I have witnessed unbelievable angry tantrums and lost tempers by toddlers, children, teenagers, and adults.
But, during a lovely wedding, I watched a 5’4″, 160-pound, grey-haired woman, with bright red lipstick and crimson rouge applied to her cheeks, in her mid to late eighties. I have heard her calmly tell anyone she was age sixty-five.
Her twenty-seven-year-old great-grandson was her escort, who assisted her into the church pew.
She used a pink and silver painted cane to match her white and pink sequin dress with a hemline stopping above her knees.
She wore a strand of glossy pink pearls draped around her neck to match the swirled pattern belt around her tiny waist.
Her white and pink two-inch heel patent leather pumps matched her dress.
Her pink pearl wrist bracelets matched her pearl earrings, and the color matched the two-inch wide pearl rose broach pinned above her left breast.
If the bright sequins dress did not capture everyone’s attention, the white nylons she wore caused a stir, and many double takes with a black seam along the back of her legs reminded me of a Hollywood movie star walking the red carpet at a film premiere.
She sat regally with her head held high with her grandson seated on her right.
The Catholic church was equally and elaborately decorated with pink and white bows adorning the end of the dark brown church pew with the vibrantly red carpet traveling the length of the church from the vestibule to the priest and the happy couple standing upon the alter.
As the wedding ceremony progressed, the priest looked out into the congregation gathered and asked.
“Is there anyone who has caused why this couple should not be united in holy matrimony marriage?
A moment of silence passed over the families and guests as a few people silently looked around, grinning.
The silence was broken with a profoundly guttural haggard clearing of the throat from the older woman in the sequin dress.
As she coughed, she covered her mouth with her left hand. Then she raised her right hand into the air allowing all eyes to fix on her. Her right hand formed a fist with her index finger standing by itself to cross her body and point at the bride’s grandmother seated in the church pew across from her.
What happened next caused the priest’s mouth to remain open during a verbal tirade families and friends talk and joke about to this day, as this took place over five years ago.
The words used in the church that afternoon caused parents to cover their children’s ears while faint giggles and open laughter broke out among the congratulation.
In a clear, direct, and forceful tone, she stated aloud.
“You stole my husband!
You are a scarlet woman, a vamp, a swinger, a trollop, a slut, a tart, a whore, a tramp, a sexpot, a jezebel, a floozy, a nymphomaniac, and you are a fallen woman,
Her great-grandson asked aloud.
Great-grammy, I thought your Alzheimer’s took your memory!
Family members covered their faces in embarrassment while the bride and groom stared at both women.
The great-grandmother used her cane to shakily rises to stand while staring at the woman across from her. Then, she turns to her grandson and tells him and the rest of her family members.
I may have forgotten a lot, but that bitches face I will never forget and the hatred I have held within me for twenty-five years had to be released.
The great-grandson escorted her out of the church, and the wedding continued.
So, no, honey, I don’t think your great-grandmother with dementia should attend our wedding.
We can visit her before or after our ceremony to capture family photos with her.
Memories and passions deep within a soul resurface with a song, a sound, a smell, a touch, or the sight of your enemy.
M. J. Goode-Leake
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