Memories: Idabell's Wedding Day
by Jane Curtis
It was Idabell’s wedding day. Last minute preparations were being made. Her adopted mom could not have done more for her. Idabell’s aunt, her mom’s sister, had made the wedding gown her mom had designed. She was going to wear a wreath of baby’s breath holding a small veil to cover her head.
Now, everyone knew that Idabell’s mom and her aunt were very close sister’s (and not just because they lived next door to each other) and loved each other very much… they argued about almost everything. Today was no different. The arguments had started early while they were on the phone. Idabell’s mom hung up the phone and was mumbling something about more bows on the gown. Idabell had just gotten out of her perfumed bubble bath when she heard a loud crash.
My mother, Idabell’s mom, had fallen in the hall and hit her head. I noticed she was unconscious. I immediately called 911 and went back to her. I was so scared. My mom was 82 and her sister was 86. These two retired ladies had been looking forward to this day for a very long time.
I called next door and let my cousin know what had happened. When the ambulance got there they worked on mom for just a minute or two before she regained consciousness. She kept saying she was fine. Her age and the fact that she had hit her head made it imperative she go to the hospital. I followed the ambulance in my car.
My aunt and cousin both arrived a few minutes later. They had ushered Mom into an exam room. We waited and waited. No one could tell us anything. Three hours went by and I finally decided to demand to know something. Finally a doctor came out. He apologized for making us wait.
He then proceeded to inform us that Mother had suffered some brain trauma. The hit on the head had brought on some dementia and he wanted to send her to a nursing home and put her under the care of a psychiatrist. I could not believe what I was hearing. I asked if we could see her. He said what he wanted was for us to sit in his outer office and listen to his conversation with her.
We all followed him into the outer office. He put his figure to his lips as if to tell us to be silent. He went inside and left the door slight ajar.
“Now, when can I get out of here?” My mother asked in a very impatient voice. “I have a wedding this afternoon.”
“Ms. Jane,” said in a soft, patient, patronizing voice, Tell me more about Idabell.”
“Idabell, dear doctor, as I have explained fifty times is a pig.”
Again in the soft voice the doctor responded, “And she is getting married today? Or is she the one who wanted to put more bows on her dress? Tell me, Miss Jane, have you and your sister always argued?”
“Idabell is getting married, my sister made the wedding dress. I designed it and she made it. I was arguing about putting more white satin bows on it when I got frustrated. I went down the hall and did not pay attention to water that had gotten on the floor when Idabell got out of her bubble bath. That is why I fell, Doctor.” Now my mother was shouting.
“Please, Miss Jane,…
“You may call me Mrs. Walker or Jane, but don’t call me Miss Jane again like I’m some sort of throwback from the eighteen hundreds.”
“Please, Mrs. Walker,” the doctor continued, “Can you tell me why you think your sister is a pig?”
“Boy, have you got it all wrong. Idabell is a pig.”
“It is Idabell you do not like?”
“Doctor, read my lips, Idabell is a pig.”
I could not stand it any longer. I entered the room. My aunt, cousin, and I had been laughing our heads off. I quietly handed the doctor an invitation to the wedding.
“Doctor, there is nothing wrong with my mother. The wedding is scheduled for 3pm this afternoon at this nursing home. Idabell gets married twice a week to Hamlet. They are two very well trained pot bellied pigs.”
My mother rose from her chair, picked up her hand bag, and patted the doctor on the shoulder. “You should get out more Doc.”
The wedding went off without a hitch. The doctor showed up and shook his head in disbelief. Idabell and Hamlet had been performing the same wedding ceremony for nursing homes across East Texas for almost a year.
My mother and aunt had found a new excitement in their retirement as wedding planners.