Written in loving memory of my mother Erville Ethel Day who passed on just before the turn of the century. I wrote this in the realization that I would forever be a motherless child.
I received a pretty invitation and was thrilled as I read it. It said Ronnie Day; I had a cousin with that name. I thought, wow, I’m from the Day family. I didn’t know there were some Days in Texas where I lived then. Wow, how exciting!
Upon further thinking, I remembered my Uncle Dex in California saying something about some relatives living in a small town in Texas, one I’d never heard of.
And then it said his daughter was Abigail! So appropriate since my cousin Ronnie’s sister was Gail. We used to call her Sissy when they came to visit us each summer in Oklahoma.
So my husband and I turned heaven and earth to clear our schedule, made room reservations, got up early on a bright Saturday morning, and made the long trek across Texas to a small town.
By mid-afternoon we were too close on time to find the motel so we stopped in a Dairy Queen to change clothes. But we were out of cash so we didn’t eat there. Yet I realized I needed food to assuage my low blood sugar so we found a cafe and of all things, I heard my name hollered across the room.
It was an old friend from a school where I used to teach. After a bit of visiting, and some unexpected twists in the conversation, it turned out she and her husband were in town to see the wedding of her grandson. He was a fine young man who worked for me for a while, and my son had worked for his mother across several years.
I thought that was odd that she’d be in the same tiny town for a wedding–of all things! I thought two Saturday weddings in one small town must be quite a record.
The day felt so pregnant with possibilities of touching base with long lost members of the Days on my mother’s side of the family. I felt this sojourn would be a tribute to my mother, who was in a vegetative state at a medical facility, and unable to communicate–but had always been proud to be a Day. I just knew my mother would have loved for someone to represent her Oklahoma branch of the Days.
And Ronnie’s mother Dorothy was my mother’s most admired friend as well as her sister-in-law. So I felt quite honored to have the pleasure of attending on my mother’s behalf.
Finally, I realized the invitation hadn’t come from the Days after all as I had assumed from the invitation, but from my teacher friend’s grandson Gary, the fine young man from our hometown of The Woodlands, Texas. And the grandson of my teacher friend! I had just focused on the words Day, Ronnie and Gail. When my teacher friend and I visited at the cafe I had no earthly idea!
Then I noticed how many people I knew in the crowd. Not Days, but about half a dozen young people from my community.
Upon talking with several people in the Day family there, my mind began to cloud up since upon further questioning they didn’t seem to know the Oklahoma Days at all! Eventually the groom’s mother came and chatted, indicating she, not the Days, had sent the invitation.
I had assumed when I saw my cousin Ronnie’s name and the name Gail that it was from my relatives who probably got my address from my California relatives. It never hit me that we should have been sitting on the groom’s side of the church, since it was his complete formal name and I was used to the shorter version–and I hadn’t seen him in several years.
Besides, I got so excited when I read the name Day on the invitation, I neglected to even read the rest carefully, being so cocksure it was a long-lost relative!
Nevertheless, it was a truly fine wedding, and I did enjoy meeting a whole different group of Days. However, I will admit I was abashed and embarrassed that I had let my own desire to renew long-lost relationships with my cousins cloud my vision!
And to think, I, a veteran teacher, read only the top part of the invitation! Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to believe:-)
Copyright 2018 by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission for use online or in print.