How does it feel to know your mom won’t be at your wedding? It’s hard to put the answer into words, when no one ever asks you. Maybe they don’t ask because they know I’m strong. Maybe it’s because I’m so damn perky most of the time…who wants to bring up something negative! After all, weddings are a time to be happy!
As uncomfortable as it may be, the difficult things need to be talked about too. As we live our truth we empower others to do the same. For those of you that have ever wondered or are going through a similar situation… here’s the answer to the question that no one asks me.
Knowing my mom won’t be at my wedding is the cruelest of heartbreaks. It’s like being in love with someone who doesn’t exist anymore. My mom and I never had a perfect relationship, but I can remember all the best moments with her.
We would dance around in the kitchen, sing karaoke duets, get mani/pedis and cry over sappy Rom-coms. I’m an only child and I knew beyond a doubt, my mom loved me. Silly, dorky, playful, endlessly energetic and hopeful me. But that version had a narrative…. that I rewrote.
It’s hard to figure out who you are. Coming out and figuring out how to live my own truth was a hard-earned battle with myself. Even if you know the rules, sometimes you must break them to live. My mom tried to love that version.
First, she tried “tough love”. We were practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses, so she reported my “alternative lifestyle” to the Kingdom Hall. I was in love and not the least bit sorry about it, so I got disfellowshipped. Disfellowshipping is the practice of shunning by the congregation and practicing friends and family. It’s done in the hopes that the wrong doer may miss the fellowship with loved ones and come to their senses. My mother didn’t speak to me for the first few years after I came out. It was gut-wrenching for both of us and the shunning didn’t work. I couldn’t manage to pray the gay away, nor was I willing to try anymore. Her only child was still a lesbian!
My mom gave in three years later at my (most beloved and liberal) aunt’s house. She broke down and cried over the time we lost. She slowly began to acknowledge my relationship with my girlfriend. She made us dinner at her house. She even came to Pride that year and sang karaoke to a sun-drenched crowd happily singing along in rainbow. My mom tried to love the “new version” of me. But the battle between supporting her child and obeying her religion was an old one. By the end of the year, religion won. It’s been eight years.
I remember her arm around me as we sang karaoke that day. I’ll always wonder if she knew how proud I was to introduce her to my friends at Pride. I remember the acceptance and the love I felt that year. But I also know what it feels like to miss it for the eight years since. I will never stop missing my mom. Just like I’ll always remember that at least she tried. For that, I am thankful.
You can love someone with all your heart and still have to make choices that break it. Sometimes, you must stop fighting to hold on to others and fight for your own happiness. I made the choice that was best for me.
I am not inviting my mother to my wedding. I’m choosing to walk down the aisle proud of the life that I’ve built, surrounded by those that love and support me. When I look back, I think of all the things my mom did right (and wrong) and how they’ve shaped the woman I’ve become. I believe I’m stronger because of both. Growing up, I always thought my mom would be at my wedding. The best parts of her will be… walking down the aisle…. to marry a woman named Kimberly. 💕