|My Mother & My Sisters|
I’m the third out of five children by blood. The third out of twelve if you added the steps and halves. The third girl, the last female seed between my Father & Mother and the last hadn’t been married.
My Mother promised me long ago that if I waited and planned a year ahead she would give me the most beautiful wedding. I never thought I’d ever get married but as it happened on New Years Day 2007 the man I had sat by the phone waiting to call me day after day, the name I scribbled on my notebook, the man who drove the little red Geo Metro I would so patiently sit at the park in the center of town just in case it drove by; the man I swore to my best friends Angie and Christina at 15 that I would one day have as mine… messaged me over Myspace with the words: “Do you remember me?”
I laughed, as I clearly remember this moment. Of course I remember you! I wanted to scream to his pixelated photograph. I had this long winded retort to his sincere question about how he stood me up time after weary teenage time, but before I could message him back with my long winded answer he had commented to one of my photographs: “Jesus Christ, Amanda…I’m gonna go work on making it 1995 again so I can not be the biggest idiot in the world.” In a lot of ways he succeeded.
|The photo he had commented to.|
There were two things that had happened afterward that solidified my belief we were meant to be married. I’d passed up a lot of proposals in my life from good people because I have a sincere belief in Fate, or God as some people would have it. It wasn’t enough that they were good people there had to be a knowing that I was meant to be there. I would have stayed with him regardless, but to marry him I had to know.
Since I began writing at 12 there was always the character in my poetry/prose called Prince Charming. He wasn’t like the Disney Prince Charming but more some absent figure that loved me that I would write my letters to. I had always placed him, ‘stuck in traffic’. This was my imaginary excuse for why I hadn’t found him yet. I finally wrote my feelings down one day after urging from my friend Kristina. On wispy blue lined paper, stamped and sealed I mailed to the Midwest with the idea that he would think I was absurdly crazed. Instead he sent me a text message in the middle of my rather boring workday with how he had gotten my letter and was stuck in traffic, but how he wished he could get on a plane that moment and fly to me. I knew then that he was my Prince Charming, stuck in traffic, stuck in love with a girl 2000 miles away.
The second thing that had happened was when I flew to see him. It was planned that I would eventually go there to stay once I had straightened out things at work and got my apartment under control and my things packed to move. There are a lot of things involved with moving over long distances. The night before I was supposed to fly back home to Seattle we were sitting on the rooftop of his house staring out at the glimmered haze of city night lights, listening to some saxophone player lament his lost love in August’s humid air, and he turned to me and said, “Don’t go. Stay, stay here with me.” No one had ever asked me to stay before. I was so used to temporary affections and flimsy promises. Here was this beautiful man that I had absolutely no idea why in the world he was even interested in me, asking me to stay. That night he went to work and I had written a long letter to my place of employment saying I could never come back… and I haven’t since.
These moments, however beautiful, are not my Beautiful Moment. My Beautiful Moment happened on the day he placed a ring on my finger. After almost a year of planning, seven months of pregnancy, my Mother and I working on so little sleep, everything having been hand made and decorated by loving fingers of family; one small mess up brought me crumbling to the floor in tears. My hair was done, my make-up was done and all I had to do was put on my dress and walk down to the music so perfectly chosen and choreographed in exactly 1 hour and 30 minutes. I had never been away from Billie for more than a few hours and we had spent the night apart as some customary ritual we decided to implement into our ceremony. I was nerve wracked, stressed and crumbling and my sisters… oh my beautiful sisters… came in and picked me up, placed me in a car and drove me to Sonic for a Cherry-Limeade. I remember laughing through tears as my Step-Father saw both my sisters, having both been divorced once, walking me out the door and yelled: “Where are you taking her!” As if in some panic he thought I was running away, but blood of my blood, my sisters picked me up off the ground both literally and emotionally and brought me back home make-up in tact.
|Me and my two Dads.|
The moment I walked down the aisle with both of my Father’s arms and seen him, my husband, standing there ever so patiently for my hand was as if I were being born through years of heart-ache and sadness. All the days of my life, all the sacrifice and tears, all the emotional turmoil that rested on my soul dissipated in his smile. I had no idea who even showed up to my wedding I was so lost in his eyes, wanting nothing more than to run away from the entire scene to exist forever ever after in the pure happiness I felt with him standing there beside me. My Beautiful Moment was the moment he walked with me, hand in hand, down the aisle to the dressing room. The moment I was his wife and nothing else, as though womanhood and motherhood didn’t exist as personalities. I was no longer fragmented but whole, I was Love and in Love and was Loved. My Beautiful Moment was our second kiss. We were finally away from everyone in the dressing room, the stress of an entire year of planning over in the blink of an eye and there we were finally after what seemed like forever (as 24 hours can seem like forever at times) and he kissed me.
|My Beautiful Moment|
My friend Carolyn actually was sneaking behind us and took a picture of this moment for me. I didn’t even know she was there and for that I feel in some way indebted to her for the rest of my life. It has only been four years since the day he had wired himself into my life, but sometimes I feel as though I’d waited thirteen years for that kiss. I look back through my memories to that lost girl who no one knew was in such an enormity of pain, that confused girl who sewed on a smile so people wouldn’t try to get in, who tried so desperately to drown herself out through one hazard to another… I look at her and I tell her, It’s okay. One day you are going to have your Beautiful Moment. Prince Charming is real and he’s thinking of you, he may be stuck in traffic but he’s going to make it there.
|My sister and my best friend with my faery girls.|
“What are you doing?”
“Waiting for what?”
“Amanda, he is not sending you flowers.”
“Yes he is. I tied a note to a balloon for him. I asked him for flowers.”
“Go find something to do.”
“… I am, I am waiting for my flowers.”
I believe I spent almost ten years waiting on those flowers. I wonder where all my balloons went with the little messages. “I love you. Did you remember my flowers?”
When I was 14 I finally received flowers at my door. It was a bouquet that said, “Sorry it took so long.” They came on my birthday. I went out on the porch and sat with them staring up at the sky and thinking ….
… that balloons might not make good messengers.
It’s taken just as long, if not longer, to realize that my prince was most likely not stuck in traffic at all… he just decided to walk.
Sometimes things just take a long time … doesn’t mean that you are forgotten.
Excerpt from an old journal – 2005
|Mr. & Mrs. Tippit|