- 12 years ago
- Wedding: September 2011
Last week, there was some talk about him getting a heart transplant. I was really scared about it on top of having witnessed him being shocked repeatedly. I was feeling a lot of guilt and regret about not spending enough time with my family in addition to being scared that my dad might die soon. During an emotional state, I called my friend and left her a voicemail to tell her that I have too much going on in my life in terms of my dad that I do not feel like I could give her 100% dedication to her for her wedding day. I am her only bridesmaid as well as her maid of honor. We have been good friends for 11 years now.
She called me back and left a voice message stating that she undertands that I am upset, but to remember that my family is only one piece of my life; that I have my work, my friends, and myself to consider. Given the fact that my dad was in the ICU and there was uncertainty about how long he was going to live, her words did not sit well with me. Her wedding is this June.
Her fiancee emailed me later that same day and told me that he is sorry that my family is going through such a difficult time and that if there was anything that they could do, then to let them know. He then stated that I need to remember that my friend does not have a family (fyi..her father left her before she was born and her mother was barely there…her grandparents raised her and her grandfather passed away 2 years ago due to old age). Her fiancee stated that I’m the only constant person that has been in her life and that it wouldn’t be the same if I was not in her wedding.
I replied back to both him and my friend in one email. I stated that I was experiencing some strong emotions right now because of my dad’s heart problems and I thought I was being respectful by letting them know that there is a chance that I wouldn’t be able to be in the wedding. I thought I was being respectful by giving them an advance notice of needing a possible replacement for me. I sugguested that we wait and see how my dad’s health progresses within these next 4 weeks and then make a decision on keeping me in the wedding party or not. I also mentioned that I did not appreicate the guilt trip that was being put on me given the fact that my dad was in the ICU. I stated that perhaps we don’t share the same values when it comes to family. Reflecting back on it, I wish I did not write that last statement.
So then she replies back with the following:
”I think you’re only thinking of yourself right now, and you’re unhealthily enmeshed in your family’s past. My wedding is 5 months away and you can’t even commit to it b/c you can only think of yourself in this present moment, not even the fact that we have been good friends for 11 years. I’m sorry if you felt insulted but I think you have been too involved with yourself in the last year.
You said in your voice message about backing out of my wedding all together. I felt extremely hurt as a friend-I totally did not expect that coming, but I did understand about the rest of the planning. You are my best friend and my wedding won’t be the same without you, whether or not you decide to speak to me anymore.”
I wrote back:
”Let’s see how my dad’s cardic ablation procedure goes tomorrow, okay? If he does well and shows improvement in the next few weeks, then of course I’m going to remain your maide of honor/bridesmaid. Of course I will give you my 110%. I love you!…and I won’t hate you if you decide to pull me off your wedding because you think I’m not doing a good job. The reason why I was originally suggesting that I may pull out is because, if my dad does suffer another heart problem before your wedding, then I might have to pull out. For example, if he suffers the weekend before your wedding, then I most likely will not be able to fulfill my bridesmaid duties. I know you can understand that, but I’m hoping that you are also aware of that potentially small risk. Let’s see how things go, okay?”
So she replies back the following:
Hopefully your dad is doing better! And how are you feeling?
I’m glad you don’t hate me! I know my response may have been harsh in my last e-mail but I just had to say what I was feeling. I felt disappointed because you are my best friend and the wedding is so far from now, but I understood that your emotions must have been all over the place when you left that message for me over the weekend. I agree that it sounds good to wait and see how your dad does, but I still feel slighted b/c I feel that you would want to commit to two of the most important days of my life for me five months from now, unless of course your dad is on his deathbed the week of my wedding. Anything could happen between now and then and I feel it is too soon to make a judgment for this unless there is something else going on in which you are not comfortable being the bridesmaid in general.
My aunt said that she’d be happy to be my maid of honor, but me and her would be happy to wait until closer to the date for you to make a decision. I probably will have both of you buy your own dresses that I approve of and then we’ll go from there….”
FYI…she was going to buy my dress before my family crisis occured.
So I finally wrote this to her today and waiting for her reply back:
”I feel terrible that you feel slighted. It’s almost as if I am neglecting you on your most important day. The thing is, however, I wasn’t given a choice. I would MUCH rather share in my best friend’s big day in addition to the exciting girly preparation and shopping that goes along with it.
I was not given a choice! Instead of laughing, reminiscing, and fantasying about your exciting future as we prepare for your wedding, and instead of walking down and aisle in a beautiful dress creating a path of rose petals, I am stuck worrying whether or not my father shall live, and if so, how long that will be even with a risky heart transplant in the future.
What you don’t understand is that I’m finally becoming healthy and putting my family’s dysfunctional past behind me. Even while I was in the waiting room with my brother and mother, and they were worried about the outcome of how successful the ablation would be, we were talking about many of the things that my father suffered during this childhood. Despite the stress of the ablation, it was a positive experience. I believe that my entire family, even while my father was going through his procedure, became closer together. I don’t see how I’m only thinking of myself because I don’t have the luxury to do so. I’m thinking of my father, mother, brother, and friend; in that order. If I did have the luxury to think only of myself, I would be luxuriating in my very own condo, hanging out in Washington DC, going out on dates, going up to Philly every other weekend to hang out with you having fun and making plans with my best friend whose getting married. Most of all, I would be taking a days off for the entire weekend of your wedding, getting all dolled up, going out to your bachelorette party, walking down the aisle, having a blast at your reception party, clicking on my champagne glass to make you and Matt kiss, and going the whole 9 yards to be there for your wedding because I love you.
You are someone who I choose to love because, when I met you, we clicked and became best of friends. Families are very complicated relationships, but we love them nonetheless and in moments of crisis, you do what you have to do. If, God forbid, the shoe was the other foot and you had some medical crisis or life crisis, then I would do everything I could possibly do so that I could be there for you…just as I am doing everything I can possibly do to be there for family. So I hope you can understand where I am coming from so that you no longer feel slighted, neglected, or that I’m being selfish because that isn’t the place that I am coming from.”
I couldn’t (and still don’t) understand why my friend was more concerned about whether I could be in her wedding instead of expression some geniune sympathy and compassion for what I was going through during that time. Can someone explain this to me? OR is she right? Should I be thinking about her wedding while my dad is in the ICU and there is no certainly about his longivity? I called her during an emotional state because I do consider her a good friend. I called her for support. I want an objective opinion and some different points of view about this situation.
As of today, it looks like I can indeed remain her maid of honor and only bridesmaid, but this entire situation has left a bad taste in my mouth so to speak. I was touched that she choose me as her maid of honor, but I am not one of those women that feels hurt if she isn’t choosen. I love attending weddings, but I am indifferent about being a wedding party. Of course I will not retaliate by refusing to be her maid of honor now that my family crisis is over. Her words have now sunk into my head. The fact that she is not apologizing because she says that is just how she feels….well, I feel like saying tell her then why is she even bothering asking me to be her maid of honor. I know she has other friends that she can choose from. I don’t know. I don’t want to be her ‘slave’ as she starts turning into a Bridezilla.
Anyway, if you got family, then please tell them and/or show them that you love them because life is short and time is a gift.