warm.your.heart.wedding story

this week has been one of my busiest to date.

i went to so many weddings that i have added new words to my vocabulary like spanx (sp?), enjoyed reading my friends who are in the wedding business' tweets about similar wedding stories,  bonded with some pretty fun mother-of-the-brides, pinned my first yamaka, helped other mother-of-the brides find the perfect dress for the reception, tamed the wildest red hair i have ever laid fingers on, placed garters on my bride's legs, went back and forth from los angeles to san diego........whilst brazilian blowing out my friend, shaved initials in my friend's head, cut my siblings hair... okay now i'm going off on my lists...all in one week.

anyway, there is a story that won't leave me all week.
i have wanted more than five minutes to sit at my computer to type it out.
it's pretty simple, really, but extremely heart-warming.

about two months ago i did hair for a gorgeous bride in san diego and her roommate called me a month ago asking me if i was free for her wedding date.  i had that morning open and we planned it. she called me a few weeks ago asking me if i could do hair for her bridal shoot and that she wanted to look really pretty.  then she trailed off in the conversation to tell me that she might not have any hair on her wedding day. i asked her why.  she said she has stage four breast cancer and might be loosing her hair once she starts chemotherapy.  my heart sunk.

tuesday 6:30pm
with nothing to expect, i knocked on her door in huntington beach.  she was on the couch relaxing.  she told me she had to rest all day to prepare for this photoshoot. she sat down on the chair in the kitchen and i asked her how her day went.  she told me she was very tired and was on heavy medication to dull the pain.  as i started her makeup, i noticed all of her glands were wet.  she told me the radiation treatments were making her sweat.  i told her i would stay for the photoshoot and would be there to touch-up or blot the sweat if she needed me.

she told me her story & her story is this ... she met her fiance a few years ago.  they fell in love quickly and he proposed.  it was very sweet.  she then told me that she just found out she has cancer and that it spread to her spine in four different areas.  she told me it went into some of her organs and that the pain was getting worse as the days go on.
......... i couldn't hold back the tears.  even as i type this i am finding these emotions again.  luckily, i was applying eyeshadow, so i had her close her eyes so she couldn't see my eyes swell with water.  she was so strong as she told the details.  danielle started to tell me that her fiancée  calls her throughout the day to check on her health status and is fully aware of her probability of not making it much longer than a year or two, at best.  she said her biggest fear is to have her husband come home to her in a few months and she isn't there....

oh man.  i couldn't hold the tears.  she stayed strong.  complete tears were falling.
i continued on to her hair and tried to hide my emotions.  i asked her how we would do her hair and what the veil looked like.  in my mind, all i could repeat back was how close she was to death and how happy she was.  she just fell in love with the man she has been waiting for her whole life at age 41 and will never be able to have her own children.
i wanted to be friends with her; not just her wedding makeup and hairdresser.  i hoped that even just a little bit of her goodness, inspiration and strength could just rub off on me.  she was so special.

we finished quickly and headed to irvine to meet her photographer.  throughout the photoshoot she was smiling, twirling her dress, playing with her veil, kicking her feet up and having fun with each shot.  her sister and i just watched and it made me so happy to see her so easily smile.

 she was so beautiful.  she was so happy.  she knows she only has numbered days left and still could carry the most genuine smile i've seen.

on the drive back to her house, i sat in the back while she told me how she picked each vendor for her wedding.  she told me that she could feel a connection with me and that when we met, she knew i was the one for her special day.  she then told me that she would still have some of her hair for the wedding this coming saturday but some of it might not be there from the therapy.  i told her i would purchase human hair and color it to match her hair.  she has always wanted a french twist or some sort of timeless hairstyle but her hair has been falling out. danielle was so excited i could do that for her.

when we got to her house, she was so exhausted.  she had to sit down immediately.  her fiancee called and she told him to come over to see her.  she told him she felt really pretty and wanted him to see her.  danielle let me cut part of her hair off in the very back so i could match her hair to the extentions.  we said our goodbyes and i walked to my car.  as i was putting all my supplies in my trunk, the reality of what just happened, hit me. i sat in my front seat and couldn't move.  my heart was so full of love for this amazing woman.  the tears began to stream down my cheeks while i just sat there; car still parked parallel to her house.

what a sweet little mercy i had been given. maybe that saying that every person you meet is for a reason or a purpose, is true. when life may seem so busy, or possible future trials come or things may seem hard, i can reflect on this story and think there are strong people like danielle who knew how to smile in her white dress.

i heard these quotes once and thought they were fitting:

“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity."
- Henry Van Dyke

“Really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great.” ~Mark Twain

9 lovely notes:

Claire Kiefer said...

Thank you so much for posting this. It reaffirms my faith in life and love and just the timing of everything. I hope to God that she is okay, and that she beats the odds, and survives, and is strong, and lives a remarkable life. And I also think that you did come into her life for a reason, and vice versa, and at the right time. It's pretty amazing, huh?

On another note, I'm in awe that you can do Brazilian blowouts. I want one so badly.

I'm sure you'll touch this woman's wedding day and help her to feel more beautiful than she's ever felt, which is what all brides want on their day, I am sure.

Liese said...

Melissa this is beautiful and so inspiring! Thank you for sharing

Brynn said...

2 things. 1.) love this story. 2.) where did the bride take her pics in irvine? i love the location.

and a third thing just for fun...your blog is so fun to look at/read :)

likeschocolate said...

I feel humbled. While I am worring and stress myself out each day on the few extra pounds I can't lose since the birth of my children. I am very blessed. I have good health, I have a wonderful hard working husband, and three gorgeous children. And yet, this woman still feels beautiful despite losing some of her hair, having stage 4 cancer, the pain, and the fact that she might not make it beyond the next couple of months. Thank you for sharing this story. It puts life into perspective.

Shannon said...

Melissa, thanks so much for posting this. It warms my heart and brought tears to my own eyes. There is a girl in my singles ward who is going through the same thing. She just became engaged earlier this month and will be married at end of August. The Chemo treatments have stopped working and her hair has fallen out but she wears the sassiest wig with style. The faith and the optimism she and her fiancée have in Lord's plan for her and them is outstanding. Thank you for reminding me.

Aubrey said...

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story about a beautiful woman, inside and out!

Rad Rachel said...

I've loved reading this. What an inspiring woman. It's so good of you to recognize what a gift that was to meet her. It's so hard to stop our schedule sometimes to recognize what blessings we are recieving constantly. I'm convinced people come into our lives, or situtations happen just so, all the time. Tender mercies happen every single day. But we don't always have our eyes and heart open to them.

Thanks again. You're so sweet to fulfill this woman's dreams.

Autumn Fauver said...

Thank you for this story. And for the really wonderful quote you shared.

Melly Mel said...

thank you guys for your sweet comments. i read them all and appreciate them.

to answer your questions:
it is at the la quinta right off the 5 and sand canyon right before the jeffrey exit... it was inside the square but the place was really cool for pictures. the railroad was behind it.

such a sweet girl.
i can't wait for her wedding on saturday. i'll try to post pictures of it.


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