I got a call from my Aunt R. the other night regarding my upcoming nuptials. Aunt R. is my father's sister and one of his three living siblings (the black sheep of the group, Uncle B., died about 15 years ago.) She lives in the Land of the Confederacy, about two hours north of where she and my Dad grew up, near the distinguished city named for Ancient Cairo.
Aunt R. and her husband B. are proving to be something of a wild card where my wedding to Fiancee S. is concerned. I haven't seen her for nearly 20 years. She was invited to parents wedding some 40+ years ago and did not attend. She was invited to my sister's wedding about six years ago and did not attend. We extended the invitation to her more or less expecting the same response, but, lo and behold, she wrote my parents at Christmas saying that her and B. were looking forward to coming.
Speculation regarding this change of heart has been intermittent but interesting. When visiting my parents last Christmas, I suggested that the reasons might be religious. My parents were married in the Eastern Orthodox Church. My sister and her husband being more agnostic than the traditions that either was brought up in were married in a Unitarian Church. Fiancee S. and I will be married in a Nuptial Mass in the Catholic Church. I am told that Aunt R. is probably the most devoutly Catholic of my Dad's immediate family. So, I half-jokingly said to my Mom around Christmas that "perhaps she's coming because there will finally be a Mass."
I didn't expect much of an answer to this, but my Mom thought about it for a minute and said "You know... that might just be the reason."
Anyway, Aunt R. called the other night to let us know why we haven't received an RSVP card from them yet. In her charming and distinctive drawl, she explained about pending medical problems with her husband B., at least one of her sons, and various of my Dad's siblings and her various in-laws. She went on to explain she and B. are very much looking forward to the trip if everyone is healthy enough to make it, and that one of her sons will be accompanying them (though which one remains to be seen because of the aforementioned health issues.)
Fiancee S. and I had also extended an invitation to Aunt R. to read at our Nuptial Mass. We thought this would be an excellent fit because of Aunt R.'s devotion to the Church. Alas, she turned us down by saying that "Brother F." (my Dad) would be "mortified by her accent" (Dad lost his drawl years ago). When I attempted to assure her that it would definitely not be the case, she said "oh no, I'm sure he would be looking for a way to hide under the pew". Knowing that graciousness and manners are important to the way of life in the Land of the Confederacy, I left the matter there. She volunteered on of her sons (my first cousins) to read instead.
All this has reminded that it will be nice to have some of my Dad's relations present at our wedding. It has also made me curious about some of the people I remember visiting a few times in my youth. My Dad is one of five, and his mother was one of nine. There are a lot of people spread across the United States who are fairly close relations that I have either never met or not seen in nearly two decades. Perhaps Fiancee S. will have to make some effort to visit them one of these days, if only to know more about who my "people" are.
on 2004-05-12 at 9:49 a.m.
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