The Idea of It All

She thought she knew exactly how it would all turn out, but it was the idea of it all really, she realized so many years later.

She planned the wedding meticulously, despite the unwanted interruptions from family members who decided to take that time, after all those years, to assert their independence and bring their own unhappiness to the table.

She knew exactly what it would look like, where it would be, and what she would wear. She knew this was right, he was right, and after a near decade of courtship, everything would finally fall into place.

No longer teenagers, they were what some would consider ‘stable’; quite a surprise after the rebelliousness they had endured. But she knew what she wanted, and wasn’t going to settle for anything less. She knew the waiting had paid off, and with any sort of luck at all, it would be the fairy tale ending she believed in.

The day broke, cloudy yet calm. Even at her young age, she realized the need for quiet as she prepared. The scent of tuberose and strong coffee met her as she walked to the six foot window, parting the lace curtains to catch a glimpse of the garden below that would host the ceremony. It’s good luck to have rain on your wedding day, she whispered to herself in quiet affirmation.

A flurry of activity punctuated the morning, as ivory satin and lace draped her body. Her grandmother’s gown fit with an exactness that couldn’t be merely coincidence; the lace mantilla framed her chestnut brown curls and trailed behind her with just the right touch of elegance.

Cautiously, she made her way to the top of the garden staircase. The fall air crackled with anticipation as the strains of the brass quintet trickled to her ears. This is it, she reminded herself. This moment, this place, this man. This is the beginning.

Slowly, notes from Pachelbel’s Canon in D broke her daydream. Quietly grasping her father’s arm for stability, she took her first step down the path like every young bride, simultaneously confident and unaware of what was yet to come.

It was the idea of it all, really. All the planning, anticipation, worry. And all these years later, after children, after illness, after struggle and dodging life’s curve balls, it is still there-not quite as she imagined it would be, but when is life ever just what we expect?

This post was inspired by the novel The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson. Allie Crawford has the life she always dreamed of-and discovers she’s stronger than she eveer imagined. Join From Left to Write on April we discuss The Idea of Him. Join us for a live chat with Holly on April 3.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe at jenniferwolfe.net.

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    1. Betsy, that’s so true. It’s the process of realizing that if we let go of expectations and try to let life unfold, things usually turn out for the best. Thanks so much for supporting mamawolfe! ~Jennifer

    1. Thanks, Janin! I agree-those superstitions don’t always pan out, do they? I love the way the clouds and wind stirred the sky during our ceremony, but didn’t interrupt the garden wedding at all! Thanks for stopping by today ~~Jennifer

    1. Yes Kelly, the anticipation can just make you crazy, can’t it? I’m glad that event is over, but as I get older I find the same pattern repeating itself in all sorts of ways. Coming up with a coping strategy is key! ~Jennifer

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