Monday, September 17, 2018
Mom came by and wanted to talk with Chris and I.
She seemed off but I didn't think much of it once she started asking us about the upcoming wedding.
Mom said * there's no better time than today to move forward with this wedding and go get a marriage license and speak with the judge*
I was so excited that I didn't ask her about her latest doctor appointment she had that I was unable to go to.
Chris was nervous to speak with the judge about our marriage license . He was older than me and many frown upon the age Gap of 6 years.
The ladies in the office gave us disapproving stares.
Once we entered the judge's chamber, he spoke with my mom first.
Mom told him her daughter wasn't a typical 16 year old and that decades before, a 14-15 year old marrying wasn't looked at twice and that love was all we had between us. She believed in us and believed God had a great plan for us.
The judge spoke to me next.
He asked me what my future plans were.
I explained I had quit school to help mom while she was sick and I would get my GED within the next couple of years.
Chris was sweating at this point.
The judge then asked Chris what his plans were.
Chris explained that he loved me and I didn't act my age. It was more like he was 16 and I was older.
The judge tells us my dad would have to sign off on it too since he was ordered to pay Support, he had rights to me, regardless if he did or not.
Mom wasn't happy about that.
I told the judge it wasn't fair I needed dad's approval considering he wasn't around for anything and that mom did it all,not him.
But a law is a law.
They gave us the proper paperwork and said I had to have dad sign off and it notarized before we could legally marry .
Walking out with the same lady's staring a hole in our backs, we left for the post office to fax dad the paperwork.
I called him on mom's flip phone .I dreaded it.
Giving him a chance to tell me no was burning me up.
*Hey Dad. How are you*?
*Good. What's wrong*?
*Oh nothing. Just wanted to fill you in on some things*
*Oh okay, well, what's up,SueAnn*?
*I'm dating someone and have been for awhile. He proposed to me in December last year and I accepted. We're wanting to get married soon, and mom had approved it and now,I need your permission as well*
*Tiffany, are you pregnant*?
*Omg, no dad!!*
*Ok. Is this the Chris guy I heard about*?
*Yes,dad ,same one*
*Okay. What do I need to do*?
*I'm faxing the paperwork to you and you'll sign it,have a witness and have it notarized and fax it back to us asap*
*Ok. Send it on*
*Thanks Dad. Love you*
*Yeah. Love you too*
We all breathed a sigh of relief.
We thought he would be an ass but he wasn't.
It was worse, he didn't care .He signed the paperwork and it was All final in less than 48 hours.
We had 30 days to marry.
Mom,Chris and I planned it for Oct 19.
We had a lot to get done by then .
I was so oblivious to certain things pertaining to mom, I missed the signs. I was wrapped up in planning a wedding.
Looking back, mom knew I would be distracted in my wedding planning Bliss and not so available for her doctor appointments and radiation treatment.
The next week, I went to Mom's final radiation treatment. She came outside to the car where I was waiting for her. She had tshirt that said *breast cancer survivor* on it.
She had beat breast cancer.
We cried happy tears for once in a year.
I thought I was getting my mother back. My life would start to blossom with Mom by my side.
She had a casual check up not long after.
The days went by. Mom and I went decoration shopping. We picked out the colors for the wedding, yellow and pink, pastel color.
Chris and i asked his papaw, who's a pastor to marry us. He had a premarriage counseling session with us and when he was satisfied with our plans,he agreed to marry us.
I tried to talk mom into letting us move the date to Halloween and do purple and black decorations.
I'll never forget the look on her face.
*Tiffany, have you Completely lost your mind*!?
*😁 No. I'm serious*
*Serious my tail. We're not having a wedding on Satan's holiday. You want Jesus to be there, not the devil*
We went dress shopping a weekend later.
She was so excited.
I knew traditional white wasn't going to work.
Obviously I am 16 and marrying, everyone would know I wasn't miss innocent..
Mom said* if you wanna wear white, you can wear white,off white,eggshell white or whatever you want to do. It's not about anyone but Jesus,you and Chris*.
I knew we wanted an outdoor wedding and it being fall in NE Alabama,I could wear anything as long as it didn't have sleeves.
So I tried on several dresses when Mom bursted in the fitting room with a beautiful white strap dress with ombre pink toward the bottom.
It fit flawlessly!
Mom cried as I walked out in that dress.
The lady came back to where we were and said * you're beautiful,but this is more for a wedding. Here is the prom dress section*
In mom fashion, she turned to her and said * we are making it just fine without your input. If you want to make this sale, you can meet us back up front . we're buying this dress,the wedding dress,for her wedding*.
