July 22nd 2000… the day of my wedding. All day yesterday without even willing this info up my brain reminds me that this day would mark our 12 year Anniversary. It’s a bitter sweet feeling really.
I don’t know what triggered it but it was there like a splinter on my side. So I let the memories flood in. It was a rough wedding to say the least. From being disowned, a Father that I half expected to not show up to church to give me away… with my imaginings of him showing up and slapping me in church once we reach the alter – just as he promised he would.. LOL! NO, he didn’t do that but the look on his face a breath away from literally spitting at me I won’t ever be able to forget.
I remember standing at the alter and seeing my Xhusband red as a lobster and sweating like crazy. He looked like he wanted to volt whilst throwing up at the same time. I think I would of tackled him with my very own wedding gown train if he had after all the drama I received by deciding to marry him. Our engagement was filled with my parents putting me on the streets, my fiance pressuring me to move in with him, my deciding to stick to my guns and do this ‘right’ so that if I ever had a daughter she would know I did so. I spent that year of our engagement sleeping on the couch of my Aunt’s home and hiding from family that wanted to corner me to tell me how wrong I am for marrying him.
With very little money I spent my lunch hours at UCLA Business Department, where I worked at the time, making sewing my wedding dress by hand. My fingers were black and blue from all the crystals and lace.. but I did it lovingly. In the evenings I picked up a 5 bedroom house to remodel to help pay for the wedding and honey moon in Hawaii. I sanded, took down wall paper, ripped out carpet, put down flooring, dry walled, painted and recarpeted.. as well as did their interior decoration for the much needed money for our wedding. Did I tell you I gave blood, sweat and tears for this wedding? I literally did.
My work in the community really bared it’s fruit. The tiny taco stand I used to stop by for years after my night classes in College had grown to a very profitable food truck chain. The owner asked when we were getting married and basically catered our wedding of 500 guests for $900 as a show of appreciation and to help out one of his loyal customers. The church I donated my 10 year business to that still stands now to help Entrepreneurs gain experience and skills offered their rectory for a mere $200 to cover the electrical costs, clean up and security. Yes, I am blessed and honored to be so highly thought of.
The wedding was what we could afford. Drama from my in-laws was always present with my childhood friends defending and sticking up for me all the while. If there were any reality shows back then they sure would of loved filming mine! East L.A. meets Santa Ana Latinos.. it was hairy to say the least. Makes me chuckle just thinking on it. I LOVE my friends!
I was in a professional Mariachi for many years and had contracted the group I last was a part of before I retired. As a surprise I sang my favorite songs to my Xhusband. He HATED it… I should of known the Omen of what was to come. Everyone else loved it and it was a great feeling being in my element if for that one moment.
That night I worked even harder than the year leading up to it. I was running to the kitchen in my full wedding gown helping serve guests and accommodate the the additional 200 guests that showed up uninvited – thanks to the in-laws. I did the whole song and dance and one of the LONGEST Dollar Dances EVER. We cut the cake and helped clean up. I was so happy all that was over and done with and we ended up each taking up a couch in my Aunt’s house passed out from exhaustion. Barely slept 2 hours before we had to leave to the airport and catch our plane to Hawaii.
I was so in love and makes me sad that I haven’t felt that deeply in blind love since. I can remember the exact point when it finally hit that I was FINALLY married. We had a 2 hour photo shoot at the park in Boyle Heights. We were sitting under the shade of a tree and we just stared at each other with awe. Just like little children do that have no idea what is about to come right at them. *Deep Sigh*
I would go through it all over again. If I didn’t I wouldn’t have the reason of my existence… My children. Will there ever be a year that this day will be forgotten? I don’t know the answer to that and think it may never be.
I am older, wiser and have learned from my mistakes. “Para Arriva y Adelante!” translates to: “Upwards and Forwards!”