She secured the final yellow elder flower in my hair, handed me my simple, yet glorious bouquet, walked me to the beginning of the path, and wished me luck, her voice like golden honey, thick with her melodious West Indies accent.
“I wish you tremendous joy…” she pronounced, her hands warm and kind, her eyes clear and deep.
I started down the path, alone, fatherless, joyfully anticipating all that awaited me.
Even before I saw him waiting for me, I could sense his radiant love. I could feel his joy at my slow approach.
I knew he would be there.
I knew he would always be there.
With each step I took, the satin of my white dress slid across my bare legs, whooshing and gently grazing the sandy ground, shifting ever so gently beneath my golden shoes, just as my present and my future solidified before me.
The air was heavy with moisture. The sun shone overhead in a sky so blue it rivaled the ethereal, glistening sea, which sat directly in front of me.
I stepped forward…each step I had taken in my life, every ache, every loss, had brought me closer to him…to this very moment.
From this moment on, every joy, every failure, would be wrapped in his love and support, buffered by his love.
The heady scent of plumeria carried me past the last turn in my path.
He stood at the end of the winding path, his golden face lit with love and anticipation.
Though my feet continued, my mind paused…caught in that moment…hoping to etch that feeling in my mind, memory, and heart. Hoping to always remember what it felt like to have someone look at me with such adoration, with acceptance that knows no bounds.
He waited. For me.
No guests. Just the two of us. The way we had begun, the way we needed it to be.
For the first time in my life, I knew that I was part of a whole.
I could set down my worries and lean with my full weight into true and unconditional love. I could stumble and fall without fear of losing everything. I could stop being the one who things happened to and I could start making my own life happen. Making our life happen. Together.
I stepped forward to a place of acceptance, safety, and unconditional love.
I stepped foward.
This post is linked up with the Red Dress Club’s memoir prompt, which asked: “imagine that after you have died and your daughter/son will be given the gift of seeing a single five-minute period of your life through your eyes, feeling and experiencing those moments as you did when they occurred. What five minutes would you have him/her see? Tell us about them in the finest detail.”