The Life of Bon: Six Days... and why I love my sister

Monday, March 05, 2012

Six Days... and why I love my sister

Hubs and I are six days away from our one year wedding anniversary.

I'm a big date person.  Not only do I remember important dates in my life, I remember everything that was happening on the days surrounding those big dates.  A year ago today, six days before I was to don the white dress, was my wedding breaking point.  It was a Sunday and I was absolutely certain I would not live to see Saturday- the day of the ceremony.  Hubs was working that day, picking up extra shifts at Olive Garden, and I was desperately trying to survive six more days of wedding madness.  Some people take being engaged quite well.  I, however, handled it like a mad ape.  It was too much stress, too many decisions, and too much tension.  Our engagement was a mere 11 weeks, but looking back I realize it was 11 weeks too many for this girl.

On that Sunday afternoon, steeped in stress and worries that only a six-day-away-bride can imagine, I realized I was not going to be able to get everything done at work in order to take a week off for the honeymoon.  I was a first year teacher, and blindly, stupidly, I had picked up an extra class in January- taking with it half of my preparation time.  I thought I needed the money.  Now I realize I needed my sanity more.

I was supposed to take home a big stack of papers to grade that weekend.  Friday night I realized I had forgotten the papers.  I considered making a run to the school.  (I commute 40 miles to work) But I just couldn't stand to drive 50 minutes up to my school to pick up the papers and 50 minutes back.  Not on my last weekend before the wedding.  No.  Please no.

Instead, I ran schedules in my head.  Would I be able to find time to grade those papers on top of working  40 hours, enduring my last stake president's interview, attending a bridal shower, finalizing dress adjustments, greeting out of town guests, making the music playlist, packing for the honeymoon, leaving sub plans for a week, etc, ETC, ETC, ETC?!?!? 

Somehow I convinced myself on that Friday that I would be able to do it all during the upcoming week.   So dumb.  So naive.  Sunday, smack dab in the middle of church, I changed my mind.  I could see the next six days laid out before me and they were going to be absolute hell.  In a frantic fit of madness, I bailed out of church early and made an emergency phone call to the person I knew would answer.

Mary.  My little sis.

She's the bomb.  And I miss her like crazy.  She's preaching the good word down South in Argy. 
Only one more year left until I see her again!
 "I have to drive up to the school.  Will you come with me?"

There were no questions.  No doubts.  No "On a Sunday afternoon?  You crazy girl!"

Instead, she said, without a second of delay, "Sure.  Come pick me up."

The instant I pulled up to the house, Mary came bounding out.  She thrust open the door, snapped on that seat belt, and with an ear to ear grin exclaimed, "Let's go!"

Sometimes overly enthusiasitc people bother me.  I feel like they need to take it down a notch and come to earth where the rest of us trudge on in daily monotony.  But not that day.  That day I needed Mary's enthusiasm, her excitement, her willingness to drive two hours with me on the middle of a Sunday afternoon.

It was pouring rain outside, and as soon as we got on the road I nearly exploded to my little sister.  Every care, every worry, every stress that was hoarded up, beating up on my overworked brain came spilling out in waves.  I talked fast and I talked carelessly, and as I did tears streamed down my face.  I wasn't unhappy, I was just stressed.  And worried.  So so worried.  I was worried people would get offended at the wedding. (They did.) I was worried someone would say something ridiculous and inappropriate at the wedding. (They did.) I was worried the sound system, the technology, the video projector wouldn't work. (It didn't.)  I was worried people would be late (They were.)  My dad had died barely a year earlier.  Of all the worries, the most pressing, most porminent was the worry that it wouldn't be a happy day without him.  I was worried it would be hard for me, hard for my mom, hard for all involved. Instead of a day seeping happiness, I worried the day would be heavy with sorrow.

I drove at 80 mph, splashing water all over the freeway, speaking furiously, my worries and stress boiling out of me.  Mary just listened, uttering not a word.  Sometimes you need people not to say a dang thing back to you, and instead just nod and say "uh-uh" and "oh" and nod again.  Mary did that.

We arrived at the school in record time.  In the pouring rain we ran to the back door closest to my classroom. 

Tragedy.  My card wouldn't work.  The door didn't budge.  I panicked.

We ran to the next door.  My card wouldn't work.  The door didn't budge.  The panic grew.

We ran to the next door.  And the next.  And the next.  Not one door to the school would open (I found out weeks later that they had recoded the school doors and my card had not been updated.)

I was devastated.  Past the point of tears, past the point of screams, past the point of fits of rage and stress, I turned from the last door and said quietly to Mary, "Alright, let's go."

The first five minutes of the drive, neither of us spoke.  There was a chilling silence.  Then, Mary spoke.  I suppose it was her turn to talk.  Because I was too numb to care any more and miles past my breaking point, Mary took over the reins.  She told me about her most recent horrific date, "It's not that I mind the dollar theatre and Beto's that much, it's just that he had taken me on that exact same date a week ago.  If you're going to be cheap at least be creative about it!"  And her most recent heartbreak "He had left his computer open, and I saw an email he wrote to his little brother stating that although he had kissed me, he didn't like me that much and was doing it just because he was bored."  She told me about her worries about serving a mission "What if I can't learn the language?  What if I hate my companion?  What if every cute boy gets married while I'm gone?"  Mary didn't let me get a word in edgewise, no, now it was her turn to talk.

She talked and talked and I listened and then I started to laugh and then we were both laughing and the stress that had covered every last inch of my body slowly began to melt away.  The rain didn't let up and the birds didn't come out to sing, but something was lifted from me.  A burden, a stress, a great weight.  I relished the car ride home, and when we returned to the house, my mom had dinner ready and wondered where in the world the two of us had disappeared to on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

One year later I am so grateful for a little sister and her two hours of unselfish time she gave to me.  I guess she was a savior to me that day, although she never knew.

That's what I was doing a year ago today.  How about you?

Mary was so mad when I made her pose for this picture in a dress. 
But she went along with it just to humor me. 
Ain't that a good little sis?


  1. So sweet! I can only imagine how stressed you must have been with so many things going on - so glad you had a sister there to pick you up a little and give you a shoulder to cry on :)


  2. I grew up with 2 brothers and always wished I'd had a sister. She sounds like a keeper!

  3. LOVE your blog! I can't wait to read more about you, you and your hubby make a beautiful couple! :)

  4. You and your sis are cuties! Great pictures.

  5. Almost made me cry! Family is wonderful, and friends who are family too...

    Also- good advice about worrying! Sometimes we just shouldn't worry about something that will inevitably happen anyways!

    Love your blog :)