So I’m not sure if I reported this in my last entry, but on Christmas Eve I became engaged. Chef couldn’t hold off until Christmas Day because he was too excited and antsy, so as soon as we got home from work he popped the question. Well, it was a long couple months but we finally got married last week! We had a small ceremony in our living room with a couple close friends and family and then whisked ourselves away to Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut.
As the wedding drew closer, depression started to set in. I kept thinking, ‘Mom should be here,’ and I kept asking her for a sign that I was making the right decision because if she were alive, I would have asked the same question (and then went ahead and married him regardless of what she said because I’m that stubborn.) But she didn’t give me a sign I shouldn’t, so I took it as a sign that I should.
The day came and I tried to keep it light and happy, but of course in the back of my mind, I was wishing Mom could have made it. I just wanted to hear her voice tell me how happy she was, how we were a great fit together, and to hear her jokingly tell me how jealous she is that I got to marry a chef. Mom was always the cheerleader of the group, the glue that held everything together. If something was going on, no matter how small or insignificant it might seem, Mom would make it a big joyous occasion and keep you smiling about it. There wasn’t really any of that during those short two months of planning. There was no one cheering me on, just me making phone calls and plans and letting everyone know what time to show up.
The ceremony went off without a hitch. The food we had delivered showed up on time, everyone loved it, the cake was amazing, and even my brother showed up on time! We were on the road to Connecticut by 12:15, which was a few minutes late of our goal, but worked out anyway. We did hit some traffic on the way up so instead of arriving at 4:00 we didn’t get there until 5:00, but there was no getting lost, and we weren’t really in too much of a rush anyway.
Our first night we had dinner at Fuddruckers (which I do NOT recommend the one in the casino…) Our food took 45 minutes, was well done instead of rare, and meanwhile people around us were getting their food before us even though at that point we’d already been waiting 20 minutes. If you’re not familiar with FR, basically they make the burger, put it on a bun, and then you go to the fixins bar and add what you want, so there really wasn’t anything for them to do that should’ve taken 45 minutes!
We hit the casino up a little bit that night, but we didn’t go too crazy because the next day was our night for gambling. But there was a string of interesting things that happened that night. That night, while we were walking around the casino, my sister text me. She was playing a new game on her phone, a Wheel of Fortune game, and she sent me screenshots of the first three answers that popped up while she was playing. The first was “The Newlywed Game.” The second one had a clue of ‘Wedding Day’ and the answer was “Dress Dilemma.” –Coincidentally, earlier in the morning while putting my dress on, I asked Dave to zip it up in the back and while we did eventually get the zipper all the way up, there was several minutes of bickering about how it didn’t fit and wouldn’t close all the way. The third answer was “Grand Canyon.” Mom always–ALWAYS–talked about wanting to visit the GC. She used to joke that she wanted her ashes spread at the GC. I swore one day I’d get her out there, but the sicker she got the more impossible it became.
It was after receiving these messages while walking around the casino that I came across a huge statue– taller than us– of a Buddha next to a restaurant. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but if I haven’t, Mom loved Buddhas. So much so that as a tribute to her I got a tattoo of a Buddha after her passing. She loved how jolly they always look and kept an incomprehensible number of Buddha figurines and statues spread around her home. I took a picture of the Buddha and sent it to my sister whose only response was “wow.” What more could we say? Mom had given us all the signs that she was there that day, watching and approving. Some people might have looked at it as coincidence, but I know Mom. She said she’d find a way to let us know she was around, and every time we need her the most, she lets us know. I miss her like crazy every day, but she’s out there, she’s listening, and she’s watching over us. That’s what I believe.