Chuck and Jalene prepared their home for sale, while Marie spoke of her upcoming wedding plans. It seemed as though Jalene were in a trance, in spite of the reality she now experienced. Marie and Jalene had planned this special event for years.
Jalene’s job took her away from home 5 days a week, leaving little time to prepare for Marie’s big day. One day while at work, out of state, a staff member informed her of an urgent telephone call from her daughter.
Jalene’s palms were cold and clammy as she reached for the telephone. Before hearing Marie’s voice, Jalene was surmising the worst possible outcome of this call. Had something dreadful happened to her, to her father or brother? Had a natural disaster struck her home? Jalene was a typical working mother at that moment, anticipating the worst.
“Mom,” Marie uttered in an ecstatic tone. Jalene sighed heavily. Marie continued, “Mom, Are you all right? You sound upset?” As Jalene took a deep breath, she replied, “I’m fine. I’m not upset. I was afraid there might be a problem.”
Marie shrieked with excitement when she proclaimed, “No Mom, there are no problems. Everything is perfect. I found my wedding dress. It is the most beautiful one I’ve ever seen, and I must buy it today.”
Disappointment gripped Jalene’s heart. This was one of the occasions she and Marie had envisioned many times. This was to be part of the fairy tale day the two had discussed so many times through tears of joy and sorrow; the moment most little girls and their moms anticipate in their musings.
Jalene’s voice was quivering as she replied, “sweetheart, can’t you wait until I arrive home on Friday”? “No Mom, I’m afraid it might be gone.” Now she knew the authenticity of not only having a young adult daughter, but not being home for events such as this. Marie no longer needed her in making one of the most important purchases of her life; her wedding gown.
As Jalene placed the phone back on the cradle, she sobbed. This was another example of the missed joys and memories that accompanies a working mom. Jalene arrived home at the end of the week, saddened that she was unable to be with Marie as she had tried on dozens of gowns.
The aspirations they both had from so many years before, for Marie’s special day, had to be altered due to the swiftly approaching date. The reception, music and perhaps even the flowers had been altered to accommodate the forthcoming wedding. For years Marie and Jalene had planned a beautiful garden reception in their back yard. Nothing remained constant in the plans now, as they changed from day to day.
Each week as Jalene boarded a plane, leaving behind family and home, she was reminded that being a working mother was a necessity to make Marie’s day a special one. Without her working full-time they would never have the financial means to provide the wedding of Marie’s dreams. Years later when Jalene realized Chuck never truly loved her, the fact that he used her only for an additional “pay check” caused many sleepless nights and hours of tears.
Marie had her dress and even though that seemed to be the most significant aspect of the wedding to her, much was left to plan and decide before her big day arrived. Marie noted that she desired Chuck and Jalene decide much of the wedding details, since they were paying for the wedding.
Jalene was astounded. What bride didn’t want to decide every minute detail? On week-ends when she was home, Chuck and Jalene met with florists, caterers, musicians, etc. They amassed options for the wedding essentials, shared them with Marie and Tom whom then made the final decision. There were few wedding elements which the four of them didn’t agree upon.
Even though Chuck and Jalene were the primary “planners” for the event, Marie noted the options provided for her and Tom were perfect. The only conflict during all these proposals was the pricey antique Rolls Royce which Tom desired for their transportation from the church to the reception rather than driving Chuck’s one-year old Mercedes Benz.
Due to the expense of the wedding, Chuck felt this optional transportation should be the expenditure of the groom. When this became a source of contention between Tom, his parents, Marie, Chuck and Jalene, Chuck “gave in” and paid for a frivolous ride to the reception.
There would be many other ruts along life’s path. Chuck and Jalene didn’t wish to begin the journey with Tom and his parents with ruts they may have caused. Oh, the reality of having another “son” in their family with different opinions and values from their own!
Please continue to follow Jalene’s journey. Her autobiographical blog began in April 2016 from her childhood.