Is this real life she said, literally pinching herself as we danced. For me, words were absent, which most will tell you is quite rare. All I could do was smile. So, for a few brief moments my little sister and I danced, all the while smiling, and that was enough.
It has not been an easy road for either of us. But it never is. And without comparing one tragedy to another, I will simply state that there have been a couple of significant mile markers in each of our journeys that though they don’t define us, have altered our course. One such moment, and probably the most severe, is when we lost our youngest sister Courtney to Leukemia.
At the time that Court was called into heaven, and as you do when you lose someone close to you, especially someone so young (Court was 19 at the time), I waded repetetively in my thoughts. There was one such thought that I could not escape. It seemed so trivial relative to the circumstances, but I still couldn’t shake it.
I’ll never get to dance with her at her wedding.
I would think that over and over. In silence. In traffic. At work. Over and over. I think part of the tenacity of that one thought came from it’s finality. There would be no way for me to dance with Courtney at her wedding, and I felt like that would have been something I would have not only enjoyed but remembered fondly for my entire life. And at the time, since Ashley had already started her family with Cash, I saw no resolve to that little twinge of grief.
But as I mentioned before, there have been some significant mile markers in each of our journeys, and not long ago my sister Ashley’s story changed in a big way. In walks Cody Bacon. And with a name like that, what’s not to love. My wife would relay the text message chain back and forth she’d have with Ash and how giddy she was through the entire courtship. I’d hear how Cody was taking to Cash and Charlie, my sister’s two children, and how they were taking to him.
And then one day… last summer… above the trees… in Lake Tahoe… Cody Bacon asked my sister to marry him. And after more than 7 years of grieving the loss of not getting to dance with my baby sister at her wedding, I finally got that chance.
I love you Ashley. And I hope these photos are enough of a thank you for that dance.
Thank you to the staff at Bard Mansion in Port Hueneme. Extra extra thanks to Tara of Sweet Blossom Designs for pulling out all the stops with the florals. And to my mom. Mom, you laid it all out there on this one, and I just wanted to say that you throw an epic party. I love you.
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