Biographical Non-Fiction posted August 14, 2022 Chapters:  ...159 160 -161- 162... 

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Days leading to Connie's wedding.

A chapter in the book Remembering Yesterday

Prelude to the Wedding

by BethShelby

For new readers, who may not have read my author notes, this is written in a conversational way as I talk to my deceased husband. When I refer to someone just as "you" this means I am addressing my husband, Evan.

From the time Charlie decided he was ready to get married, Connie started planning the wedding. I’d never been involved in wedding plans, and I wanted to help. Mom had made the decisions concerning my home wedding. Carol was living in South Georgia when she and Glen got married, so all we did was send money as it was needed. Kimberly and her mom planned her wedding, although we paid at least half of the expenses. Connie didn’t want my help with the planning. She shot down everything I suggested except for the writing of the checks.  

I did go shopping with her for her dress, so I could pay for it. After many days of searching, the long white dress she eventually chose was extremely simple but elegant with wide shoulder straps and no train. I wanted to make the veil to save money but she insisted on buying one.

We learned Connie’s high school boyfriend, Lenny, had married the girl he was dating. He and the girl attended the same college as Connie, and she was extremely jealous of Connie. We wondered if maybe Connie’s eagerness to get married had anything to do with Lenny being married already.

Dad seemed to be getting weaker by the day, and he was passing out for short spells when his blood pressure dropped. I’d been able to get Home-Health back in for two more months which helped.  Once he passed out in the bathtub. The nurse-aide got very upset, and the decision was made that he was not to have more tub baths. The doctor had him wear a heart event-monitor but Dad didn’t like it and took it off and refused to wear it.

Charlie and Connie continued to argue over almost everything. Charlie seemed to enjoy debating whatever the subject was, but Connie was easily upset. She was stressed and angry a lot of the time. When Connie’s 23rd birthday came in early June, Charlie didn’t make a big deal over it. He bought her a couple of Disney movies which she liked to collect, but he didn’t take her out. She was very hurt and tried to punish him by ignoring him. He reminded her that she was about to get a very expensive ring.

Our other two daughters seemed more depressed than we’d ever seen either of them. Carol’s depression had everyone concerned. She had always been a reserved person who didn’t care to share anything negative with family, but she’d always had a gentle disposition and had seemed to enjoy being with us. She’d always been the one we felt we could count on to listen to our concerns. Now she was sharing only with her co-dependency group and writing her feelings into a journal. She didn’t come around often. If I called her, she was almost hostile and didn’t want to talk. I assumed she was depressed over the guy she liked, but just wanted to be friends, and the fact Connie was moving out and leaving her all alone.

Connie finished her school year with satisfactory grades. She and Charlie found a reasonably priced apartment they loved and she moved her things from Carol's apartment. She was very unhappy when we said we wished she would wait until the wedding to move in. She indicated she felt she had no place to call home when most of her things were at the apartment, and we expected her to sleep at Carol’s apartment. I have a feeling she spent most nights at the apartment.

Once college was out for the summer, Connie ordered her wedding invitations, made arrangements for flowers, got a new wardrobe and made a deposit on a honeymoon in Cancun, all of which we paid for. She would make up her mind about something and change it over and over again. The music was one of the harder things for her to decide on. Kimberly would be playing the piano and Christi would sing. Don and Kimberly would sing as well. Charlie had decided he would surprise Connie by singing to her. Connie and her best friend from New Orleans, Lesley, planned what she would wear. My friend, Diane, Lesley’s Mom would make her dress.

A shower was planned for her in Mississippi, but it was too many hours away and I couldn’t leave Dad to go down for it. Connie felt I was letting her down. She couldn’t understand why needing to take care of my dad would cause me to put my life on hold.

The wedding was set for June 30th. We planned to go down on the 28th so we could be there for the rehearsal. The days leading up to the wedding were busy ones. The food for the reception was being prepared by Charlie’s parents and friends, but we sent money to buy the groceries to prepare it. In addition, I made the spinach dip and Carol and I both made cookies.

Charlie and Connie needed to borrow our Infinity because their cars weren’t in good shape, so we went about the process of renting a vehicle. Carol refused to bring Christi because there were always problems when they traveled together. Carol would travel alone in her car and Don and Kimberly would come on the day before the wedding. We wanted to rent a station wagon for room because we had to bring Christi as well as Dad and his walker and wheel chair and the back would be packed, but in the end no large vehicle was available and we had to rent a midsize sedan.

Just before the trip down, Connie confessed that she and Charlie had taken the required blood test too late to get their license in Mississippi. As a result, they came back to Chattanooga and went to the Justice of the Peace and got married at the court house several days before. They were afraid to tell us because they didn’t want us upset about not being at their actual marriage. I told her not to worry, because now there would be no chance Charlie would change his mind and leave her at the altar.

We’d hoped to get an early start on our way down for the wedding, but nothing goes as planned. If we’d only realized what a nightmare we would soon face, we might have tried to prepare ourselves. On the other hand, maybe it was best we didn’t know.

Evan is 67 and a retired drafting supervisor from Chevron Oil.
Beth is 58 and has given up working in the printing field and is home taking care of disabled father.
Carol is 33, a nurse, working at a hospital in Chattanooga and living in an apartment.  
Don is a twin. He is 32, a recent graduate of Life Chiropractic College
Christi is Don’s twin. She is working as a receptionist at a chemical company and doing massages on the side.
Kimberly is Don’s wife. She is a nurse working at Chattanooga hospital
Lauren Elizabeth Jane Shelby is Don and Kimberly's baby in nearly two..
Connie is our youngest daughter. She is twenty-two. She is a senior in college. 

Charlie is Connie's boyfriend who has recently moved to Chattanooga from South Mississippi.



I'm continuing to recall memories of life with my deceased husband, Evan, as if I am talking aloud to him. I'm doing this because I want my children to know us as we knew each other and not just as their parents.
I'd planned to get the wedding into this chapter but too much was happening leading up and it would make the chapter too long.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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