Epic Journey: Family Memories

I know I promised to write about our selection process for our wedding photographer this week, but I got a bit distracted browsing the Offbeat Bride Tribe section and thought I should write a small piece about someone who has inspired me and our wedding theme. Depending on how the week goes I’ll do my best to post the photographer piece later this week. Thanks for your patience. 🙂

Early on I had decided I didn’t want to be walked down the aisle by my Biological father because I have a Step-Father who I was closer to, and I didn’t want to be caught up having to explain WHY I was making this decision. I put my foot down (gently) and only told a few close friends and family. Then last Fall, just after becoming unemployed, I accompanied my Mother and Grandparents to the doctor’s office for his final doctor’s visit where they gave the official diagnosis that he was suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s. It was heart breaking.

Over the last few months he’s gotten worse and my biggest fear is finding out he doesn’t remember me or our wedding. There’s a possibility that he may think I’m my Mother in the confusion. He loses his place in the middle of conversations, still tries to drive off and run errands (they revoked his driver’s license), and now refuses to go to the doctor for anything due to fear they’ll tell him something else is wrong with him.

Last month my Mother and I had a long conversation about some of the issues the family has been dealing with, trying to keep him safe, and how he is still in denial about the situation. She asked me, very politely, if I would consider having my Grandfather walk me down the aisle and I immediately accepted. I don’t know how it never occurred to me in the first place! It makes me extremely happy and sad to think that I could share this moment with my Grandfather, and at the same time that he may not remember it, or even live long enough to see us have children.

My grandparents had a huge library in their home (before it was remodeled) when I was growing up. My grandfather made all the shelving and cabinets himself. The walls were covered from floor to ceiling in books. My love of books and reading came from spending long summer afternoons pouring over my Grandfathers books, my mother reading me bed time stories, and my Uncle’s fascination with outer space and their collection of Astronomy books. Our wedding has a paper/book theme due to my Grandfather’s library and his love of books has rubbed off on me over the years. One Christmas I gave him a set of history books that he loved, and my Grandmother was a little annoyed and said, “Now he’s gonna be up all night reading and ignoring me!” She doesn’t like reading much. 🙂 My Aunts and uncles use to tell stories about me reading out loud to them from one of many books, even though I wasn’t old enough to read, or understand was the book was about.

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My Grandfather the Avid Reader

As hard as it is to write these words (I’ve had to stop several times to wipe away tears) I’m happy and hopeful for the love and inspiration my Grandfather has given me. I’m crossing my fingers that his health doesn’t deteriorate too quickly and I’m able to be walked down the aisle with one of my favorite people in the world, my Grandpa Campos. 🙂

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