A Christmas Wedding
The end of 2016 saw us gather together to prepare for a wedding in downth (down south, Margaret River, Edwards Winery). I don’t know how we survived December with all of the shite that went on in the lead up during and after that period. A beautiful well crafted and designed wedding by our eldest daughter, Brittany. An intimate wedding planned and organised for 45 guests for her beloved Lucas, immediate family and very close friends. There were many challenges for Brittany along the way.
A few months before hand, a cancer diagnosis, which resulted within a week of the diagnosis the removal of her thyroid, a car accident through no fault of her own as she was stationary and rear ended, that wrote her car off, leaving her injured with two rotated bones in her spine. Whiplash, aches and pains, headaches that refuse to go away.
Theft of precious photos of each guest personally sourced, and sent for development, printed and posted out for a wedding booklet for each guest, and a dress bought for her Bridal Shower. The parcel containing the photos of the guests is left strewn across someone’s lawn, rain soaked, run over, leaving a fair few damaged. The look on her beautiful face left you heart broken as she went with a plastic bag to gather up the pieces. How much more can this girl take. The only evidence of the dress was the dresses label discarded in a gutter.
Beautiful white Irish linen napkins, embroidered with guest’s nicknames, not quite placed in the right spot as was meant to be. Flowers, that weren’t going to be available, as wholesalers would be closed. This is after spending months and numerous phone calls following up and sourcing the right ones. A miracle thankfully that all but one type of flower became available, that is a win.
Glass candleholders, 98 in all, delayed in America due to incorrect advertising on a postal site. Not expected to arrive on time. A bride’s weight falling, due to a medication imbalance, that still isn’t quite right. An amazing talented bridal designer www.marguisebridal who took the changes and adjustments in her stride. They worked very hard to make sure that Brittany’s journey at least with her dress was with minimal stress after all she’s been through. A caterer booked that had discreetly moved to Melbourne before the wedding but who came back to cater as promised. She said that opportunities on the east coast are too good to pass up. Hoping Brittany hadn’t realised that she’s moved and didn’t want to upset the bride thinking she wouldn’t return. They did a marvellous job.
A grandad, who journeyed from Auckland New Zealand, to see his first grandchild wed. He arrived on a 42-degree day and felt all of his 83 years of age. His memory is sometimes muddled, this he acknowledges. As I said to him, ‘Dad, you are entitled to forget and not remember and be somewhat confused, and don’t you forget it.’ He smiled, nodding. I adore my father with all of my being.
We are a family of teasers and love nothing better than to take the micky out each other. Dad doesn’t escape the mirth of our teasing often, he is usually at the forefront of our minds as we generously share what he has been up to. He made it to Perth in one piece. The morning after his arrival, I find him sitting solemnly on the sofa, head in hands. Turning to my husband I said, ‘What’s the matter with dad.’ ‘He’s bought the wrong suitcase back from the airport,’ said Michael.
It went something like this
Dad came through the gates last, all the while I’m in a panic thinking something’s happened to him. Finally he exits the gates, last, rolling a suitcase in front of him. With his usual cheeky ear-to-ear grin. We hugged, I patted him over to check he was okay, hadn’t nicked anything or broken anything and then Michael took charge of his suitcase. Michael thought it a bit strange that the case was larger than normal and quite heavy for an old fella, who usually packs light. Didn’t think much of it of course till the next morning.
While Michael is trying desperately to get hold of the airport by phone, who weren’t picking up. I had to leave the house to take Brittany for a final wedding gown fitting (remember she no longer has a car) my head full with what we will need to do for dad. A trip to Big W for underwear, shorts, shirts and toiletries. I said to Michael in a panic that if he doesn’t hear back soon from the airport take dad to our local doctors as he needs his heart medication. I’m sure this cant’ be the first time that this has happened to someone.
I texted my brother who I knew would have a little paddy and he filled in some of the blanks
Sarah, my beloved sister in-law had given dad a nice grey suitcase (being hers) with a lovely sparkly grey ribbon tied around the handle so dad could recognise which suitcase was his. Dad rocks up to the carousel for the Etihad airline, when he in fact travelled on Air New Zealand. He collected the last remaining suitcase and assumed it was his. He blames the lady who left the suitcase even though he was at the wrong carousel. By the way the bag he bought home is BLACK and there is NO RIBBON.
Dad said to me, ‘I’m never going to live this down Rae am I?’ ‘Nope you’re not dad, so stop spoiling our fun and keep doing this shite.’ I say squeezing his arm, giving him a hug and a kiss. He laughs. Maybe he does this to keep us on our toes. He’s cheeky enough to.
I also discovered while waiting in the airport queue to give him back to auckland and to my brother and his family, that he has his cigarette lighter in his top pocket. ‘Dad, did you fly here with that in your pocket?’ ‘Yes’, he said. I promptly took it out of his pocket and threw it straight in the bin. ‘Dad, that’s a federal offence.’ ‘Oh’, he says with a look of dismay on his face. You see the first thing he’ll do is light up somewhere, anywhere he can, whether he’s allowed to or not.
Our turn, we stand in front of the lovely ticket lady. She say’s to me, ‘I see on my screen that assistance is required for Mr Bowler,’ looking at me a little puzzled. Asking me to clarify what assistance does he require.’ Dads standing beside me looking a bit sheepish.
I say, ‘Well it is like this.’
‘We would like him to get on the right plane.’
‘Collect the right bag.’
‘From the right carousel.’
‘And exit through the right doors.’
‘Into the arms of my brother.’
‘Got it she says with a smile, give me one minute and I’ll personally see to his comfort myself.’
She escorted us through to the departure lounge, she looked on discreetly as tears roll down my face, we said our good byes, she takes a gentle hold of my dad and escorts him onto the plane.