My mother left today after more than a week in New Orleans spent wrapping up the next round of wedding details. She was supposed to head back to North Carolina, but her very best friend, my godmother, called her on Monday with the news that my godmother's mother had passed away after swift cancer metastasis.
While comparing spreadsheets full of names (something I have become prolific in these past months) to determine who still needed room reservations within our block, I realized that Mrs. Grimes died the day that our invitations were sent.
We knew she was too ill to have been able to travel for our wedding, but I wish she'd been able to experience the joy of opening our beautiful invitation. I'm not bragging: objectively, our invitation is exquisite. My parents and beau spent hours at the stationery store perfecting it.
So my mother left New Orleans for Florida, to spend her nights in her childhood bedroom in her parents' house and to help her very best friend grieve her mother.
The only time I really spent with Mrs. Grimes was in October 2012, when I went home for a few days to have and to recover from elective, minor surgery. My godmother and Mrs. Grimes were on a road trip coming from or going to see the fall leaves, and they had stopped in Wilmington (my hometown) to break up the trip. We (my godmother, my mother, and Mrs. Grimes) took one day to visit Bald Head Island, a place I very easily could have chosen as a wedding venue. I'm glad to have been well enough to have shared this activity.
Everyone's favorite story of of Mrs. Grimes is from her honeymoon, which was two weeks long, and Mrs. Grimes said that two weeks is way too long for a honeymoon. Towards the end of this too long time, she and her new husband were driving from Vermont (where she was from and where they met while he was stationed there) to Florida (where he was from and where they would make their home). The bride asked her groom if he liked her dress. He replied that he didn't much care for it.
She took off her dress and threw it out the window.
On to the highway.
When Mrs. Grimes went in for her six week checkup after giving birth to my godmother, she was pregnant with my godmother's brother.
I imagine there was never a dull moment in their relationship. And I'm hopeful my marriage brings the same kinds of adventures.