Sherie asked me if I had booked a hairdresser for myself yet for my son, Eythan’s wedding. I told her I hadn’t. She had heard of a shop that had a renown hairdresser and made us both an appointment. She had the renown hairdresser, and I had young women who had been hairdressing for a year.
Sherie has gorgeous long curls down her back. She and I can both relate to how hard it is to find someone who can work with curly hair. I sat in my chair looking in the mirror and could see her with the renowned hairdresser. I wondered what kind of a beautiful creation he would come up with for the mother of the bride. He took out her bun, brushed her hair some more, twisted it all back into a bun, with some frizz sticking out of the back and told her he was done and she was charged $90.
I sat in my chair in shock. I couldn’t hear the whole conversation, and I couldn’t imagine this being the hairdo Sheri asked for. I didn’t want to tell her it looked awful, just in case she liked it. She came over to my chair and said she had to run, and she was out the door in a flash. Two minutes later my phone chimed. It was her apologizing for taking off, but she was on her way to find another hairdresser to fix the disaster. I told her not to apologize, I understood completely!
My stylist spent a lot of time on my new hairstyle and it was a lovely hairdo, but it did not suit me at all, I looked much older than I really was. When I walked out of the shop to my husband waiting in the truck, I could tell he wasn’t admiring my new creation either. I texted my daughter Charity telling her of my dilemma … she said she could fix it.
We drove to Sherie’s house where she and I and the bridal party were all getting ready. Sherie decided to just go home and do her own hair. Jazmin, the bride and also her daughter, intervened and gave her a beautiful hairdo transforming her back into the gorgeous woman she is.
Charity worked my tresses into one of the most elegant and stunning hairdo’s I have ever had. A makeup artist was there to do our makeup, we were all transformed and looked like one of the loveliest bridal entourages you could imagine. It was as if our fairy godmother had turned up and waved her wand.
No one in the church pews would have guessed that the flowers had also been a disaster just forty-eight hours earlier. Jazmin had called to make sure the flowers were delivered on time, and they said no one had confirmed with them, and the flowers were not ordered.
You can’t have a wedding without flowers… well you can, but it’s not as exquisite. Charity, called the first flower shop on the list and they agreed to make the bouquets for the bridal party, and also twenty centerpieces for the reception. We were all wondering if the flowers would still be classy since they were ordered at the last minute. They arrived right after the hair disaster and were even lovelier than the original bouquets she had requested.
A month before the wedding the person they had hoped to ask to be the wedding decorator, had something come up. Believe it or not, Vance’s cousin Paul is married to Linda and she came up to me at the Stag and Doe and asked if they needed any wedding decorations. I told her I thought they probably had it all planned out already. She went and found Sherie and introduced herself. She asked if they needed decorations. Sherie had just finished praying a day or two before telling God she was trusting him to come up with a plan because she had too much on her plate at the time to worry about the wedding decorations. Linda offered to travel to Sudbury and do all the decorating. She transformed the reception hall into something out of a magazine!
Sherie just rolled with each disaster that came along, graciously. Why? Well, Sherie has lived with a child with stage four cancer for over three years now. Are imperfect hairdo’s, decorations and canceled flowers something that can undo most mothers of a bride? Yes! But I believe Sherie cared little about the disasters because her daughter was getting married to the man she loved, and life was going on for Jazmin, just like it would for any young woman her age.
I have learned a lot from Sherie in the last two months since I met her. Six weeks ago we visited with her, Aaron and Vangie in the hospital as Jazmin laid there looking very ill. Within twenty-four hours the plan had changed drastically. It started out as doctors planning to radiate and kill Jazmin’s kidney in two more days to shrink a cancerous tumor. Then to planning a trip to a clinic, only the rich and famous can afford in Arizona, to seek out natural treatment to build Jazmin’s immune system, and shrink tumors in a way that would allow her to keep her kidney. The plans were opposite of each other. Sherie just kept saying, “Whatever God wants is what we want for Jazmin, we are trusting him.” A truckload of money was needed for the treatment, they had no clue where all the money would come from, but went forward in faith. Within a couple of weeks, $20,000 was raised.
Off they went to Arizona a few weeks later, then they flew from Arizona to another city for a wedding Jazmin was in, then came to Sault Ste Marie for a Stag and Doe and back home for a couple of weeks before Jazmin and Eythan’s wedding. It seemed as though they ran non-stop for a month.Whenever we saw Sherie, she had a big smile and hug for us, and she always tried to see the positive side in adverse situations. Plus her husband, Aaron, can make you laugh no matter how severe a case is. Jazmin’s sister, Vangie, is the same, her contagious laughter and beautiful smile were evident during Jazmin’s stay in the hospital. Vance, Eythan and I sat and laughed for an hour with the three of them while Jazmin laid sleeping in her bed. Most families would have been crying or panicked. We had a wonderful time together despite the situation.
