About a year ago, I worked the hardest wedding of my career. I was working in Greensboro, so I was staying at a hotel when my phone rang early the morning of the wedding. I was surprised to see my husband’s number, considering the fact that he typically sleeps until noon on weekends when given the option, but hearing the emotion in his voice made me sit bolt upright in bed.
The long and short of it was that our youngest dog Lola had gotten out the night before, and was hit by a drunk driver. Lee was able to get to her in time to say goodbye, and dear friends of ours went with him to help bury her-- which is something I will forever be grateful for. While I immediately went into crisis mode with him on the phone, and began working to ensure that he was okay and the wedding he was scheduled to work was covered, there was also this growing pit in my stomach as I realized I still had a 14 hour work day ahead of me.
I wish I could tell you that I am this warrior of a person who breezed through the day and just compartmentalized my feelings until Sunday when I got home. But the truth is, I cried about 15 times that day, and couldn’t have real-life conversations with any vendor friends of mine, for fear that they may ask about how Lee and the dogs were doing.
On the outside I was folding linen napkins and adjusting table runners, and on the inside I was trying to hyper focus on the details of the wedding day, rather than on the details of my “real life.”
The next few days were a harsh return to reality, as I came back home to a broken hearted husband, and two dogs where there should have been three. I have always selected dog breeds as pets that were known to have longer life spans because I get so attached and never want to deal with the idea of losing one. In fact, my favorite dog has always been Great Danes, but since they only live 6-8 years, we never owned one of our own.
I sat looking at our 2 pups the other night, and was struck by the irony of the fact that they both have grey around their faces and yet, the youngest of our 3 was the one we lost. Our whole company is built around preparing for the for the unexpected and making each wedding day as stress free as possible, and yet, this particular wedding day left me completely unprepared for how I should proceed.
Although losing Lola was a lesson that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, it did teach me a huge lesson in living each day with loved ones to the absolute fullest, because just like weather on a wedding day, you just don’t know what can to happen when you least expect it.