25: Clarity in the Fog

25: Clarity in the Fog

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Amazing Mom

Clarity in the Fog

If nothing is going well, call your grandmother.

~Italian Proverb

His blue eyes gleamed with excitement. “Will you marry me?”

“Yes!” I exclaimed. As we hugged, I stared at our initials carved into the tree. Immediately, a sick feeling came over me. What was I doing? I was only nineteen. I looked down at my hand where the ring sparkled as the sun shone through the trees. Was I too young for this?

It had been a whirlwind romance. I only met him a few months before he proposed. We attended the same university, met at a Bible study, and spent nearly every day together from the moment we first met. It seemed picture perfect. At first. Then the controlling behavior began. The constant calls to “check in” when we were apart, the jealousy, the obsessive need to know all of my passwords . . . It all happened so subtly that I didn’t even realize these were all red flags. The next thing I knew, we were making plans to move to Oregon after the wedding, and I was being stripped of my car and my family. I was in too deep.

“Are you sure you’re ready for this?” My mother’s eyebrows rose with concern.

“Of course! I’m fine!” I wanted to prove that I was old enough to make this life-changing decision on my own. She knew he wasn’t a good fit for me, as did the rest of my family. They would drop subtle hints that they were worried, but they didn’t want to push me away in case I did end up married to him. They saw the controlling tendencies and how I had changed, but I was so swept up in the moment that I couldn’t see the warning signs. I proceeded with the wedding plans out of embarrassment and stubborn pride.

My dreams haunted me. Friends appeared to me in my dreams saying: “You shouldn’t marry him. You hardly know him.” In one dream, I stood at the chapel the day before the wedding, but the decorations were being torn down. At first, I ignored the dreams, but deep down I was doubting my decision. Even so, I buried the doubt far enough that it would take more than a dream to shatter my determined resolve.

Three months before the big day, I took my fiancé to visit my grandmother in the nursing home. In her state of dementia, she couldn’t recognize me and barely put a few words together, let alone a sentence. No matter whether she knew me or not, I loved visiting my granny. I wanted to show her the ring on my finger that used to belong to her mother—the ring that she had passed down to me. As we settled into the comfortable couch, sitting on either side of her, I began telling her about the wedding plans.

“You’re getting married?” she asked. I was shocked at the clarity with which she put the words together. It was the most she had spoken in months. She looked at me as if she knew me but couldn’t say my name and didn’t know how we were related. I told her how we wanted an exotic wedding in Mexico, then chose a beach wedding in Oregon, before finally settling on a chapel at home in Montana.

“You’re getting married?” She stared down at the save-the-date and the invitations that were to go out the following week. I told her about the wedding colors and the beautiful red roses I had just ordered.

“You’re getting married?” By the third time she asked, that uneasiness in my gut grew even stronger. Was she trying to tell me something?

Granny sat staring at our picture, stroking it with her wrinkled, delicate hands. Suddenly, she looked up, stared at me straight in the eyes, and said, “You’re too young to get married.”

Shivers went down my spine.

She was so cognizant in that moment. Was this a message from heaven? On top of my deeply hidden doubt and the dreams warning me not to go through with it, this was the last straw. I knew exactly what I should do.

The following week, I went to visit my fiancé in Oregon over Spring Break. As I drove to Bridal Veil Falls, where I was to mail the invitations, I stopped in front of the post office. I stared at the pile of invitations in the back seat, but I couldn’t bring myself to carry them in. I turned around and drove home.

I never saw him again, and I never looked back. When I returned, my grandma was on her deathbed. As I sat by her side, listening to her raspy breathing, I was able to tell her that I was home, I was safe, and that she was right all along—I was too young to be married.

Thanks to that miraculous moment with my grandma, I have never regretted my decision to call off the wedding. Would I have canceled the wedding without my grandmother’s comment? Probably not.

Six years later, I wear that same ring on my finger, only I’m married to the man I waited for, the man of my dreams. And we have a beautiful baby girl who may someday wear the same ring.

~Brooke Bent

You are currently enjoying a preview of this book.

Sign up here to get a Chicken Soup for the Soul story emailed to you every day for free!

Please note: Our premium story access has been discontinued (see more info).

view counter

More stories from our partners