Saturday morning started with visits to the beauty salon (Thank you Rachel!!). All the girls spent the day together enjoying memories, food and jokes. It doesn't get any better than that. Sena had her three sisters and myself (the sister-in-law), her niece and two of her girlfriends in the wedding party. It was a busy salon. Still much laughter and fun...
We arrived at the church to get dressed and "hide" until the groom was in position. The wedding started as most do - Sena looked beautiful walking down with her brother Rob to give her away.
As the ceremony progressed and the priest began his talk - it hit me..."I will never be sitting at my sister's wedding!" Yes I love me sister-in-laws are all wonderful and they are my sisters, but they are not Heidi. The tears formulated in my eyes out of joy and awe for Sena and Rob's beauty while at the same time there were tears of grief as I mourned the wedding Heidi would never have. So I talk to myself saying "Lisa, get it together - this is Sena's day and you have 4 sisters that love you." - so I enjoy the wedding again.
We stood in the receiving line and each time I heard "sister-in-law" my heart broke. I kept watching for the last person to come through the line so I could get inside for a breather - once away from the crowd - the tears started. Oh my gosh...what was happening?
Then during the photo shoot they wanted a "sister" shot - only sisters, not the in-law. Oh my gosh, that had hurt. I don't know why because I was hoping they would have at least a few pictures with just the four girls and then the brothers and then the whole bunch with Mom Buske. "Why did that hurt?" My emotions were running wild - of course they pulled me into tons of pictures and I had no logical reason to feel that way.
It was a bittersweet day - I was blessed to watch one of my sister-in-laws get married for the first time. I was blessed to spend two fabulous days with my sister-in-laws laughing, reminicing and enjoying each other like sisters do. I was blessed to be a part of the whole process, cermony and celebration as their sister. I was blessed to be told "love you sis" with a hug from each throughout the day.
Yet I came home and cried - Where's Heidi? Why was this joy robbed from her? Each wedding I've attended since Heidi's abduction usually stir up this feeling for a moment - I say a prayer and I'm okay. There is only one other wedding that affected me so strongly and that was when I was able to watch one of her best friend's get married.
How could I think of myself and my loss after such a beautiful and blessed day? The answer is simple...I am human, grief is natural and it is all part of the healing process.
Although no one could ever take the place of my one and only sister - I lost one sister and friend and gained four! I love them so much and know I'm blessed because they are each in my life. :)
My heart still aches a touch this morning yet the happiness is far greater! God is good and His goodness will be seen even in the hardest of times.
Have a great day everyone!