Real events, names have been changed for obvious reasons
|August 31, 1958 was not ideal for a wedding. Lois looked out the windows at the overcast skies and prayed that it would clear up. Mother came up behind her, “Lois, time to get ready.” Papa looked at Lois with sadness in his eyes. Lois was touched that papa did not want to see his little girl about to get married. Lois did not follow mother immediately. Instead she was content to listen to the insistent sounds of her two sisters scurrying around to gather their bridesmaid things together. She wished Cathy could have been in the wedding, but Cathy was expecting her second baby, and could not be in the wedding party.
Lois closed her eyes in a quiet frown when she heard the first splashes of rain hit the roof. She would now have to run to the car and get to the church and get her hair redone there. As her sisters were chatting back and forth on the way to the church, Lois took some time to lean back and rest her head against the seat back to take a nap on the 20-minute ride to the church. She had a restless night. Dee had invited her boyfriend, Larry Cooper, to the wedding and Lois did not like him one whit. He was a nosey little bugger. He was the one that told papa that she was dating a married man and papa made her return all of his lovely gifts. Lois blamed Cooper for the loss of her mink coat and the diamond ring that LeRoy had given her. She met Larry soon after the break-up and decided that he was as good as any. The only thing that irritated her was that her fiancé had the same name as Dee’s boyfriend.
The Immanuel Lutheran Church had been the cornerstone for her family for years. Dad and mom got married in this church and all the religious events for their four daughters were in this church. When they pulled up to the church, Lois and her sisters ran into the church to try to stay as dry as possible between raindrops. Lois saw Dee’s boyfriend standing in the annex waiting for Dee. Dee was normally bubbly and giggly and this man made her even more effervescent. Lois wanted all the attention to herself and those two were takin it away. Lois had hoped that Cooper’s being Catholic would make a difference with Dad, but now they had a special bond because Cooper had saved his daughter’s reputation from being ruined by dating a married man. Now Dee was going through classes to convert to Catholic so she could marry that man. And dad and mom were okay with that. But Lois refused to think about that anymore.
Lois found Arlis and exchanged hugs and effusive compliments as 20-year-old girls do when excited. Arlis was a beautician and could fix the rain damaged hair and make-up that Lois presented. Mother came to the door of the bride’s changing room, “Lois, honey, time for pictures. How long before you are ready?” Lois beamed at her mom and extended her hands as if to say she was as ready as she would ever be. Mother handed her the flowers, adjusted the veil and followed behind her daughter for the pictures. Lois turned in time to see mother and father looking at each other and making exaggerated motions in silent communication. They were insistent on something.
Lois became involved in the activity around her. Wherever the photographer put her, she made a fabulous picture. The minister gave her quick instructions on what to expect and then told her to go wait in the back because guests were starting to arrive.
When the last of the guests were seated, the bridal march played, and the bridesmaids walked down the aisle to the front of the church. Papa looked at Lois and said, “It’s not too late to back out.”
Lois looked at papa’s sad eyes. “It’s okay, dad. Let’s go.”
When Dee married Cooper ten months later in a Catholic church of all things, mom and dad were beaming and quite content that their daughter was getting married. Lois was especially peeved with Dee that she outdid her. The priest did the Catholic wedding mass first in Latin and then in English. By the time it was over, the skies were lit up with lightening and the thunder was cracking loudly overhead. Lois managed to pull Dee aside and asked quietly, “What did dad say to you before he walked down the aisle with you?”
Dee looked at her sister perplexed, “What do you mean?”
Lois hissed, “Well, did he tell you there was still time to back out?”
Dee laughed. “No. Why?”
“Because he said that to me.”
Dee did not know what to say to her sister. Instead Dee allowed herself to be swept off by her friends for the rest of the reception activities.
Within four years, Larry Neit moved his wife and two sons across the country to California. Other than holidays and an occasional vacation, it would be 13 years before Lois and Larry returned to the small Midwest town that they grew up in. Even so, there was nothing that could make Grandma and Grandpa smile when Larry was around.
It took 15 years for Lois to get sick of being beaten up. She would have given Larry “another” chance had he not gone after the oldest son. Walt was no longer a scared little boy. He flattened his dad and dared him to call the police. Instead, Larry packed his things and moved a thousand miles away back to California. Grandma and Grandpa smiled.
[Word count with title: 959]