I apologize for my lack of postage, fellow blog-worldlings. My free time where I used to blog has been entrapped by the Sy-Fy phenomenon that is the show Haven. However, I’ve broken the trance by finishing all four seasons in a matter of a week, so I’m back! And do I have a gem of a story to share with you!!
As you know from my past post Broad Perspectives & Positive Living, I value a positive lifestyle. Nothing makes me happier than being surrounded by people who have a bright outlook on life. Yesterday I met and spent time with one wonderful lady who truly made me appreciate optimism and its influence in the world.
This lady’s name is Tiffany. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned, but I work in the wedding industry at a cozy little venue called the Shadowland Ballroom which is located right on the shore of Lake Michigan. We are relatively busy at Shadowland and tend to have at least two weddings a weekend. Tiffany was our Saturday, September 13, 2014 bride.
I had never met this bride before as my responsibilities as event manager are relatively new. My role in this particular wedding was to manage the event; meaning, assist in any way to help the couple, and supervise the evening so it might run as smoothly as possible. Now Tiffany impressed me right off the bat when she came into the ballroom early Saturday morning to begin decorating the space herself. Instead of spending the numerous amounts of cash typically spent by our brides, Tiffany decided to design her own decorations. These came in the forms of painted mason jars, custom floral arrangements, and — my personal favorite — a hand-sown burlap ruffle cake table cover. She had me crying with laughter as she made witty snips about the costs of decorations online compared to her own creations, and it was apparent she had as much fun making the decor as she was having doing the actual decorating.
Later that evening, after Tiffany and her fiance-turned-husband Jason said their vows on the beach, the couple came back to the ballroom to celebrate with their guests. As is popular, the couple chose to spend a few quality moments together before their grand entrance. However, the moments together were actually spent in the back office with me, and what had been planned to be a few minutes turned into an hour and a half. The three of us shared quite a bit of laughter and even joined in a toast together. It was so amazing to see how in love the couple was, and Tiffany simply glowed. With a few hugs from Tiff and a hand shake from Jason, the couple finally walked into the ballroom to greet their guests right before dinner was served. As event manager, I had the pleasure of working throughout the entire reception.
As the night progressed, I heard a lot of mentions that the couple was going through a rough patch in their lives. The night was unbelievably lively, fun,and entertaining, but there was this feeling in the air that something was missing. I can’t explain the way it made me feel. However, I realized my gut was right when the maid of honor’s speech occurred and multiple people in attendance, including the bride and groom, dabbed their eyes due to her apology that a certain someone could not be in the audience. No one was directly stated, so I decided to bait my curiosity and ask my manager.
I discovered that Tiffany’s mother was not able to attend her only daughter’s wedding because she was at a hospital in a coma. The mother, who my manager had met and of whom spoke very highly, had only been in such a state for the past three weeks. She had contracted a staph infection and bacterial infection in her brain due to hysterectomy surgery. With all this chaos in her life, it was amazing enough that the couple was able to pull themselves together enough for a wedding. However, this fact amazed me even more when I found out that Tiffany is a middle school teacher who had begun her school year only two weeks prior to the wedding. Talk about a super woman! (On a whole separate note, Tiffany had had her nose broken the Wednesday before the wedding by her dog. So she also was managing that pain and stress right before her wedding celebration. Wow!)
With this knowledge, I looked back at the woman with whom I had spent a large part of the day. The woman who was witty and funny and obviously in love. How did she hide such a strong and paralyzing part of her life? Anyone who had met Tiffany on the morning of her wedding would never suspect the horror behind her life and the sadness she was facing.
Tiffany and Jason stopped by my office this morning to thank me and wish me a good rest of the wedding season. Hugging her, I congratulated her and told her I’d keep her in my prayers. Knowing what I meant, she gave me another hug and thanked me, replying that everything happens for a reason, even if we don’t know what the reason is at the moment. I was blown away. Here was a woman going through hell, and she still had the nerve to find the positive things in life. She is a role model of mine; I want to become more like Tiffany.