This is how it all happened:

The deluge had continued for three days, thirteen hours and forty-one minutes. One by one the exhausted fall leaves give up the hopeless battle to cling onto their delicate perches. Their sad reluctant dance to the ground struck a note of disquiet between the tombstones, whose occupants weren’t disturbed.

tombstonesI was. I felt each leaf’s act of submission as another inch of doubt, despair and dread building up like the many layers of a particularly tall wedding cake. With every fall, another fragile scale of my protective armour tears off, exposing the chilled, quivering surface of my over-sensitive nerves.

Looking away from the window my eyes follow the path from the outside door to the entrance of the imposing inner chamber.

Tracked in on satin slippers and polished black leather shoes, mud and shiny wet leaves formed a multi-coloured fusion of slippery promise.

Tight bindings cause me to take shallow, frequent breaths. The black-bearded man beside me shoots nervous glances between my face and the sealed door ahead of us. Perspiration dots his brow.

The first notes of an organ resonate from within, the music enveloping us, growing in confidence. The man releases mdelugey arm and steps toward an exit door pushing it open.

“Last chance” he says indicating the potential escape route with a slight tremor in his voice.

I hesitate, contemplating the mosaic of autumn leaves on the floor. Smiling tremulously I look up as determination creeps into my voice and say,

“No, let’s do this.”

The wind blasts the heavy oak exit door shut as the man moves away from it.

It has been raining for three days, thirteen hours and forty-six minutes.

Crossing the floor and standing directly in front of me he smiles, kisses my cheek and takes my arm again. It is only four steps to the beginning of my new life. The sanctuary door opens and Dad smiles at me with a sparkle in his eyes.

“Let’s go Cari-baby,” he says.

And we do.

This was a true story of my Dad and I on my wedding day. In case you weren’t sure. 🙂

Father and bride

I lost my Dad to cancer on November 27th, 1999. I think of him every day. I miss him so much. He was so caring, non-judgemental, loving and funny. He was my ‘safe place’. He’d have loved watching my kids grow up with me. I see him in their quirkiness. I hope there is a heaven and he is watching them.

Colin Mackenzie

February 10, 1937 to November 27, 1999

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