The Lace and I
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My family was more than a bit surprised at our Christmas gathering. Before gift exchange could take place, my oldest daughter announced, "Robert and the children and I are getting dressed now. I hope you are all ready to be at a wedding at two o'clock." Of course, no one was.
I helped my darling into her corset while her betrothed waited patiently in the next room. So many strings... I secured my love and hopes for her future tightly about her. With all those strings and the way I tied them, it may have seemed more a chastity belt than a corset later that night. But they don't know just what it was I secured about her. She is beyond beautiful.
I recalled the Christmas parade my little gymnast rode in when she was four. I had to call for mall maintenance to clean the floor and then take her to the ladies room to wipe off her "Ten Little Indians" suit before she could get on the float. That was nineteen years ago. Just before she took her walk, she looked desperately at me, "Mom, I feel sick. I sure hope I don't throw up."
I had no pantyhose and no time to purchase any. My niece slipped out of her black knee highs and gave them to me. My white foot showed nicely through the runner. Black hose, green shoes and a beige dress. Oh, I was a sight... a poor one. My son, badly in need of a shave and a haircut, much less a freshly pressed shirt, walked her down the aisle.
Thick batting, faux snow, covered the stairs leading up to the platform. Her heel caught and she stumbled. She laughed and cried so much that she was hardly able to repeat her vows. Guests laughed with her, or at her. His oldest daughter pouted, hating the dress she was forced to wear. His youngest daughter wouldn't stay off the stairs. Her daughter threw the flower petals into the seats. Her son had a runny nose. His second daughter was so quiet, I had to look around to make sure she was still present. Quite unlike the little princess. "The Brady Bunch" was putting it mildly. It was a memorable event nonetheless and my darling didn't even throw up.
Christmas red and white adorned the wedding party. Christmas blue and white and twinkling lights adorned the church. But somewhere beneath the buttons and bows, the chatter and laughter, the batting and lights, love and hope bound the two tightly together with strings and rings and a multitude of blessings whispered from the front row. The pretty lace of her corset peeked out above the low-cut back on her dress. I wonder if anyone but the mother of the bride noticed.
Everyone met back at my sister's house for gift exchange, the original order of the day. A multitude of surprises were passed around the room. Then, we feasted on Christmas dinner. Newlyweds snuggled in the middle of a crowded kitchen. I fussed, "Hey, you two. Save it!"
Mawmaw said, "Awe, leave the newlyweds alone." But the lace of her corset winked at me. The lace and I alone kept our knowing a secret. All the surprises we tucked away securely for the union will come with years... "...and a love that endures, always."
© Joyce Pool
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