Bloggy Moms Writer’s Workshop Prompt 6-27-11

Emily stood in the shadows, silent, watching the wedding reception. Tears filled her eyes. She watched the blurry figures of the bride and father as they danced and laughed. It made her heart ache as she thought about her Pa Pa and their father-daughter dance at her own wedding. Right on cue, Emily’s husband, Richard, walked up behind her, wrapping his arms around her. She leaned back into the security of his body and let the tears flow freely.
 “Missing him?” he asked, already knowing the answer.
Emily nodded.
“I’m sure he would be very proud of you, Em. He always was.”
Emily nodded again.

Emily was the fifth child. She was also the change of life baby her parents weren’t expecting. That didn’t stop Ma Ma and Pa Pa from being excited about the newest addition to the family. Her parents were both only children and wanted a house filled with the laughter of their children. Emily was doted on by her parents and her older siblings alike. Quite spoiled, actually.
Ma Ma and Pa Pa had also fulfilled another dream. They’d scrimped and saved to buy the restaurant Emily was standing in now. Pa Pa had taken much pride in his natural ability to concoct mouth-watering recipes. People made reservations months in advance to enjoy his dishes and the family atmosphere he and Ma Ma had worked hard to create.

Emily looked at the guests milling about, laughing, talking, and dancing. Her eyes gazed at the beautiful flower arrangements she’d painstakingly put together. Each wedding was unique. She took tremendous pride in her talent to create such uniqueness. In each arrangement, was a perfect rose.

The clinking of a fork against a champagne glass brought the room to an expectant quiet. The father of the bride was standing, beaming. He was about to make a toast to his beautiful daughter and new son-in-law.

Emily didn’t hear the toast. Her mind drifted to the first time she danced at a wedding with her own Pa Pa. It was her sister, Katiana’s wedding. Pa Pa had given his father-of-the-bride toast and was dancing with Katiana.

Katiana looked beautiful in her wedding dress. There’d been quite a commotion about the dress. Katiana wanted to carry on the tradition of wearing Ma Ma’s dress. She wanted the dress to be passed down to all of Ma Ma’s daughters and to their daughters. Ma Ma had protested, simply stating her dress was too old fashioned. Katiana insisted she would wear nothing but the same wedding dress her own Ma Ma was married in. With great anticipation, Ma Ma and her girls had marched to the attic with purpose. Emily wasn’t sure who was more disappointed, Ma Ma or Katiana, when Ma Ma pulled the dress out of the box to find moths had made a feast out of the dress. After many spent tears, Pa Pa had suggested cutting three equal amounts of the dress out. Each daughter would in turn, have her wedding dress designed with a piece of Ma Ma’s wedding dress sewn in it. This way, each daughter could pass on a part of Ma Ma’s wedding dress.

 Katiana’s groom sheepishly requested to cut in. Pa Pa obliged proudly. As he turned to walk off the dance floor, he saw Emily sitting, eyes wide and shiny.
“Come my Rose Bud,” Pa Pa called to her, hand extended.
Emily jumped up, excited to be dancing with the grown ups. Laughing, she skipped to grab Pa Pa’s hand. Pa Pa lifted her up and positioned her feet on top of his feet.
“We must practice for your wedding, Rose Bud.”
“Okay, Pa Pa,” Emily smiled.
As the reception wound down from her sister’s wedding, Emily had picked a the perfect rose from one of the flower arrangements. She clutched it tightly in her hand as Pa Pa carried her to the car.

Emily  had the opportunity to dance with Pa Pa at three more of  her siblings weddings through the years. Emily always delighted in the  routine that had become special to both Emily and Pa Pa. He said the same words from Katiana’s wedding at each wedding. And after each wedding, Emily always chose the perfect rose to take home.

After graduating from high school, Emily was faced with a tough decision. She knew it was expected of her to join the family restaurant. Emily hadn’t inherited Pa Pa’s natural ability to cook. Or Ma Ma’s natural ability to float among the customers, playing the perfect hostess. Emily felt most comfortable planting and tending to her flowers. She spend hours trying to cross-breed the perfect flower. Pa Pa often joked he should have called her Muffin; maybe then Emily would have been more interested in cooking.

