Bless her – you couldn’t miss her as she walked down the aisle on Saturday morning.
Weddings are emotional days at the best of times. But, as the Yorkshire Evening Post put it, this was going to be ‘one of the most emotional weddings the city has ever seen.’ And it was.
Most brides, I think, will have a little cry at some point before the ceremony, but Mum is still struggling with her emotions at times, and the strength of the emotions last Saturday were a bit much for her.
She cried so much that, as a stranger, you would have thought she didn’t want to get married – that she was being forced into a wedding with a person she can’t stand. Thankfully, her family know her better.
Nerves, excitement, joy, anxiety – it all came out in floods of tears. So when the music started playing (Pet Shop Boys, Mum? Really? That’s what you wanted to walk down the aisle to? Mad as a hatter), it did little to conceal her cries as she prepared to enter the room.
The press were stood behind the registrar – a photographer from the Yorkshire Evening Post and a cameraman from ITV Calendar, ready to capture every moment. That was strange. My little local celeb, having journalists at the wedding, like she’s a Kardashian or something.
They caught her tears, and you can hear them in the video the Yorkshire Evening Post uploaded with their article on Sunday evening. I wish they’d filmed a little bit more, to show her joy afterwards, or her laughter as she said her vows. The emotional lability doesn’t always translate as tears.
Still, she walked down that aisle. Her wheelchair (expertly decorated by my good self) was hidden in a corner at the back of the room – nobody could see it, and it couldn’t see her. No looming threat in the corner – instead a confident, if emotional, bride, walking towards her fiancée, supported by her father. Screw you, MND. You took her ability to talk, but you haven’t taken it all, and you never will.
Mum completing her tearful but joyful walk down the aisle.
She was sat for the ceremony – she was jittery enough without being nervous on her feet. The ceremony itself was short, and she had pre-prepared her vows on her software, so all she had to do was press play.
I had been worried that for some reason it wouldn’t count, that because the registrar hadn’t seen her type them, then it might not be considered legitimate, especially considering the state she was in. I didn’t need to worry. They’d interviewed her beforehand to ensure all was correct, and all she had to do was press play.
Just press play…
Except for those two all-important words, of course. ‘I do.’ MND wasn’t going to take that from her either.
If you read my blog regularly – and I still find it strange that some people do – then you’ve probably worked out that my mum’s a bit mad. She’s silly, always has been. She does whatever makes her happy – even if that means walking down the aisle to ‘Heart’ by the Pet Shop Boys. But she’s stubborn too. My grandad says it’s a Robinson trait – we’re all stubborn. Seriously. And she stubbornly defied her illness to say ‘I do’.
She burst out laughing right before she had to say those two words. Perhaps a bit awkward – perhaps that awkwardness made her laugh harder. It was nice to hear though. Getting ready with her, I’d listened to her cry for a few hours, so to hear her laugh, to hear that she was actually happy, was good. And just look how delighted they both were:
Come on, MND. We’ve spent years trying to get her to be quiet.
Do you really think you’ll succeed?
My partner was sat at the back of the room, and he told me yesterday that he heard her clearly. I know many in the room wouldn’t have, but I did too, sat in the front row. So, no. MND has not silenced her.
And for the press, it was a nice added twist to their story. We wanted to raise awareness of MND, of people who lose their speech. We wanted to share how technology has given us hope, because Mum will never be silent (unless we turn your iPad off – and don’t think we won’t. You can’t nag me about my bedroom anymore!). But we also shared her resilience, and stubbornness, and an achievement she is proud of, that we are all proud of.
Bank holidays are starting to develop a tendency for changing my mum’s life. It was at the Easter bank holiday she was diagnosed, and it was the August bank holiday when she married. Who knows what Christmas will bring?
I just hope it is as happy as Saturday made her, in the end.