Friday, March 23, 2012

The Love of My Life

We glided across the dance floor, my wedding gown swishing and his silver tie shimmering.  Having just been introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Perry, we had excitedly taken the floor and now danced to “Green Eyes,” our first dance as husband and wife.  The candles glowed and the lights overhead glimmered.  With a twinkle in his eyes, he lifted his arm, signaling a spin.  I smoothly twirled away from him, but in an instant our eyes met, and entranced I stepped back into his arms.  Laughter and smiles sparkled effervescently, dancing our Rumba box step, as we floated under the twinkling lights.

Just a couple hours before I had been waiting in the foyer of our church, eager and giddy, veiled and on my father’s arm.  I thought of the pure bliss in his eyes, as the doors slowly opened and I first entered the church, the organist playing my “subtly majestic” anthem.  Tears twinkled and a smile spread across the face of my beloved, while he watched me slowly approach the altar – approach him.

A Hospital Visit

The walls were white, the tile a dingy grey, and the hallway smelled like sterilizing cleanser and urine. Slowly I trudged up the stairs. I knew that I was obligated to go see her, but everything within me wanted to run, to escape, for I was wracked with guilt. What would she say? Would she even look at me? Did I even want her to look at me? I was convinced that her eyes would bore holes through my chest.

It was a gloomy March Sunday morning, overcast and cloudy, not raining at the moment, but it looked as though it could begin again any minute. More significantly, it was the day after the accident.

Since freshmen year, we had all been great friends, The Five of Us, as we referred to ourselves. That sunny Saturday had been our long-awaited study break – a day at Disneyland! We had talked about it for months, and finally the day came. We had experienced the wonder of Fantasy Land, adventured with Indiana Jones through snake-filled caves, screamed our way down the Tower of Terror, and been transported into the future together. It was a wonderful day! After eating fajitas and kettle corn, and watching the magical fireworks display, we loaded into my green station wagon, Tommy the Taurus, and headed back to campus around midnight. We were all exhausted, but it was a smooth ride.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Phone Call

“Hello?” I answered the phone confidently.

“Yes, hello.  Is this Victoria Wade?” the masculine voice asked on the other line.

“Yes, that’s me,” I replied cheerfully.

“Excellent.  How are you today?” he asked.

‘Should I say that I’m great or that it depends on how this interview goes?’ I thought.  I settled for the standard, “I’m good. And you?”

“Excellent.  So why are you interested in joining the Torrey Honors Institute?” the Director asked, jumping through the formalities and to the heart of the conversation.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Flannelgraph Faith

It was a day like every other day, a night like every Wednesday night, yet heaven reached down to earth that day – January 19, 1994. 

I was a giddy eight year old attending my local AWANA club with my Bible memory book in hand and my little red Sparky vest ironed and buttoned neatly, bedecked with all the crowns and jewels that I had earned over the previous two years.  In fact, I had just turned eight two weeks before, and my dad was to turn thirty-seven the very next day.  Even so, the evening had been like many others.  I arrived just before 6 o’clock and played with my friends until the whistle blew.  I had recited the Bible verses to my leader, Mrs. Campbell, which I had memorized the previous week.  Now I sat eagerly, awaiting the beginning of “Council Time," as we called it.

Mrs. Peggy, as she insisted on being called, rather than Mrs. Berry, was like a grandmother to all of us.  She was our favorite leader, and it was her time to share the lesson tonight.  We cheerfully heard the news and quieted down, sitting up straight with our legs crossed.  We were arranged on colored strips of Velcro by on our color team.  I sat on the blue line, hands folded, as Mrs. Peggy approached the front of room.  She smiled and greeted us, encouraging us to jump up and join her in singing “Father Abraham.”  The entire room echoed, as we sang as loudly as we could, then as softly as we could, left arm and right foot in, turning around, and finally sitting down, laughing and smiling.  That’s when she retrieved the felt board from behind the podium and propped it up beside her stool.