The lady didn't say another word.
I cringed at the price tag,but mom assured me that she would pay for it and I wasn't to argue with her about it.
Mom took the dress home with her so Chris wouldn't see it before our wedding day.
We had went to Walmart and purchased two silver wedding bands . Together they cost $23.00 .
It wasnt about the cost. We loved them.
I thanked her for everything,hugged her and went inside.
I was in a whirlwind of emotions. I was marrying someone who loved me. Who wasn't going to leave me. I couldn't believe he wanted to spend his life with ME....💖
Mom was the crafty mom. She could make a home out of a dumpster.
I could not.
We planned on her coming over to help with the bouquet of flowers for myself and for bridesmaids.
The people who were supposed to be in the wedding on my side, cancelled on me.
Some family called me to confirm the rumors of me marrying. I confirmed and was met with * Tiffany, you're too young. You don't know what love is. You don't know what it takes to hold a marriage together. Mark my words,you'll be an 18 year old divorcee ,barefoot in a tailerpark with two babies hanging off you hips. Don't ruin your life. I can't support this.*"
So many doubted me/us. It was tough to handle.
So I was upset about standing alone, physically and emotionally with many against my wedding and I was ready for mom to come help with the flowers.
I called her and my grandma tells me mom is in her bed and had been all day. She said mom didn't feel good .
I was confused.
*She was fine. We made plans. *
Mom finally got on the phone and said she was so sorry but she couldn't make it to help...
(Ugh.I was such a self-absorbed brat.)
I snapped at her * ugh. Really mom!? You can't drive 3 minutes to come help me!?*
She said* no honey. Not today. I don't feel well. I'm sorry. You can do it though. I have faith in you,honey*.
(This is so tough to write)
I snapped back to my precious mother
* No I CAN'T do this shit,mom! I don't know what I am doing. You were FINE yesterday! You PROMISED ME!*
silence on her end.
*I'm sorry baby. I just can't today. Lord willing,I'll be better tomorrow and will try and come help you. Just try and do your best, I know it'll be fine. I love you,so much.*
And she hung up before I could spew more venom.
I sat down on the floor, surrounded by those flowers that mom was supposed to help me with.
Scalding hot tears streaming down my face.
I was so pissed, hurt and confused.
I had no clue what to do with all of those flowers and ribbons.
So I angerly grabbed the ribbons, scissors and flowers and put pitiful bouquets together.
They were much smaller than what they're typically supposed to be.
Chris came in from his job hunting trip and saw me sitting in the middle of a flower mess,crying still.
He sat down with me as I broke down further and ranted about everyone letting me down, including the conversation with mom.
He said * you can't be upset with Wanda, she's been through hell and if she can't make it,she has a good reason. She's always been there for you and me, so she must be having a rough day
Let's,go see her*
We didn't have a car at the time so his suggestion was ridiculous to me .
*And just HOW will we go do that*?!
He pulled me to my feet and walked me outside.
There was a green car sitting there.
He said *papaw helped me get a car and before you ask how we are paying for it, I was hired at a cabinet shop today*
I was shocked,but so thankful .
We went to mom's and she was in her bed .
She was surprised to see us there.
I climbed in the bed with her and apologised for being a brat.
She hugged me and said *it's ok baby*
Chris told her about the new job and new car.
She lit up as he spoke .
I noticed that her skin was a different shade. Her eyes also looked different but I didn't ask....
Mom felt better the next few days and we ordered the cake and finished up the wedding plans.
She picked out her favorite songs and Chris and I agreed to play them at the wedding to honor her.
I didn't have anyone to walk me down the aisle, so I walked myself down. Chris's sister agreed to be my maiden of honor and my soon to be newest niece was flower girl and stood beside me as well.
Mom gave me away.
She cried the entire time.
It was a beautiful fall, outdoor wedding.
I didn't have many family there,like Chris did,but I appreciate every one who did come.
Chris was so nervous,he was shaking.
I was okay,until it was over and I felt like I was going to vomit. 😁
One of the best days of my life.
Everyone loved the boquets.
Mom fixed them on the day of the wedding.
Very blessed to have had such a wonderful day.
10-19-08 Sunday 2pm, I went from 16 year old Tiffany Riggs, to 16 year old bride, Tiffany Smith.
My dream came true.
I was ready to take on life with my new husband.
I was going to prove the non supporters wrong.
I was going to have a life I always wanted...
As per usual, the only things that stay the same,is that everything changes.....
It all makes sense now,but then, I never knew just how much things would change and there wasn't a damn thing I could do to stop it. I tried...