The blank page seemed to mirror my mind. I just wanted my words to impart the perfect expression for this unforgettable day in her life. The wedding guest book had been circulated before the big day so that it could be more personalized. My heartbeat drowned out any thought that attempted to surface.
I pulled back the chenille draperies of my bay window unveiling a panoramic view. My soul gasped from its beauty. It looked like Monet had dappled the day into life.
The sky was drenched in cerulean blue. Not even a pinpoint of clouds whispered through the fluid canvas. The tightly interlaced trees revealed a rainbow of jewels garnishing twisted fingers. As the breeze polished each waxy leaf, I could see the colors flicker across the sky like a shooting day star. The bright ruby red melted into citrine orange and faded seamlessly into Jupiter yellow. The trail of beauty lingered in my mind. Autumn had strutted across the silent stage.
The ethereal snapshot of nature had captured everything I wanted to say to my daughter. Every embrace of emotion and pearl of wisdom that could not flow through my pen was there. I feel so blessed. Tomorrow my sweet Alexandra will have a new last name.
I turned my gaze back to the fan of foliage that ruffled the window sill. It seemed like just yesterday I had planted that sugar maple. It grew right next to my window. I always wondered what color it would turn. I looked at that same tree countless times, but it is if I saw it for the first time today. It torched the sky with a soft amber halo. Its presence cast a glow that trickled through the shade.
I smiled as sweet memories flowed slowly through my mind like molasses. Alexandra would sit on the counter as I applied my makeup, mimicking each gesture with methodical exaggeration. I remember walking outside to take a phone call and turning around to behold a miniature me with a heavily painted face. I still don’t know how a four-year-old managed to keep cherry red lipstick between the lines of her dainty lips. Maybe it’s because she studied me so many times. I wrote down her words in my journal that day so I wouldn’t forget.
“Look Mommy…I am beautiful because I have your face!”
Tears streamed down my cheeks as I knew with certainty that the impossible would happen-she would grow up. Startled, she flew her chubby arms around my neck.
“Don’t cha see me? It’s still me, Mommy. It’s still me.”
Her tiny voice still echoes through the corridors of my heart. Though transformed, she will still be the same. I took a sip of my apple cider. The cinnamon vaporized through the steam inviting me to relish this moment. Calico weaved in between my legs. I reached down to comb her matted fur with my knobby fingers.
I leaned outside my window to pluck a leaf off the sugar maple. I carefully sandwiched it between my pencil and the blank page. With soft, yet consistent pressure, the zigzagging strokes rubbed its vestige into existence. I remember Alexandra’s brown eyes grow with amazement the first time I showed her this. I peeled back the leaf. It was an exact replica.
Beneath the stencil I wrote:
May your marriage leave an impression of God’s perfect design.
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