Tuesday, March 23, 2010

walk me down the aisle....

my parents divorced when i was a year and a half.
i'm glad for that.
i'm glad for that because my parents were better apart.
and i'm glad because i don't remember it.
yes, i'm glad for that....

i'm glad for that because my dad remarried a WONDERFUL woman who is still my stepmom to this day, and he passed away 2 years and 4 months ago....
i think we are closer now than we have ever been before, even though she's still in Tennessee and i'm in cali....

i remember the night my mom went on her first date with my now stepfather....
she was getting ready in the bathroom and i walked in there and asked her where she was going....
"on a date," she said....
she was wearing jeans and a BIG baggy BUM equipment sweatshirt and putting her hair up in one of those jaws of life clips that go in your hair. doesn't sound really sexy, does it? but somehow she made it sexy....

she made it sexy and she ended snagging this man... or he snagged her, or whatever.... it ended up working out just right and exactly the way it was supposed to.... they've been together for almost 20 years now.... or like 16, but pretty darn close to 20....

i had a rocky relationship with my dad at times.... one of the most rocky being when i was in high school.... i remember breaking up with a long time boyfriend and one of his friends calling me a really bad name.... i was SOOOOO hurt and called my dad crying... it was really late cali time, which meant it was really REALLY late Tennessee time.... i remember getting his answering machine and trying to spit some words that made sense in my head out onto the machine.... i'm sure all he could hear was, "daaaaaad... *crying*sniffle*sniffle*asd;fadfjadfadsfjfa*crying*...." i remember he picked up the phone STARTLED and asking "what's wrong? what's wrong? i can't understand you when you're crying. so stop crying and tell me what's wrong...."

and so i sniffled one really hard sniffle and snorted like a quart of snot into my brain and tried to explain to him that i was just called a really bad name and it totally hurt my feelings and it wasn't true and well i was just trying to relay my pain to him.... and yeah.... he really wasn't going for it.... as painful as it felt, i was doing a HORRIBLE job getting that across to him.

so instead of the comfort i was originally looking and rather hoping for, his response was something like this, "is that what you called for? to tell me that someone called you a bad name? is it true?"

me: "no."

dad: "then why are you so upset about it? you can't call here in the middle of the night when i have to get up for work tomorrow. i thought something happened to ya." (he has a southern accent)

so, NOT getting the support that i was looking for, we hung up after i apologized and then i sat there feeling even more like crap.... this night was just terrible.... and i'd realized that NO ONE understood my feelings....

but there was my stepdad (and my mom who was pretty good at it, but we must not have been getting along at the time, or she wasn't home or something, i don't know why i didn't go to her).... now my stepdad.... he is a great great man.... he is a man that i admire and love with all of my heart....

i remember dreaming of my wedding day since i was little.... and i remember thinking about my dad walking me down the aisle, and then slowly came to the realization that he would likely not be around IF and whenever i DID decide to get married, because i was pretty certain that it was no where in my future.... (until i met jason).... HOWEVER, when i was younger, i remember asking my mom if she would wear a tuxedo and walk me down the aisle because she had always been "my dad".... and then when my stepdad came into the picture, i remember exactly where i was when i had asked him if HE would walk me down the aisle whenever i got married (mind you, i was really young).... we were driving down the freeway, passing a large park back in our old neighborhood.... i remember asking him if he would walk me down the aisle if i ever got married.... of course he accepted.... and gladly. he even said he'd be honored to.... wow. so glad that was resolved....

then.... december 6th, 2008 came.... it was my wedding day.... and i don't know WHY i hadn't thought much about who was going to walk me down the aisle.... in fact, there was only immediate family there and i wanted them to all be able to watch our wedding ceremony, so i had almost planned on walking MYSELF down the aisle.... (and my dad really was kind of there, because the necklace i'm wearing holds some of his ashes, how cool is that?.... oh and you can click on the pictures to see what i'm talking about... they get bigger)

i was standing in the back, ALMOST ready to go.... when i thought about asking my stepdad to come and walk me down the aisle, but i couldn't help but to think about years before that, being SUPER young and asking my mom to walk me down the aisle, and although i was feeling INCREDIBLY torn in the back, by myself, i asked the wedding planner if she could please go get my mother.... (who was already seated with my wonderful stepdad, and next to a picture of my father, who's in Heaven, and my lovely stepmother)....


