Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Celebrating her granddaughter’s wedding September 8, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:00 AM
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SHE WAS DETERMINED to attend her granddaughter’s wedding. And she did, one day shy of three weeks after suffering traumatic injuries in a fall.

Three of my mom's granddaughter's visit with her after the wedding.

Three of my mom’s granddaughter’s (including my daughter, middle) visit with her after the wedding.

She would be my 82-year-old mother.

About the only photo I managed during the ceremony, taken from my place in the pew.

About the only photo I managed during the ceremony, taken from my place in the pew.

Saturday afternoon Mom was among some 400 guests packing English Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove for the marriage of Carlyn and Jared.

The day marked a milestone for Mom, her first outing in three weeks except for the long ambulance ride from a southwestern Minnesota hospital to the trauma unit at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale and the car ride back to a nursing home five days later.

The reception was held at the community center in the bride and groom's hometown of Westbrook.

The reception was held at the community center in the bride and groom’s hometown of Westbrook.

Already while hospitalized, Mom set a goal to attend the wedding. Then she decided that she might like to go to the reception for awhile also. She accomplished both.

Guests shower Jared and Carlyn with birdseed as they leave the church.

Guests shower Jared and Carlyn with birdseed as they leave the church.

It is good to have goals when you are eighty-two, or any time really.

I laughed because my mom's nails were painted and I forgot to paint mine.

Nursing home staff painted Mom’s nails for the wedding.

I am thankful to the staff of Parkview Home in Belview for encouraging and working with my mom and even painting her nails for the wedding.

I am grateful, too, for a family that has been there for her every step of the way, encouraging, supporting, loving.

And for prayers. Yes, prayers.

Mom faces a long road toward full recovery. I understand that. But she has already come so far.

Yet, it is not easy to see the fading purple bruises, the oversized bump that still mars her forehead, the neck collar that locks her broken neck in place, her frailness…

There are times when sadness overwhelms me. But then I remind myself to be grateful. For every single day I have my mother.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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20 Responses to “Celebrating her granddaughter’s wedding”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Yes—-thankful every single minute!!! This resonates with me as you know since my own mom had an accident . It makes the time spent with her even more precious. So glad your mom was able to make it for the celebration—-I am sure it was the best medicine for her at this point and made a world of difference to that sweet couple. Love her fingernails—-they look much better than mine do. Thanks for sharing such a great story.

  2. Rena Says:

    Prayers for your mama… and for you!

  3. I’m so happy your mother made it to the wedding. Our mothers are about the same age. I was just with my folks for a week and will be heading back down probably early next week. It is so hard to see them get old and frail. I admire your mother’s spunk!

  4. Sue Ready Says:

    Yeah!!! mom made the big day! And yes, being grateful for eah day mom is still with your family is a really good thing.

  5. Jackie Says:

    From other posts, I know how important it was for your mom to make this wedding, I’m so glad she did 🙂 Her nails look beautiful, they did a good job at the nursing home. It’s got to help knowing they take the extra step to help your mom prepare for a very special day. So many emotions as we watch our parents “age”, Praying for healing for your mom and peace for you my friend. Jackie

  6. hotlyspiced Says:

    I didn’t realise your mother had broken her neck, Audrey. How terrifying for her and all of her children. Amazing that she managed to be at the wedding. How very special for you all. It looks like a beautiful wedding. Four hundred guests? That’s a huge wedding. We don’t have the tradition of throwing bird seed – here it’s rice or confetti although confetti has been outlawed at most places because it’s considered litter xx

    • Charlie, I don’t think I published a list of Mom’s injuries here. A broken neck was among several very serious injuries. She should not have survived breaking her C1 vertebrae, but she did. This is not the first time my mother has overcome what should have been deadly medical situations. Apparently God has not been ready yet to take her home and for that we are thankful.

      Four hundred guests is an incredibly large wedding. My daughter, for example, had around 115 guests at her wedding. That would be considered small.

      What churches allow to be thrown apparently varies. Years ago, rice was thrown. Now that’s been banned at most places. I know the church I attend would not allow birdseed.

  7. Dee bjork Says:

    How wonderful to have Mom there to enjoy the beautiful celebration.

  8. bev walker Says:

    The wedding looked beautiful. I am so glad your mom got to attend. Doing someone’s nails is such a small task but a huge appreciation for the residents. I have residents with dementia who look at me and remember that I did their nails before and then of course, I sit down with them and do them again Love it!!

    • The wedding was beautiful and I will showcase a few more wedding day photos here tomorrow.

      Whenever you polish nails for a resident, please know that you are doing something for them as much as for their families. This caring act meant a lot to me. The Parkview staff understood the importance of the day to Mom.

  9. Sandra Lindaman Says:

    Absolutely beautiful pictures!! I am so glad your mom made it to the wedding after everything she has been through lately. She is a beautiful lady and I am so privileged to have met her before the wedding at the various showers put on during the summer. I worked at a nursing home 25 years ago when I first came to Westbrook and had the privilege of helping Jared’s great grandmother and Carlyn’s grandmother on her mother’s side all in the same year! We know now they were children visiting their grandparents at the same time and didn’t know each other way back then!!


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