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4 Days

I woke up around 4AM this morning to get some water and I couldn’t fall back asleep, my mind just racing with all the things left to do, all the things simply going on. My head was hurting too, from all the Champagne I drank at my girls’ get-together last night, and I just lay there in bed next trying to focus on my breath and forget about the endless streaming thoughts marching around in my head. I think I finally fell back asleep sometime after 5 and now it’s 8AM and I’m sitting at the dining room table with coffee and a huge to-do list for today.

We leave tomorrow morning for the Cape. I’m so relieved that we’ll have some friends staying here to watch over the pets and plants — even though it’s one more thing to get the house ready and clean for more guests. We come home from the wedding weekend on Monday.

We arrive tomorrow and will have dinner with my Aunt Pam and Uncle David who will meet Greg’s parents, Bill & Rita, for the first time. And joining us will also be my half-brother Mike and his girlfriend Pam. On Friday Greg’s brothers and two of our friends arrive and the rehearsal is in the afternoon, followed by the rehearsal dinner that night.

Saturday is the wedding, at 11AM, followed by a clam bake reception at Pam and David’s, in their backyard by the beach. After the reception we’re going to try to rally everyone to go for a swim in the ocean and then at 6PM, Greg and I will take the ferry out to Martha’s Vineyard to stay the night in a beautiful hotel. We’ll return on Sunday, a married couple. And then on Monday we’ll come home!

Wild. I haven’t even started packing yet. And I probably won’t have time to do so until I get home after 8PM tonight.

Last night  all my favorite Chicago girls threw me the loveliest little shower with Champagne and wine and food and gifts. We started off at my downstairs neighbor’s apartment and then moved up to the deck, where it was a bit cooler. I hadn’t gotten together with a group of girlfriends like that since I lived in LA and it felt so nice to do so. They had arranged a funny game in which I had to answer a bunch of questions about Greg that he had already answered — like what his favorite band is (The National or The Hold Steady) and what his favorite dish of mine is that I cook (nearly impossible to choose, but Chicken Milanese) and it was so sweet and fun.

And after I was good and tipsy, I went in the house and put on my wedding dress, veil and all, and went back out onto the deck for a fashion show. That dress. It’s so beautiful and I’m so grateful for it. I’m excited to wear it on Saturday and hope that Greg likes it on me. I’m a little nervous too, but that’s normal, I’m sure.

I think the one thing that’s saved me all this week from having a complete meltdown is seeing clients for my hospice job. Yesterday morning I spent two hours counseling a young woman who is caring for her dying mother at home and it was, by far, the best part of my day. We sat in this woman’s backyard next to a hydrangea bush and she talked and talked, just getting off her chest all these fears and burdens and heavy, plaguing thoughts. And for once, I didn’t think about the wedding or what I had to do next or what so and so is thinking about whatever.

Life stood still, as it should sometimes, in just the right place. Me on a summer morning in Chicago, age 30, the week I get married, my tanned legs crossed at the ankle, hands resting in my lap, my thoughts nowhere but the present moment.

4 Comments

  1. Okay – I know you’re doing all this stuff, what with a wedding coming up and all… but really, in these parts, how did you get your legs tanned already? : D
    Much happiness Claire to you and Greg… enjoy every minute of your day!!! It sounds wonderful.

    Comment by Christine on July 16, 2008 at 1:41 pm

  2. What a lovely little post – I am so giddy with excitement for you guys and from a “bride to bride” level I am totally “there” with you!!!!

    Comment by Jami on July 16, 2008 at 2:44 pm

  3. Claire-
    Good luck this weekend – I think your decision to get married on Cape Cod is fantastic!
    Best Wishes

    Comment by sarah on July 16, 2008 at 11:12 pm

  4. I love you, Claire.

    Comment by Lien on July 17, 2008 at 12:13 am

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