i had a gazillion flashbacks of myself (as a child) and my mother and what an amazing woman she is and pretty much has been.... we had been through SOOOOO much together.... she was ALWAYS there supporting me.... even if she wasn't always the happiest person, or the most affectionate person, she ALWAYS had my back,(well, except when i ditched school and she told them that i was supposed to be at school so go ahead and do "whatever they needed to do" with me) and i knew that... i remember our agreement that SHE was going to walk me down the aisle and i couldn't go back on that.... she came back there to the back room and asked what i'd needed and i told her (trying to fight all my tears) that i wanted her to walk me down the aisle as we had originally planned years ago....

and we both got all watery eyed and of course she agreed.....

and the doors opened.... might i add, that this had to be THE greatest feeling in my life.... the most certain i'd ever been about anything in my life.... walking arm in arm with my mom, down an aisle that had rose petals dropped by the best daughter in the world (well next to me of course)....

down the aisle to the most handsome man i've EVER laid eyes on.... i mean, literally, my heart was skipping beats, or more like double beating when those doors opened.... my eyes INSTANTLY filled with tears.... and i had never been more certain about ANYTHING, than i was about walking down that aisle and promising to love that man for the very rest of my existence....

so, my mom walked me down the aisle, and gave me away.... i'm SO glad my last minute instincts (which i'm really good at... procrastinators are good at that last minute instinct stuff) kicked in and i'm SUPER glad she walked me down the aisle.... when i look back, maybe i should have had them BOTH walk me down the aisle, but then my side would have pretty much been empty (well there WERE other people there, but still).... i kinda wanted to see their faces when i came walking out, you know? but i didn't even look at their faces, because i was so focused on jason and not stepping or tripping on my dress.... and i was wondering where all the cameras were that were videotaping us and showing us live on the internet.... that made me kind of nervous but was so much better than walking down an aisle in front of like 250 people... i was totally famous, like in japan, tennessee, ohio, shoot.... i was a movie star for the night, (okay, so not really, but they COULD have watched).... =)

anyway.... here's a group picture.... a fun one. of our wedding night.... this picture holds my heart, for sure.

18 comments:

Ms. Anthropy said...

I won't take up a ton of comment space, but will say... after being Daddy's little darling for my early years, our fractured later years were less than desirable. I still loved him, we just agreed to disagree.

Beautiful photos! Love the post.

The Drunk Mommy Diary said...

oh my god you have me all watery eyed! i think if i ever make it down the aisle (my first wedding being a courthouse rush) i would half to have my mom and my two dads walk me.
your stories are always so beautiful ashley.
i think it's wonderful that your mother walked you- what a tribute to her.

Ashley King said...

i completely understand and agree with you.... agreeing to disagree is your best bet.... i remember trying SOOO hard for some "approval" token or something from my father for years and it wasn't until a few weeks before he passed that i FINALLY realized, "he's never going to change.... this is juuuust how he is...." and boy was that a WONDERFUL epiphany!!! it set me free!!! allowed to me just accept people as is.... what an awesome feeling!!!! =)

thank you for your sweet compliment.... =)

The Drunk Mommy Diary said...

*have to* (sic)
i seem to have the worst spelling lately. and it is one of my pet peeves in other people, so it's been totally cracking me up.

Ashley King said...

@drunk mommy.... awwww no tears!! thank you for your kind words... believe it or not, this was a vegas wedding. we grew far too impatient and wanted to be married like right then.... and it was the most reasonably priced and it was just the best way for us... we started going the expensive route and quickly changed our mind... the cheapest we could pull anything big off, was right around 10 thousand, which was just not in our plans... that 10 thousand was totally going to stay IN THE BANK and go for our down payment for our house (and still will.... eventually).... thank you thank you, for your sweetness... and i think that you can totally have however many people you want, walk you down the aisle.... you guys should totally lock arms and skip down like the wizard of oz.... i would totally do something like that.... WELL here's a secret, if we had a big wedding, i was going to wear cowboy boots and then pull up my dress and linedance.... oh it would have been wonderful.... but i LOVED our small wedding. it worked out just perfectly for us...

