I survived it and it was mostly due to poor video feed quality. Ironic. The thing I wanted the most was to attend my son's wedding. Since I was unable to access the accommodations necessary to allow me to attend in the time that I was allotted, we arranged to Skype it. My husband took a hot-spot and we arranged to have it hooked into the tv, so everyone who wanted to come to the Skyping (because they couldn't afford to go to the wedding)could watch it comfortably. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the signal strength was poor. The bride's sister was able to Skype it also, off our hotspot, and that was a huge blessing to the bride. Her sister's husband had recently been transferred to Italy, with their whole family. It meant a lot to both of them. I don't know how clear her picture was, but ours was like a Monet painting. Impressionistic. Though the still shots were a bit better. I figured out right at the end, that I could take them. Here is one for you.
So I got to see it, and then again, not. I suppose, had I been able to see their faces (and expressions) I would have bawled my head off. But, as I had to focus on figuring out what everything was, it was too distracting, for much crying. It was surreal. I'm glad I got to see what I did, but it was still extremely unsatisfying.
I told myself that at least I'd have the pictures and video that my husband took. He forgot. He assures me there was someone there taking pictures and video, and I can have a copy of that. I'll believe that when I see it, too. So I tried to get some details out of my husband. He notices very little. His impressions: they seemed happy. The Pastor was a larger version of our old Pastor. Her (the Bride's) uncle was a mini version of his (my husband's) uncle. Her one aunt was the one in charge. They all seemed like nice people.
I got introduced to several of them over Skype, and they were so blurry, I wouldn't recognize them if I bumped into them on the street. Nor could I tell what they were saying. The audio feed was pretty broken up. I mostly smiled, nodded and looked interested. I wanted to say nice things to the bride, welcoming her to the family, but she looked like she wasn't hearing everything I was saying either. I was grateful and sad and frustrated all at once. I was happy for them. I think they were smiling beatifically.
After the wedding, we logged off and served a "wedding breakfast" of waffles with strawberries and whipped cream. We had champagne, as well. We even made toasts to the absent bride & groom. Then my daughter and her husband left for church and my parents-in-law stayed over another day so they could see their son. They left yesterday about 10:00 a.m. And I sat down for a few minutes and passed out until 3:00. So now, I'm trying to get my 'normal' life back on track. I have this empty, achy spot inside me. I'm told by other TIs that it will never go away. It's the being forced to miss those once in a life time occasions. It's a type of robbery. Something precious is stolen from us and we can never get it back. As Peggy says, "it's wrong on so many levels."
I'm supposed to get to throw them an Oregon reception. I can't even count on that. I can't even count on being here. I'm frustrated, and sad. I'm struggling to move forward. That's hard.