It turns out those little green bridesmaid dresses make comfy nightgowns.
You don't know, because you weren't there with mama and me, camping out on the front lawn that night, dragging a quilt from the couch, and cozying up to the one other Whitehead woman left-- well, not so much "standing," as collapsed from the weight that collects in one's feet following a month of preparation for the wedding that had just concluded as we blew out the last candle and carried in the last table cloth. The ghosts of elegant white tables still haunted the front lawn, but otherwise we were alone at last.
Every morning of those three and a half weeks we rose early to get the household gears turning, breakfast made, children to their tasks, and we stopped--coffee in hand--for a breather and a desperate prayer on the front step.
""We are going to survive this day.""
And if not, there was always Plan B.
The sun would already be hot, bathing our legs as we wriggled our toes in the damp grass and perched on the cool cement steps, gazing into the distant, surrounding hills--wallpaper for a summer wedding. We had three weeks, two, seven days, a few, a couple...
So Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Mikrut ran down the driveway to escape their bubble-blowing fans.
The crowd of guests reduced to stragglers,
reduced to our generous helping neighbors,
reduced to us on the steps again,
a concentration of one month's concentration.
A tired father-of-the-bride had kissed his own bride goodnight and ushered the relatives off to bed with the kiddos.
And we sat listening to the celebratory sounds settle into silence and starshine. God does answer prayer. We basked in the glow of our miracle. We were wriggling our toes in the floor of Jessie's reception hall, and it had been. . .yes. . .and it was over.