As I look back to this past year, the journey that my husband and I have taken together and the individual growth it has resulted in, I found this journal that I wrote just over a year ago. It may sound simple but the process of finding my wedding dress was one that opened a lot of old scares, one that shed light on so many emotions that I have had for years. This journal is about that journey for me, the process of getting to a place where I finally loved myself enough to truly love another and accept that love as well.
March 16, 2016
In that moment I stood there, in front of the mirror, standing on my own two feet. Sure underneath the dress I had on leg braces that braced me all the way from my toes to my hips, but in that moment I felt more beautiful than I have ever felt. I saw myself standing there in a beautiful white gown and all I could think of is the moment when I get to walk arm and arm down the aisle with my dad towards a man that is so much more than I ever could have dreamed of.
As I stood there with two of my close friends by my side and my mom I felt like everything I thought I would never have was coming together in that moment. My girl friends were looking at accessories, the owner of the bridal boutique was picking out veils and my mom was taking pictures, and I, I was just standing there, staring into this beautiful oversized mirror and my world just stopped.
It took me years to feel beautiful, years to feel comfortable, to feel girly, sexy, elegant, graceful and even once I found the ability to feel all of that I never knew if I would truly be able to feel like a bride. After my paralysis I found myself missing the simple moments of my past and longing for the moments of my future that I felt were now unreachable. The top of that list was someday getting married. For years I didn’t know if I would ever be able to find that kind of love, the type that has no barriers, the type of love that knows no boundaries, that loves fearlessly. It took me years to love myself again after my injury and I didn’t know if I would ever find that type of love with someone, my biggest fear was that no one would ever be able to embrace my past, yet also see me for more than my past.
Now here I am and I have found a man that is everything I could have ever dreamed of, everything I thought I would never find and more than all of that. He makes me feel beautiful, empowered, loved, cared for, he makes my wheelchair just magically disappear yet at the same time I know loves me for my wheelchair and the person I am with and without it. He is a man that has made my every wish, hope and dream come true.
So as I stood there, in my leg braces with my wheelchair on the other side of the room and I realized not only have I found an incredible man to share my life with but on our wedding day I will be able to do the one thing I never thought I would get to do, I will get to walk down the aisle as I become his wife, I finally felt the one thing I never knew if I would feel… I felt like a bride. As I looked in the mirror I felt elegant and graceful, I had a dress on that was timeless and classic… I looked behind me to see a beautiful train with a veil that dropped down my back and I realized that on December 30th everything I have ever wished for and more will come true as I walk down the aisle to marry a man that is my every dream come true.