You remember little things as a child; I remember “Daisy”. It was my grandmother’s favorite flower, and my grandfather would sing me that song whenever I couldn’t sleep as a small child. As a man in his twenties I remember my grandfather singing that song to my grandmother once Alzheimer’s disease had taken her ability to remember her husband, children and grandchildren. She remembered that song and would smile like an innocent child. My wife lost an aunt who loved butterflies, and wherever we are, if we happen to see a butterfly I see my wife staring at that winged creature with a smile. We both believe in life after you leave this earth, and also that everything that happens in our lives is for a reason.
The night of October 5 th, 2007 wasn’t just an ordinary night. It was the night before I was going to marry the woman of my dreams. We had just arrived to where the rehearsal was going to take place. The wedding planner and the Justice of the Peace both explained to us what was going to happen on the day of the wedding, how to walk, what to say, etc. Nothing really out of the ordinary had caught my eye. At the dinner there was a lot of laughter and reminiscing with family and friends, some stories were good, and some embarrassing, like the time one of our friends “lost” his way in Orlando Florida and showed up at our condo 8 hours and $90 worth of cab rides later. Or the time we had our annual golf outing and by the 8 th hole we had taken over the course. Thank heavens the beverage cart worker wasn’t too upset when my friend jumped into the driver’s seat and brought the cart back to our group. The night was supposed to end after that, as I knew I had a long day ahead. However, my best man Wes “forced” me to go out relax and enjoy my “last night of freedom” as he put it.
Wes must have had something already planned as we headed off to a restaurant that we would normally go to after a softball game or a game of golf. There I saw a few of my friends who came down to wish me luck and to help me celebrate on the eve of my wedding. The night went pretty quickly, and we soon realized that it was two o’clock in the morning. So off to Burger King to grab some take out and off to my room where we ate and talked about the first time we became friends, and all of the times I had caused him grief, as he was my boss back when I first met him. I finally hit my pillow a little after four o’clock a.m. with the hopes of being able to get some sleep before the biggest day of my life.
Seven thirty in the morning the phone in my hotel room started ringing. It was my father on the other end. He wanted to know if he could take his son out to breakfast. So much for getting some sleep, but off we went. We visited a popular breakfast spot in the next town over. I am not sure if it was nerves already starting to set in or if it was the fact that I had only slept three hours and consumed a triple whopper a few hours before but I couldn’t eat a bite. It was nice to have some alone time talking with my father, some great words of advice I will never forget. “Don’t screw this up!” So as if a wedding day couldn’t be complicated enough, we were off to pick up our Tuxedos from the Mr. Tux. Well wouldn’t you know, my tux fit perfect except for the pants. They were way too big, and of course they didn’t have any suspenders so it was either try to go to a different Mr. Tux or live with the fact that my pants were going to have to be hiked up to my chest. My father and I went back to the hotel. He went to his room to relax, and I went to my room to try to catch up on some sleep.
As I enter into my room, I notice that the message button on the phone is blinking. It was Wes. He told me to come up to his room because he had a surprise for me. So off I was to the other side of the hotel. I go to room 413, knock on the door and nothing, knock again and again there is no answer. I start to pound on the door and yelled out “Hey, you ask me up here and now you’re not answering me? Open the door!” I hear Wes yelling at me; only thing is I had to turn around to see him and to realize that I was totally knocking on the wrong door. I yelled “sorry” and walked into room 414, did I mention I only had three hours of sleep? So in the room I see all of my close friends. These were the men I had been friends with for years, these were the men I wanted to be a part of this special day. So the talking and laughing resumed from the night before. It seemed as if we had only been hanging out for a little while. A knock on Wes’ door from my future father in-law to let us know that the wedding was in less than an hour, off running we all went.
I was ready to go. I was feeling strong and confident. I am ready to get married I thought to myself. My friend Josh had come over to my room to help me get ready. I couldn’t get my tie on, my hands couldn’t stop shaking. My father had come down to talk with me, “I am proud of you” the words that I think all men want to hear from their father had broken me. I turned to mush. I wanted to get over to the wedding hall to get ready. Wes had gathered all the groomsmen together; we all spoke briefly. Mainly about why it was 85 degrees out on an October evening! Black Tuxedos and hot weather do not mix well with my friends and me. It was time; I was amazed to see all my family and friends dressed so elegantly. They were here to celebrate this day with my bride and me. As I walked out into the courtyard where we were to be wed, I looked over and saw the flowers that were growing all around and behind the gazebo. They were daisies! All I could do was look at them and smile; I swear to this day that I could hear my grandfather singing that song. Although he couldn’t be with me on the day of my wedding, I felt as though he was standing right next to me. Also, to my amazement, floating through the air were beautiful monarch butterflies. The sounds of Canon in D minor started to play. Everyone was in place in their seats, and down the aisle came my beautiful wife to be. The look on her face when she saw those butterflies is one that I will never forget. Everyone watched as she walked down the aisle; our family, our friends, and Butterflies and Daisies.
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