Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. That is my mantra these days. Full-blown anxiety and panic have set in. What a contrast to the despair and powerlessness of my last writing!

My daughter, Rose, is getting married in seven weeks. Seven!! The reception is at our house and I have so much to do! And today I learned that one of my husband’s daughters is coming to the wedding. And she’ll be staying with us. Breathe in, breathe out.

When my husband and I were in the early days of our two-year, long-distance courtship (what an old word!), Faye was not accepting of me in her father’s life. She was old enough to know better, but not mature enough to understand romance after divorce. I loved her father and I wasn’t going to let her ruin that. Our children were important to us and we wanted them to know each other. So at great expense we put all six of our daughters together for a week after Christmas, and Faye made the most of that opportunity and found some time alone with my girls to say some really nasty things about her dad. My girls were shocked—at what Faye said (some truth but a lot of lies) and the fact that she would actually say such things. It was the last time all six of our daughters were together. That was nearly eight years ago.

When we decided to get married, my husband chose to sell his home and move 1,000 miles away from his adult (married) daughters to live with me and three of my daughters. (My oldest daughter was already married.) Faye told her dad she would never talk to him again.

About a year after my husband and I were married, Faye and her husband had a baby and we traveled to the baptism. My husband and I and Faye, were eating supper in a restaurant and my husband excused himself to use the restroom. Faye took that moment to share some thoughts with me. Her point was to make certain that I understood she still didn’t accept me in her dad’s life.

And now this woman and her two children are coming to stay in my house, while I’m preparing to host 150 people for a wedding. Breathe in, breathe out. My husband assures me everything will be just fine.

Wedding preparations have been underway for quite some time, and for the most part things have gone well. Rose is very much a spontaneous person so she’s had moments of feeling overwhelmed with having to make so many decisions. Now she’s in a panic to finish up the invitations and I’ve been trying so hard to encourage her and let her know it will all turn out just fine. She’s not satisfied with my reasoning as to why the envelopes containing wedding invitations must be hand addressed. “What’s wrong with labels?” she implored. “Not even the clear ones?!” The invitations are almost ready to be mailed. Now we’re focusing on the menu. “I want a ‘modern’ cake and some good food, maybe sandwiches,” Rose told me. Breathe in, breathe out.

In the meantime, Brianna is vacillating between extreme moods of full-blown anxiety, depression, and frustration on her bad days and complete chaos, lack of structure, and indecisiveness on her good days. We’ve been communicating with a residential treatment center since the second week of April, and today they told me they have no idea when an opening will happen. I’m beginning to think it’s all a conspiracy to force me over the thin line from sanity to lunacy. Breathe in, breathe out. Brianna is freaking out because she thought she would be there in early May and would be back home in time for the wedding. Now she’s arguing that she doesn’t want to go until after the wedding, if at all. “I’ve got my life in order,” she told me. I stared at her for a full minute before I could even respond. Finally, I took a calming breath and asked her, “What about your life has changed in the last two months?” She thought about that and answered, “School is out for the summer.” Evidently the fact that the school dropped her as a student because of truancy doesn’t play into the equation at all. Breathe in, breathe out.

Not to be left out of the drama, my husband’s dog decided this would be a good time to get a kidney stone. Breathe in, breathe out.

Rose is having three “events” for her wedding. There is a private ceremony with a judge followed by an intimate dinner in a restaurant for 20 people. The next afternoon we will have about 150 people come for a celebration lunch at our house. Two weeks later, we will entertain another 50 people at a lake home in the northern part of our state for a third, and final, celebration. And I don’t know what I’m going to wear! Breathe in, breathe out.

I need to go shopping for three dresses and some shoes. The carpets need to be professionally cleaned, especially now that we’ve survived the dog’s ordeal. Rooms need to be spackled and painted to cover up six years of being lived in by teenagers. Menus need to be planned, food bought and made, decorations put together. And now bedrooms need to be cleaned to handle out-of-town guests.

Breathe in, breathe out.

This weekend we will be going to a high school graduation party one day and out for a delayed Father’s Day outing the next. Not much will get crossed off my list of things to do. Of the four weekends in July, two will be spent celebrating important birthdays. That means there are only four weekends in the next seven weeks for me to get…Tell me there are not seventy-three things on my list! Oh.My.God.


One thought on “Hyperventilating

  1. Breathe, if things don’t get done, it’s not the end of the world, and you are probably the only one who will notice. Shower the grandkids with love when they’re here and don’t worry about the mom. People can help with your list, or prioritize them into what has to be done, what you REALLY want done, and what you just want done, and go from there. One day at a time is all we have, so try not to let the stress get to you.

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