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I almost made it.

I almost made it.

I went to the wedding of a dear friend’s son yesterday. Her son Andy grew up with Corey almost like a cousin… my place card even said, “Aunt Shelley”.

I promised myself I wouldn’t get pulled into the feelings that Corey should be there. That I wouldn’t cry at the idea that maybe he should be dancing with the rest of the twenty-somethings on the dance floor.

I wanted so badly to feel like there wasn’t a dark cloud following me that made the groom cry when he saw me. I held his arm and said, “No tears today. Today is your day.” He nodded and held them back.

We sat with some random friends of my friend. We began talking about children and grand children, comparing pictures and bragging.

Then came the question, “Is your oldest son the father of your two grand children?”

“No. My oldest son has passed. But our oldest son on Bob’s side is the father of our grand children. And his youngest is expecting one too!”

The table got quiet for just a moment, then we continued our conversation. No drama. No explanation requested. No uncomfortable questions.

We made it through dinner, the toasts, the bouquet toss, and dances. The cake was cut, and served to the guests. With a 2 hour drive in our future, it was time to leave.

As I made my way to say goodbye to my friends (adopted family), the lady we’d been talking to grabbed my arm and wrapped her other arm around me.

Quietly, inconspicuously, she said, “I’m so glad I met you. I’ve been praying for you for a long time. It’s nice to put a face to the prayers.” I asked if that meant she knew who I was. She said she put it together when I said my son had passed.

I almost made it, but then the tears came.

I tried to breathe through them… to calm myself.

I said my goodbyes to my friends. A couple of tears dropped then, but I could blame them on having to say goodbye.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to the hole that Corey left in my life.

Nor will I ever get used to having people I’ve never met recognize me before I know them.

And knowing that they are praying for me is overwhelming.

Yeah. I almost made it. Almost.

Gwen Carver

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