All she wanted was something simple: a night to enjoy the company of those she loved. All I wanted was to give her the moon. She was, after all, my little girl; the moon was but a small token of the love I felt for her. The moon, however, was too much and, just days before the open house to honor my oldest daughter and her new husband, tempers flared. We both got hurt. Words spoken and unspoken stung like salt water in old wounds that had never really healed.
In my soul, there are numerous emotional abrasions in various stages of healing. Misunderstandings with my own parents have left some areas of my heart vulnerable to even the slightest hint of impending injury, while other areas are walled off to prevent debilitating damage. I wasn’t a model mother to my oldest daughter, a fact I keenly recognize. In fact, I made all my mistakes, and then some, with her. I grew. I learned. I apologized -- parents, whether they want to admit it or not, make lots of errors -- still it seems I can never fill the void between words once said in anger or haste and the real intent of my heart.
She wanted a simple arbor to stand beneath. What she got was an elaborate backdrop: white wooden archway handcrafted by her dad bedecked with grape vine, ribbon, and white lights in front of four white lattice panels draped with more grape vine, ribbon, lights, and drapped with fabric in her chosen colors. Setting it all up made the males in attendance grumble like they do when they don’t understand the whims of a woman. I wanted a scene fit for an angel: moon beams dancing on her hair, playing on the delicate features of her beautiful face.
In the end, she explained she hadn’t wanted anyone to go to any trouble for her. I tried to explain that it was no trouble -- that loving moms like to make a fuss over their daughters. We patched things up, guests were due to arrive. I’m still not sure she understood me; I’m still not sure I understood her. I hope one day she will look back and remember that what she might have perceived as her mother’s excesses were truly expressions of love.