The day finally arrived when Emily sat her parents down to share her dream with them.
“Pa Pa, I want to open up a florist shop.”
“What, Rose Bud? What?” Pa Pa exclaimed loudly.
Emily took in a breath of courage.
“I want to open up a florist shop,” she said more confidentially. “Pa Pa, it’s what I love to do. You know this.”
“But our family is in the restaurant business. We don’t play with silly flowers, Emily,” Pa Pa bellowed.
“Pa Pa, please. You know I burn water. I don’t have your talent. Or Ma Ma’s”, she added quietly.
“No, no! I won’t have it,” Pa Pa declared, slamming his fist on the table. The glasses rattled, almost toppling over.
Pa Pa stood up and marched into the kitchen. His word was final.
Ma Ma patted Emily’s hand. “Give him time, Emily. You know how Pa Pa is. He doesn’t take to new ideas or change so well. Give him time,” she repeated as she stood up.

Emily and Pa Pa didn’t talk for weeks after their exchange. Emily was heart broken. Pa Pa had never been angry with any of his children before. Her siblings tried talking to her, trying to convince her to make Pa Pa happy. Oh how she wanted to but it wasn’t her life’s dream. She had to try again, somehow, to get Pa Pa to understand.

“Pa Pa,” Emily began as she sat down. “Will you please listen to me?”
“Humph,” was Pa Pa’s only response.
Emily placed a well worn scrap book on the table in front of Pa Pa. She opened it to the first page.
“Look Pa Pa, do you see this rose? This is from Katiana’s wedding. It’s the perfect rose from a perfect memory. The first wedding you and I danced, Pa Pa.”
Emily turned the page.
“Do you see this rose? This is from Alex’s wedding. It’s the perfect rose from a perfect memory. The second wedding you and I danced.”
Emily turned the page.
Pa Pa laid his hand on Emily’s. His eyes were brimming with tears.
“It means that much to you, Rose Bud?”
“Yes, Pa Pa. I want to create beautiful memories for people. Memories like the ones I have. Look, I have a perfect flower from each wedding. From every anniversary you and Ma Ma shared. Our birthdays. The celebrations of your grandchildren; my nieces and nephews. I can still be a part of the restaurant. I can make the flower arrangements for the receptions and to put in the restaurant.”
Emily pleaded with her eyes.
“On one condition, Rose Bud.”
“What’s that, Pa Pa?”
“You  must pick the perfect rose for me. From your wedding.”


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6 Responses

  1. You're a great writer, Chelle… 🙂 – Olivia Blue Music

  2. Awww, what a great story, wish I could write this well. Awesome, although I would have loved to see a title with such a cute story:) Barbara, Bloggy Moms Writer's Workshophttp://spanishforkids-jbplbarbara.blogspot.com

  3. AWwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!! Your ending made me cry!!! What a sweet story! What a great memory. I think every daughter is wishing for a Pa Pa like that!!I'm absolutely in love with the way you weaved such important character traits to us without even mentioning a name, like: Pa Pa had suggested cutting three equal amounts of the dress out. Each daughter would in turn, have her wedding dress designed with a piece of Ma Ma’s wedding dress sewn in it. This way, each daughter could pass on a part of Ma Ma’s wedding dress. This told me SO much about Pa Pa's character.This is really an excellent piece, Chelle!! I'm so glad you linked up again.

  4. Thank you everyone! @ jbplbarbara-I wasn't sure about having a title while doing the prompts but it makes sense. Thanks for the tip.@ Stephanie-I appreciate your wonderful feedback. I don't normally share my writing so this has been a stepping out of my comfort zone experience. I'm looking forward to sharing more with you all.

  5. Very nice story. Makes me miss my dad. I won't get to dance with him at my wedding because he passed away. I think it is a beautiful tradition and you tell a beautiful story around it.Thanks for linking up for Flashback Friday. Link up every friday on http://www.chasing-joy.com

  6. Thank you, Joy.I'm sorry you won't be able to dance with your dad at your wedding. Hugs to you!

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