As Jazmin was walking down the aisle, all I could think was, what a beautiful gift we are being given today… a new daughter and a happy son. People have commented about what an amazing young man Eythan is to stick with a girl with cancer, and he is terrific, but not for that reason. Eythan isn’t sticking with Jazmin to be a hero. She has brought him so much joy since the day he saw her across the dining hall at Aush-Bik-Koong Bible Camp, a little under a year ago. She has become his best friend and biggest cheerleader. She has also shown him what is truly important in life and not to sweat the small stuff.
Jazmin sat beside him on the couch when he was sick, as he waited for gluten to work itself out of his stomach and brain. When they both said, In sickness and health, they meant it and have already supported each other through sickness.
Our two families have been through many mountains and valleys, which I believed prepared our two kids to face this new life together. Eythan has lived in a high-stress home since birth, autism filled every day, front to back. We never knew when our feet hit the floor each morning what our day would be like. We dealt with illness and sickness for thirty years. God prepared him for a wife who would need him to support her through some tough times.
When we were picking Eythan’s name, we liked his name because it meant strength and patience. When he was younger, we were waiting for the patience to arrive because he didn’t have any at the time, and began to wonder if his name meant his parents would need mounds of patience to raise him. Now I can see the strength and perseverance in Eythan and I am so very proud of my son.
Jazmin says she is not the same girl she was before she had cancer. She believes she is kinder, more patient worries less and thinks of other’s needs instead of just her own. Our kids have matured a lot in the last year, and their love has grown immensely for each other as they faced one trial after another. It seems as though they experienced a thousand years of life packed into less than a year.
A year ago Eythan had gone through a very sad time in his life, and we were driving to church, just him and I. We were talking about his future. As he was driving, I turned to him and said, “Eythan I believe God has a girl picked out for you, and she will bring you great joy, but you are going to have to wait for her.”
I was thinking maybe two or three years of waiting… two weeks later he came home from a College and Career weekend at Aush-Bik-Koong Bible Camp telling us he met a girl. I was steaming mad but hid it from Eythan. I thought he needed more time. We met Jazmin a few weeks later, and we all fell in love with her. Somehow we knew he was going to marry this girl.
I looked out my window on one of her visits, and she and Eythan were sitting in the snow chatting away for a good half hour, smiling and laughing as they talked and I knew he had found his best friend.
On another visit Eythan had been sick, and he was laying on the couch, Jazmin had found our guitar that no one in our family knew how to play, and started strumming it, then started singing a song to Eythan and stuck out her lip in a pout… he smiled at her.
When Jazmin was sick a month ago due to being in tremendous pain from cancer, she was hospitalized for a week. We went to Sudbury for a visit. Jazmin laid in her bed pale as a ghost, exhausted and looking very sick. Eythan sat at the foot of her bed and reached out his toe and pushed the”up” button on her bed. Her bed believe-it-or-not could raise up about five feet in the air. She slowly went up and was grinning at Eythan as he sent her on a slow ride. He grinned back. He knows how to make her smile on her worst days.
We went for a meal later with him, and he flipped open his phone and said in a cheery voice, “Only fifty-five more days till we get married!” My heart filled with pride for my son, he lived with hope… and couldn’t wait to marry the girl of his dreams. I would prefer my son marry a girl who brings him joy but has cancer, than for him to have never loved at all. Jazmin’s love has changed Eythan. He has become a better person, and he is learning to put someone’s needs ahead of his own.
When Eythan was small, Vance and I had gone to Italy for our fifteenth wedding anniversary. He hopped onto my lap when I got home. He cuddled up to me and with tears in his blue eyes and said to me, “Mommy when you die, I want to die!” I am happy to say my son no longer feels this way, for he has transferred that love and devotion to Jazmin now. We want Eythan to love Jazmin a thousand times more than he has loved us, his parents. Marriage is a beautiful union between a husband and wife and when that couple includes God in the center of it… it can last a lifetime.
A marriage filled with love is a reflection of Christ’s love for us. I remember someone once saying, “The greatest thing a father can do for his children…is to love their mother.” My husband Vance has been a tremendous example of a loving husband, he has given Eythan a stable path to follow.
Imperfect hairdo’s, decorations and missing flowers at a wedding are nothing, if you have love…love can conquer anything and transform a person into something beautiful. Trials and tribulations will test our love for each other, and true love will withstand the storms that blow into our lives. If you love someone more than you care for yourself…your love will never fail.