mom’s breast cancer took her life. For four years O has been listening to my experiences living with my mom when she was sick and now not living with her at all. I am worried O thinks about my mom when he thinks about his mom’s current situation. I do not bring up my mom’s situation as I want him to know that our mom’s illnesses are very different, even though it is the same disease. My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. The cancer had spread to other parts of her body. She went through a mastectomy, chemo, and was very sick. Once she finally was free of the cancer, she lived 7 years in remission until 2003 when she was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. Obviously, a blow to our family. She lived 3 more years until she passed away.

O’s mom having breast cancer hits too close to home. I try to remember how different the situations are and try to stay positive for him. I know she will be okay, but the process is still scary as ever. It is very stressful to think of all that she is going to have to go through and already going through- I can’t imagine the stress, anxiety, and fear she is facing. It is also stressful to have to think about how O his brother and his sister could have the BRCA gene (praying they are all negative)- which means our children could have the gene. I have not been tested yet and do not think I want to get tested until after I have children. But that story is for another post.

Considering our current situation, we have paused some of the wedding planning. I am still doing stuff here and there so I do not get too far behind, but overall there is no wedding talk, for good reason. Right now, the only thing that matters is that O’s mom is healthy and happy. So until then we will keep the wedding planning to a minimum.

My apologies for an extra sad post today. Positive thoughts and vibes are welcomed.

 

Birthday.

On Friday I turned 27 years old. There is that age old question, “do you feel different?” Well no, I do not feel different. In fact, I have been feeling this way on my birthday for eight years now. It is beyond crazy to me that my mom has now been gone for eight birthdays! I missed her, as I do every day, and I decided to visit her grave. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and the weather was finally warm enough for shorts! I laid on the grass, absorbed the sun, and thought about sweet birthday memories I shared with my mom. I did not want to be sad on my birthday, though sometimes it is hard to control your feelings, as I am sure you know. Sitting at her gravesite gave me the opportunity to reflect and be thankful for the birthdays we did have together. I was in a nasty mood for most of the morning, but after having that time, my mood lifted. I felt better and more connected with her. I just needed to take a moment to reconnect.

I took the day off school and decided it was going to be a *ME* day. I had nothing planned, so as I was sitting watching Teen Wolf relaxing I decided time to catch up with some vendors, book some new ones, and try to get some addresses for my guest list.

Oren and I had our engagement photos on last Sunday. We have a wonderful photographer who is personable and does AMAZING work. We started at Krohn Conservatory which is a beautiful place in Cincinnati to take some pictures. Since it was the end of March, we did not have the best weather. Luckily, it was sunny without a cloud in the sky, but Spring had not sprung yet, and I wanted some color in my pictures! So we went to Krohn to get that effect. It was crowded but very fun and she got some great shots (from what I saw)!

We then hopped into my car and drove downtown. I wanted some pictures of Music Hall. This is a famous building in Cincinnati that hosts the Symphony, the Cincinnati Pops, Opera, among other things. Since it was a Sunday, we could not get inside, but Laura, being a creative genius, used the building and it’s beautiful architecture to capture some gorgeous photos. We then drove downtown and parked at our future venue (love it!) and took some pictures in front of the fountain in the middle of our downtown square.

Laura and I spoke on the phone a couple days before the engagement-shoot and she told me it would be highly unlikely that the fountain would be on since it was so cold outside. I told her that I would still like to drive by it to double check if it was on or off. Either that night or the next, I had a dream that Oren and I were taking our photos in front of the flowing fountain. I knew that dream was foreseeing the future. So, when Laura said maybe we should skip the fountain because it was very chilly outside, I refused to give in telling her I knew it would be on. As we walked around the corner, it was on! We got some great photos in front of the fountain, something I really wanted since during our winter wedding, it most likely will be off. I did not take this sign lightly. I believe that was a little gift sent from above. 

The whole experience was awesome and we are so lucky to be working with Laura. We can not wait to see the final product. We check her blog daily!

On Friday, I booked lighting for my venue, made an appointment with my second bakery for the cake (did not like the first one!) , and requested a proposal for my make-up. I am moving right along with the planning. However, through the process, I still feel frustrated that I am doing it alone. I am becoming overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done. I am 9 months away from my date, but that does not make this experience less stressful or sad. I know it’s not right around the corner, but it is going faster than I thought possible.

Where were you 9 months out from your wedding? I have no clue if I am even on track! Thankfully, it hasn’t haunted my dreams yet…

Distracted.

You know that feeling when everything around you is moving quickly but you feel like your moving in slow motion? That’s how this past week has been for me. To respect the people I love I have to refrain from explaining what put me in slow motion, but I need to express my feelings associated with it.

