Atlanta, Georgia: A Wedding Week Begins

September 17, 2012 in North America, Travelogue, United States

My mother is snoozing next to me.

She makes a soft, warm sound when she sleeps and it reminds me of being little and climbing into her bed.

I don’t see my mom often enough, maybe four times a year if we have a good year, and when I do, I have to share her: she’s also my kids’ grandmother. My mom is my favourite person in the world.

She flew into Atlanta at the same time I did last night, her bagged stuffed with twenty yards of tulle, little feathered doves, wire clippers and other bits and pieces culled from her craft corner that are destined for Ruth’s wedding. My bag is equally stuffed with tiny green ceramic elephants for the cake topper, fantastic Thai hair clips for the ladies and other tiny treasures.

This week I is why I came, and the purpose for the convergence of our paths, my mother and I: we’re here to support Ruth and make her wedding day as special as we possibly can.

It’s going to be a whirlwind week, as they always are:

  • Hair appointments
  • A thorough checkout of the venue
  • Last minute dress alterations
  • A party
  • We’re doing all of the flowers ourselves
  • Rehearsal

You know, the usual pre-wedding rodeo.

There’s no one I’d rather spend it with than my Mom and no bride more dear to me than Ruth.

Who’s Ruth?

Ruth in Honduras with us

Ruth is my second cousin on my mother’s side. The granddaughter of Mom’s oldest sister, Rosy. Over the last couple of years she has become, in many ways, the little sister I never had. She’s a fiery red-head in all of the best ways and she’s one of the bravest, strongest, most determined girls I know. She’s got a good handle on who she is and what she wants out of life and the path she plans to walk to get it. And she has the determination to overcome the big obstacles in life. I admire that about her.

There aren’t many people I’d fly around the planet for, but Ruth is at the top of that list. I was shocked when she asked me to be her matron of honor, and was determined to move heaven and earth to support her in her choice and make her wedding all she dreamed of.

We’ve had many cross continental chats about flowers and dresses, venues and vows and it’s surreal to now be tucked up on her couch, a week before her big day, with my Mama, ready to work hard to pull off a fairytale.

This week will hold adventures of a different sort than usually grace this blog. I hope you’re ready to see pictures of fancy dresses, lenghas and sarees (the wedding has an Indian theme) and to hear about flowers and fancy parties instead of bus rides and weird food. You’ll get a window into the other side of our world: the one that includes extended family, deep roots and love above and across and around generations and lifestyle differences and difficult circumstances. I have the best family in the world, and this week, I’ll introduce you to a few of them and perhaps you’ll see why it made sense to me to fly 36 hours from the far side of the planet, to wear a dress I bought, sight unseen, and love my little cousin into her new life.

My mom is stirring. I’ve got 40 minutes until I’ve got a skype date with my kids in Thailand (they’re eating dinner fast so they’lll be ready. I’m hopping in the shower to wash off the last of the jet lag.

Time to hit the ground running.