This last full moon slammed me, in the best and worst sense of the word. It started out with my cousin Sylvia's wedding at the Jersey Shore on Saturday. It was her third wedding and I don't think anyone expected it to be as insanely joyous and off the hook as it was. I mean it's not like she and Greg are not thrilled to be beginning their new life as husband and wife but I guess I was thinking that maybe Sylvia would be more sober about the whole thing, having been there before. Bad Love Artist. I should know better. True love is like giving birth, you get amnesia. It really isn't til about a week before the baby was due, that I started to get that jumping off a tall building anxiety but, really, it doesn't even cross my mind until then, when it's too late.
Sylvia and Greg got married in a church, just like newlyweds, except that Sylvia's two daughters, 18 & 20, gave her away. Greg had met Sylvia about 24 years ago at a party. She was married to her first husband then. After being introduced, Sylvia, just a little over 5 feet tall and always an over-sharer, showed Greg that she had hemmed her pants with masking tape on her way over to the party. Greg was amazed at her guilelessness and never forgot her. Her marriage fell apart, and then the next one did too. Greg was still waiting for her. Not in touch, just hanging out in the wings, faith in love, faith in her.
Their reception was in a marina in Point Pleasant. It was torrential outside, rain falling in frigid leaden curtains sideways and continuous all night long. After we had all collected ourselves at our designated tables in a banquet room that was totally prom-worthy, the music started pounding quietly and then mounting into a crescendo. We were all called out onto the dance floor in a circle and suddenly the MC was yelling into the mike like it was a monster truck ralley . . . AND NOW FOR THE FIRST TIME AS MAN AND WIFE . . .
They burst through the doors, two 50-something newlyweds, holding hands and running out in the middle of all of us and jumping up and down & dancing to GIMME SOME LOVING, GIMME GIMME SOME LOVING, GIMME SOME LOVING > > EVERY DAY >>>>>>>
And then we all started jumping up and down too and danced, really, all night long. Once in a while someone would remind us that the buffet was open and a few people would straggle off, but mostly, yes, on the dance floor. At one point, the MC called Sylvia: the happiest bride EVER.
There were always more men than women though my nephews held their own with their cousins, their aunts and they all took turns dancing with their grandmother. After all, they were born into the tail end of this matriarchy, they had plenty of practice & humility handling their women . . . my grandmother, the matriarch & their great grandmother, was the oldest of 7 sisters, and from there, all the way down the line, generation after generation of all girls.
My grandmother wasn't there, though. At 99, she was in a rehab in Florida after a mini-stroke & congestive heart failure. It is the first big event that she hasn't ruled at. It was a relief to not be faced with her discomfort, for a minute, but it was so strange to not have her there.
Oh god, I hate to be the party pooper.
One of the last songs was of course WE ARE FAMILY and we all danced in a circle. I was next to my aunt, the mother of the bride, my mother's only sister, my second mother. She can barely see, particularly in the dark, but she looked beautiful and she was still dancing and laughing.
My daughters and I slept in a room together right at the marina. We ran across the parking lot in the rain and fell asleep like little puppies, in a pile. I woke up in the middle of the night after a dream about high school filled with so much fear about the little things, being left out, people being mean, realizing that you have been delusional about many things, including who you are, what you look like, your face. One of the those dreams that were so real, you can't figure out where you are.
This was the morning of the full moon. We were still all together and it was still all love.
Brunch at the marina before leaving: a chocolate fountain with strawberries for dipping, cannolis, bacon, eggs benedict (for starters).
By the time I walked through the door to my love palace about 5 hours later, alone, I had already been crying for an hour or so. I didn't know why. I cried all night, I couldn't stop it.