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      Always a bridesmaid


I have been a bridesmaid at 8 weddings.

Tina-my best friend from childhood Kaci-my sister Libby-my sister Ericha- my best friend from college Allison - Leiha- my best friend from high school Jodi- a cousin Nina-my aunt and my mom - Whitney- to her second husband. and my step dad Ben.

I am 25. will I be single forever? I asked myself. it seems I had a wedding to go to every weekend. there was always an invitation in the mail. I was always going to dress fittings, and finding strapped sandals to match a dress I knew I'd never wear again, in my closet is a section- it's called the bm wedding collection. it's all my dresses from weddings that weren't mine.

I use to come home and cry after the wedding. there is nothing happier, and nothing more depressing to remind you how lonely you are. I would come home and feed my cat Moby, and fall asleep crying, and dreaming of my perfect wedding.

I was sure it would never come. I bought my very own wedding dress.

My boyfriend and I....we were so close, best friends in high school. then we broke up. I moved on...after a long period of depression, and he moved on almost right away, which was shocking, because he was always so close to me.

It took a year for us to be friends. I met and fell in love with a man that was great, but we never seemed to connect. his name was Luke. he was tall, and handsome, and perfect. except he had no emotions. he was divorced with two kids. kids I wanted to make mine. their mother had left them, and I was willing to adopt them if Luke and I got married. he wanted that, but when we were alone, and the topic of marriage wasn't about his kids, getting to be adopted, and just for him...he didn't seem interested. why would he want to find a mother for his kids that he couldn't love. Jake and Mandy were like my own......for a year.....

It took a year before Christian, my boyfriend from high school and I could be friends again. we talked every few months. I was over him, so it never hurt to see him or talk to him.

Luke and I broke up, at almost 2 years. I knew it would happen. I was alone.

Christian had a girlfriend, and I respected that, but to keep from calling Luke, I called Chris a lot. just to talk.

Luke got involved again. but when Jake got hit by a car, he called me from the hospital. his girlfriend left him after that. she hated that he could need me, but as soon as Jake was stabilized, and recovering, he pushed me out again. I swore him off then and there. though it hurt to loose his kids.

Chris and I talked more and more. finally one night he said he wanted to be with me. I told him I missed him too. and sure enough new feelings were starting to grow over the old scars. but I was scared.

I told Chris that also since he had a girlfriend, I wasn't going to be with him. I told him I wouldn't ruin a relationship. I wouldn't want that done to me. so he ended it with her.

It was hard at first. we moved in together. it was weird to be back together though. his ex girlfriend, Marci, she stalked us for awhile. she attempted suicide, but finally got the message.

It took 6 months for everything to quite down before we could just be comfortable with each other. we would come home at night, and collapse in each others arms, and read our own book. he'd play with my hair while I sat I his lap watching TV. it was magic........ and it still is....

He's asked me to marry him. he asked on April 27th - my birthday. so today I threw all my bridesmaids dresses out the closet door and laughed. I never thought I would, but I finally have a wedding dress to hang there.

We're getting married in August. all my dreams will come true. that night. I love Christian Walker Anderson. with all my heart. our wedding is going to be in the Hampton's, and then we are moving into our new home that we just bought in Rochester. we're moving. and starting a new life together.

We've been back together a while again. he was my first love and my last. I lost him for a while. I never forgot about him, but I never would've believed we'd be getting married, and that we'd be back together again someday.

Chris doesn't know yet....tonight we are going to dinner, and I am telling him....... it's a good thing we bought a home. I am pregnant. we said we were anxious to start a family, but he will be shocked. but happy.

All of you women, who think it will never be you.......hold out for'll get your chance....... and guess who my bridesmaids are? Tina, Jodi, my mom Whitney, Kaci, Libby, Ericha Allison, and Nina...... I ought to make them wear my old dresses....I laugh to Chris all the time. I cannot wait to start my new life as a wife and mommy. and also.....Luke - I finally ran into him at the store 2 months ago---he's married-----and his wife Virginia has adopted the kids. they have a son now who is 10 months old, and I couldn't be happier for them, and him for finding space in his heart for someone else again. see, everyone eventually does. things work themselves out.

-Justine Pendegrass-Anderson


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