It would appear I have decided to live. This may come as a silly statement out of the blue in this way, when I have not been writing much and life itself has surrounded me so completely. I know I have given a good impression of strength and determination many times on this blog, but let me tell you, it is far from a constant feeling. I think often times the things I have said here that sound brave and strong are as much to convince myself as anyone else. Not all the time. But sometimes.
There is something about having decided to get married that puts life on a different level since Joseph's death. I have lived with it long enough now to know it goes where I go. I no longer fear leaving it, him, our memories behind. But there is a difference between letting life happen and in making conscious decisions to take giant steps forward in an optimistic direction. It seems nothing but good things have been happening to me lately, and my heart is so full I cannot give words. There is no angst in my being right now. Sorrow, yes. Gosh yes. But not debilitating. Not shameful. And I feel, for the first time in a very long time, hopeful.
The wedding plans are simple and to the point, just the way I want it to be. Warmth and intimacy are the most important things. I won't walk down the aisle. I won't even have a wedding bouquet, maybe just flowers in my hair, maybe a jeweled comb, maybe nothing. I have my dress, which comes in around September 19th. We have the week for our honeymoon reserved off from work. We are working on invitations and the menu. The guest list has been written, rewritten and revised. For a while the whole thing grew bigger and bigger and my mood darker and darker, until I realized I was just trying to make a church wedding work in my mother's home. I don't want a church wedding. I just want intimacy and gratitude and fun. Elegance. Our closest friends and family. We can have a party with all our extended circle after we get back from the honeymoon. But for this wedding, I am quite certain there will be fewer than 30 people there, though the guest list sits at 54 right now. It is the week before Christmas and just three weeks after my cousin's first wedding just after Thanksgiving. I don't expect my family will make the trek to Texas. My family is huge. Big. Catholic. German. Wonderful. I have cousins galore on both my mother and father's side. It is just impossible to do a small wedding in my family and invite everyone. We will invite my closest friends, my siblings, Joe's siblings and children, Stewart, my aunts and uncles, my Grandma. And that is pretty much it for this, my second wedding. I just want to focus on getting married. Not so much on having a wedding. I hope it turns out as tasteful, intimate and beautiful as I see it in my minds eye. And if it doesn't, I hope at the end of the day I remember...I am Mrs. Joe Sellars and that is what I wanted all along.
The boys are thrilled. They sought clarification that Joe would be their step-dad now, then sought clarification that it didn't mean that he would try to be their dad. I reassured them they already have a fantastic Dad. Joe will always and ever be a friend, a mentor if they want it, and another adult they can turn to in times of need. But no. He will never try to be your dad, Guys. They seemed relieved and gratified by that. Nick's first questino when we told them the news was wanting to know if we had told Stewart. I am so lucky. I had actually told him and he is so happy for Joe and for me. He will be at the wedding. His being at peace with it, truly at peace with it, has allowed them in turn to feel it is not a betrayal of their father to be happy for us. Thank you Stewart. We love you.
I am at peace tonight. My life is calm, secure, prosperous and good. I am loved and protected. I feel a tinge of sorrow, knowing for me this is a large step forward away from Joseph's ordeal. I feel a tinge of guilt. I have to believe Joseph would wnat this for me too. That he would want me to seize life in the way he didn't get opportunity to. That comforts me. I feel his blessing deep in my heart.