10:00 a.m. – continued
Alex was a tall young man, about a head taller than Daniel, with thick black hair and striking green eyes. He was dressed just as neatly as Daniel in a black suit and red tie. Camille, dressed in a light green spring dress with a ruffled hem, was sitting on a footstool near her son, carefully dabbing at her similarly green eyes with a white handkerchief. She looked up as Sylvie entered and sniffled before rising and rushing over to hug the other mother. She was slightly shorter than Sylvie, even with heels as high as Sylvie’s on, and was slightly plump and her dark brown hair was just slightly gray. She was a motherly, yet professional woman, but now she was in tears on her son’s wedding day.
“I’m so happy for them,” Camille wailed as she hugged Sylvie tightly.
“Me, too,” Sylvie responded, glad she had managed to move the corsage for the other woman out of the way at the last moment, but wondering if her own had been crushed.
Alex gave Sylvie a bemused look as he made his way over to the two women and placed a hand on his mother’s shoulder.
“Mom, loosen up,” he said soothingly. “You’re squeezing the life out of my future mother-in-law.” He gave Sylvie an apologetic smile. “Sorry, Sylvie. She’s been very excitable all morning.”
“I just can’t help it!” Camille practically wailed, releasing Sylvie so she could blow her nose. “You’re finally getting married! I’ve waited all my life for this day. Can’t a mother be excited for her child?”
Sylvie put an arm around the other woman’s shoulders and slowly walked her over to the door, casting a smile and knowing look over her shoulder at Alex. “Come on, Camille. Why don’t we go find Dave and make sure all the details look just right, okay?”
Still sniffling, Camille nodded and let herself be led from the room. Sylvie looked over her shoulder one last time as she ushered the other mother out and smiled as Alex mouthed a thank you to her.
“I’m just so happy for them,” Camille said emphatically as they walked down the hall towards the elevators. “At long last they can get married. Aren’t you happy?”
“I’m ecstatic,” Sylvie replied, still keeping an arm around Camille as she pressed the down button to call the elevator to their floor. “They’ve been waiting a long time for this.”
Camille nodded energetically, clasping her hands together, the twisted handkerchief between her palms. She let Sylvie guide her into the opening elevator and press the button for the lobby. “Oh, yes! They have been waiting for a while. I just wish the world wasn’t ending at midnight tonight. They deserve a long happy life and marriage together. Why is this so unfair?”
At that, Camille burst into tears again. Sylvie gave up trying to calm the overly emotional woman and just tried to hurry her along from the elevator to get out into the garden, where the ceremony and a light reception would be held. She still had the woman’s corsage in one hand, but, in Camille’s state, Sylvie was afraid something would happen to it before the ceremony started, so she decided she would wait to pin it on.
That day was also her parents’ fiftieth anniversary. At noon, Anna and Jacob were hosting a celebration and had quite happily added in a reception for their grandson. Since they were busy preparing for that, they wouldn’t be at the ceremony, at Daniel’s insistence, so Evan was going to videotape it and show it at the family party. Besides, the garden area was small and they could only fit so many guests.
Sylvie also knew that Alex’s family was having a last get-together. That one was going to be at two in the afternoon so the grooms would be able to attend both family gatherings. The families had considered combining the parties, but had felt they would rather spend the last day with the people they had grown up with and had loved the most.
Sylvie just hoped her son and Alex would be able to enjoy their marriage for as long as they could, without any family involvement.
Finally, the two mothers, Camille still wailing her happiness, reached the gardens and Sylvie was able to pass Camille and her corsage off to Dave, her husband. Letting the older man take charge of his wife, she finally had a chance to take a look at the location.
It had been hastily selected since the grooms didn’t even know they would be able to get married until the week before. Fortunately, Alex was the hotel’s manager and had arranged for the quick wedding and the details. A local florist, who had gone to school with Daniel, had offered to provide as many flowers as she could and Alex had arranged for the hotel’s restaurant to provide some of the food. Sylvie’s church’s pastor had agreed to perform the ceremony and the choir director had offered to sing.
The garden was a lovely little location, set apart from the rest of the hotel’s grounds, with a little pond filled with koi and tropical plants surrounding the rest of the alcove. An arch heavy with crimson flowers was ensconced between two shade trees and backed by a brick wall, commanding everyone’s attention. Before the arch were a few rows of silver chairs, which were rapidly filling up with family and close friends of the grooms.
“Cooper!” Sylvie exclaimed, catching sight of her nephew as he walked somewhat behind his sisters.
She hurried over and Cooper warily stood still to be embraced by his aunt. He was stiff in her arms as she embraced him, so she quickly released him, hoping she wouldn’t make him run again. Backing away a couple of steps to look him over, she pressed her hands together over her chest and studied him as he squirmed slightly under her gaze. His older sister had paused in her walking and had turned around to watch the scene while Jenna continued on to find a good seat.
“When did you get home?” Sylvie asked, her eyes misting. She hadn’t thought she’d see her nephew again, not after her had left home like he had.
“About an hour ago,” Abigail replied for her brother, who didn’t look like he was going to answer.
“Welcome home,” Sylvie said warmly, a bright smile on her face.
“Thanks,” Cooper muttered, stuffing his hands in his pockets. “By the way, what’s with all the green?”