It’s interesting as to how life can take amazing twists and turns and yet somehow manage to land exactly where you hoped it was headed in the first place — even if it’s walking down the aisle at a wedding.
No, our daughter isn’t getting married at the tender age of soon-to-be 9 years old. But she did finally step into an experience she long ago had been denied and had all but given up on.
Four years ago, our daughter’s uncle was getting married in Florida, where he lives. He and his bride-to-be asked our daughter to be their flower girl, and she was bursting-at-the-seams thrilled.
There was plane tickets, picking out the dress, talking about the event, imagining what it would be like to lead the wedding parade down the aisle to the altar.
The day we were scheduled to fly to Florida, her mother and I each got a late-morning phone call at work from the KinderCare attended by our daughter. There had been an accident, they said. She had fallen off the sliding board on the playground.
These our the type of words that chill parents. Worst-case scenarios play through your mind as you lose track of the number of red lights you’ve run.
When I got to school, she was sitting in the office near the front door. One of the teachers was reading to her and she was munching strawberries. She appeared normal — except for one thing.
Her right arm was going in three directions, none of them good. It dangled like Donald Trump’s comb-over unglued by a Dorothy Gale strength windstorm.
Maybe she was in shock. But our youngster was non-plussed about the whole ordeal.
The three of us got in the car and headed toward the nearest hospital. The wedding was still in play, we hoped.
The doctor who examined her arm acted like she was late for her tee-off. She casually glanced over the grossly distended arm and told us it would be OK to fly to Florida later that day. Her advice was to wait a few days and consider going to see a doctor if the arm was still a problem.
This was not what we expected. How could a medical professional be so nonchalant? I mean, the arm was nasty looking. It was one of those bodily injuries that could make you feel queasy when you looked at it. There was no way we’d wait a few days before seeking further medical treatment.
We called the airline and canceled our flight. Then we got back in the car and headed to A.I. DuPont Children’s Hospital. It was a bit of a haul, but we knew from experiences of family and friends that it was the best place we could go.
Was she worried about her arm? There were some tears, of course. But what really upset her was the fact we weren’t going to Florida and she wasn’t going to be a flower girl in a wedding.
“I’ll never get to be a flower girl,” she sniffed.
She spent months healing and going through a series of casts. Each trip to A.I. DuPont reinforced our decision to go there. Still, it was more than 6 months healing and several more weeks of taking it easy on the arm.
Fast forward to March 2016. We received an invitation in the mail. Mom’s cousin was getting married in Florida (no, not all family weddings take place in the Sunshine State).
Then Mom’s cousin did what we thought was impossible: Even though they’d never even met, she asked our daughter to be a flower girl in her wedding.
Again, there was the anticipation, the dress, shoes and accessories to be gathered in advance of the big trip.
The flight to Orlando, the trip from the in-laws’ house to the Keys, site of the wedding, all went off without a hitch. No broken arms, feet, or Marcia Brady nose incidents.
Our daughter was outstanding, leading the way. She skillfully and respectfully spread flower petals on the path the bride would soon tread. Everyone poured on the praise. She made us proud – as she always does.
They sent me pictures. There’s one of her standing on the sand and smiling, in her flower girl finery. I spent the afternoon showing co-workers and customers that picture.
“She was a flower girl,” I told people.
But they had no idea how many twists and turns life took before she arrived at that point.
Yes, life can be fair and good things do happen to good people. Sometimes it just takes a little patience — and the positive belief that it can happen to you, too.