The Drunk Mommy Diary said...

i sort of pictured them all sort of shoving me *laugh* down the aisle at whatever man is willing to marry their crazy daughter. especially my biological father who will ask complete strangers "do you have a job?" . . . "will you marry my first born?" i love my dad but he is obsessed with making me someone's house wife. . . which (not now, but someday) is starting to sound absolutely wonderful.

sarahjayne smythe said...

What a beautiful story and a great memory for you to share with your own little girl if/when you have one. :)

Ashley King said...

@drunk mommy. that's so funny. them all pushing you down the aisle... go go, hurry before he changes his mind. awwww.... no, i highly doubt that will be the case.... they probably just want you to find a GOOD man.... but you gotta be GOOD with YOU first!!!! blah blah blah. i'm sure you already know all that.... staying at home isn't the greatest thing in the world. i've been at home since april 3rd of 2009 because of the whole pregnancy and pelvic bone separating thing, and it drove me absolutely NUTS! i am not entirely sure where you're supposed to go from here, but i'm not okay with staying put. i've got to constantly be self improving and moving forward... bettering my life and everyone in my life's lives as well... did that make sense? it sounds great... and if you have a financial plan, and plans of what you will do while you're home it can be great.... i just can't sit still for too long (HOWEVER, that's pretty much all i do).... =)

@sarahjayne.... my little girl shared the day WITH us (she was our flower girl).... i was a single momma before i was married.... single momma for quite some time, BUT it all works out just how it was supposed to.... she was a part of picking out the dresses (we had matching dresses).... she was a wonderful and important part of our wedding day, and i am SO glad she was... =) she asked me to save my dress so that she could wear it when she gets married one day.... i told her my dress will likely not be her taste when she is old enough to get married. =)

it is, still, a great memory for us all. =)

Pat Tillett said...

Ashley, you write with so much emotion. I love reading your blog entries. You really know how to get your feelings out of your head, and into your posts.

I'm also very proud to be the "step dad" you referred to in this post...

you go girl...

Alle said...

That is a beautiful story and you have a wonderful way of expressing your emotions through words.

well done.

Ashley King said...

@pat.... i'm kinda glad you are the stepdad i refer to in this post too.... cuz i don't just respect or admire anyone.... you are a great great man....

@Alle. thank you very much for the kind words... much appreciated. =)

Copyboy said...

Wow, one powerful post. Really got to me seeing the seat pics.

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

that was really long, but totally worth the read! great stuff. i love the necklace w/ your dad's ashes. great story.

Ashley King said...

@Speaking from the crib, thank you very much! sorry for the long posts everyone! i am not really good with the short stories. haha. i think they are gonna be short, but then there's a whole lot of other thoughts that end up tagging along. =)

thanks for joining!! =)

Jose_Says said...

I just wanted to say what a lovely and truly touching moment.

Thank you for sharing it with us...

and never mind the length, as a friend of mine told me "When the writing starts, the words will take as much room as they need. Never is anything too long or too short. It's always just the right length."

Shell said...

Such a beautiful post!

I did actually walk myself down the aisle. It was the right thing for me to do.

I love that last pic- so fun!

buymebarbies said...

What great emotions you put into your posts!! I love being there "in the moment" with you as I did "walking you down the aisle." It was always my pure want, and need to be close to you girls and I am honored to be your mom, as I was honored to walk you down the aisle!!!

Love you!!

Ashley King said...

@Jose_Says. thank you VERY much for your kind words. i do often get caught up in a moment and a lot of my posts are rather lengthy. it's the only way all of my feelings about the topic are included.... and that's important to me. leaving out a part or feeling, makes me feel.... dishonest? i don't know if that's the right word.... but i feel like i'm not telling ALL of the story and it just doesn't feel complete.... i appreciate the "words of wisdom." i like it... very much so! =)

@Shell. I think it's great you walked yourself down the aisle. there are different situations necessary for each individual and i think it's great that you didn't put yourself in an uncomfortable or unnecessary situation and have someone else walk you down the aisle. i love the last pic too. thank you! it was such a fun night.... =) i'm glad you guys are here! thank you for that.

@buymebarbies aka mom.... i love you!!!!