This week I found out some very troubling news that has shook my world. More importantly, it has shook those I love even more and there is little I can do. Wedding planning has been put on hold for now, until the storm passes. I am confident that this storm will pass, and that everything will be okay in the end. However, in the meantime I feel lost in my life. I do not know where to go from here. Someone close to me has fallen ill, and right now it does not seem right to even continue planning my wedding.

It does not seem appropriate to talk about the wedding when we have a lot of other things happening in our world. I do not want to bring it up, but considering I am the only one planning it, I do not want to fall behind. There are many things I have to do but right now, but the wedding is on the back burner, as it should be.

I’ve been thinking about my Mom a lot in the past few days. I have cried more this week than I have all of March. I have felt lost, tired, anxious, scared, and continue to think how much easier this and all situations would be with her by my side. I try to imagine what my Mom would say to me in a time like this. I like to imagine her voice giving me her advice. But even then, I become upset because how the hell do I know what her opinion would be? I mean, it has been nearly 8 years since I have heard her voice. And even then, it was not her normal voice.

Dealing with stress and anxiety is already a very hard thing to do, but more so, how do you do it without your Mom? Does anyone out there have tips or advice on how I can get through a difficult situation without my Mom, the one person who I believe will make things more clear and easier during this time?

I am tired of being told I am strong, I am even more tired of being strong. For once, I want to be me. I want to have no situations in my life that require me to be strong for others, that require me to hold me head up high. I want zero conflict, zero problems. Is that too much to ask?

Why the fuck is life so unfair?

I apologize for the use of my foul language, but I can not keep it in anymore. I am angry. I am mad as hell at the Universe. Where is the peace?

My Mom use to tell me I was a stressed baby, even in the womb. During labor, my heart rate dropped. The umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck. They needed to do an emergency C-Section. There is it. Before I even entered this world, drama was associated with me. Now almost 27 years old, it’s one thing after another. Will it ever stop? Will I ever have peace? Will I ever go one day without anxiety?

I needed to vent. As you can see, I am distracted. I can’t even think about the wedding right now. But what I do think about is, would it have been better to just elope?

The Weather.

I am having a January wedding. In a previous post I explained all the reasons why. I am very excited about my winter wedding. However, one thing has been on my mind; the weather.

I know I cannot control the weather, especially for a January wedding. This past Martin Luther King Jr. weekend it was snowy in Cincinnati, all weekend long. It snowed all day on the 17th (my wedding date) and looked like a winter wonderland! This gave me anxiety. I know another couple who were married on the 17th this year, and a lot of their guests did not come because of the weather. My biggest worry! Can you imagine putting all that planning, money, and effort into planning a wedding and then have half of your guests not show up because of a snow storm?! The worst! So as you can imagine, I am pretty obsessed with the weather. I have always been a little over concerned with the weather, especially during tornado season in Ohio.

Yesterday, my fiancé, Oren, had a friend over the house who was in town for work. During our conversation I brought up the weather and how cold it is for March. We started talking about the crazy weather conditions of 2013-2014 thus far and eventually got on the topic of our wedding. I confessed my worries about the weather and people missing the wedding as a result. Oren’s friend, being the nice guy he is, said:

“Don’t worry about the weather and people missing the wedding. The most important part of getting married is having both your parents there and both of Oren’s parents there. A long as you have that, you don’t need to worry about anyone else.”

I smiled. He obviously forgot, or didn’t know, that my mom passed away. Oren and I glanced at each other and smiled. Neither of us wanted to make him feel awkward in our home, and we mutually agreed (without words) that we would not correct him. I knew that correcting him would make him feel awkward, just when I tell people I am planning my wedding alone because my Mom passed away; awkward.

Oren’s friends statement made me think. He assumed my mom was alive, just like everyone does. That I can’t blame anyone for. I am (almost) 27, of course it is more normal for me to have a Mom than not. I started thinking about what his statement meant. He said that the weather was not as important because we would have our parents there, and that is the important part. I agree, having my Dad and Oren’s parents there is very important. However, I can’t help but think that I am not even going to have the most important part of my wedding completed.

I will be missing someone who cannot be replaced. Oren is missing the opportunity to ever meet my Mother. He will never have a mother-in-law. We will both be missing someone very special on our wedding day, actually, multiple people.

Oren’s friends statement made me feel pretty sad for a little, even though I masked my sadness with a smile. At the moment, I have found no comfort knowing that not all four of the most important people in Oren and my life will be there. As I try to maneuver between these feelings, I think I will just focus on the weather.

 

“Missing someone isn’t about how long it has been since you’ve seen them, or the amount of time since you’ve talked. It’s about that very moment when you’re doing something and realize you wish they were right there by your side.”

Someone posted this in a group I belong to on Facebook. It spoke to me, so I thought I’d share it.