I let the air out of the air mattress and it deflated quicker than I thought it would. I opened the valve, turned my back for a moment and it was done. The air was gone. One minute there was a bed between the futon and the rocking chair and the next there is just a pile of blankets and pillows on the floor. Like the grave clothes in the empty tomb.

Pam and Kim slept on the air mattress beside Becky and I on the futon. One last night of giggling and whispering and teasing and singing and storytelling and then it was the morning of Becky's wedding day.

It was a beautiful day. The most beautiful day. The joy was almost tangible and everyone present was on a natural high that comes from being near two people so in love and happy with one another.

And I didn't cry. Not even once. I grinned like an idiot as I walked down the aisle. One-two, one-two. Not too quickly, not too slowly. Seeing the faces of everyone who had gathered. Everyone who loves Becky and Tom. One-two, one-two. The moment they had been waiting for so excitedly and anxiously was here. One-two, one-two. Big grin, but no tears.

Now I sit in my quiet home that was so full of my sisters' laughs and hurry and bustle to get ready for the wedding and I sit next to the air mattress and life feels... deflated... somehow. And I know it's the lack of sleep over the last week, and the busyness of the weekend, and the sore throat that is creeping up on me, but the tears come. The wedding is over. My baby sister is married. She who never entered a room quietly, whose owies I kissed, whose high fives I was offered for every small accomplishment, who hugged me so ferociously with her skinny little arms, whose nightmares I smoothed from her sweaty, worried, little brow, who wrote me notes (Corrie, I love you as much as I love the rainbow) that I still keep, and who still looks across the table at me with that mischievous look in her eye and that wicked grin on her face.

And they're only gone for a week and I will see them both at folk fest next weekend, but the wedding is over and I don't know how to fill my time.

So I will sit here and reminisce about my skinny, little Becky and the beautiful woman she has become, and how someday I will sing her favourite songs to her children and how maybe they will write me notes, too.


pamero said...

Well, it was great. And I only cried like three tears but they turned to laughing because Kim was sobbing like a baby. Good times. And now it's weird to think of them as always being together now. Same house, same plans, same car ... after so many years of "Who's at who's house?", now they're a 'we'. Nice.