Chapter 20

‘God will show you his perfect will and when you are walking in his will, you will know and be at peace with the decisions you make in your life.’

The weeks leading up to the wedding were full of activity. The bakery construction on the expanded side had been completed and they temporarily moved in while the renovations were made to the existing half of the store. Julie and Stephanie had come over several times for Julie to offer her decorating expertise on the design of the bakery. Not only was she a great decorator, she grew up in the bakery too but had an eye for design in such a way that made everything not only beautiful, but functional as well. She respected that Emily knew what was best and it was her bakery now, she only gave suggestions that might help her daughter.

Emily developed a relationship with her estranged family.The relationship she had always longed for with her mother was better than she ever expected. Stephanie was the little sister she always dreamed of having.  The only person that she had not met was Charles, Emily’s nineteen year old half brother. He returned from college not knowing about Emily, only to find her in his parents kitchen one night showing the cook how to make a secret family recipe. Mistaking her for an assistant to the cook, he ordered her to make him a sandwich. When she made a second and sat down with him to eat, he almost fainted with shock. But, when Stephanie came in and picked up half of Emily’s sandwich and plopped in her lap with her arm thrown around her big sister’s shoulder, both girls laughed at the look he gave them. They decided that he needed to meet his big sister too.

After weeks of getting to know each other, Emily, Charles and Stephanie were so close, they could not imagine ever not being in each other’s lives. With a quick addition and fitting, Emily took Stephanie to try on her bridesmaid dress. Julie and Grandma came as well. This would be Emily’s final fitting for her wedding dress. Seeing both of her daughter’s reflection in the mirror, Julie started to tear up. Grandma came up behind her and put an arm around her daughter’s waist, “No crying until it is all over with dear! Nothing but joy, Emily deserves that!”

“You are right and these are tears of joy. I never thought this would be possible. That I would have the love of both of my daughters.”

“Emily is a special girl. She has always been a blessing to me and your father. Now, well now, she can be a blessing to you and the rest of her family.”

The family, now whole once and for all, ascended on the bakery to help Emily with her big day. Grandma and Julie took Emily to the salon to have her hair done up in her veil, her make-up done and her nails painted.

Charles and Jonathon came to help get all of the wedding paraphernalia to the church and reception. Jonathon had welcomed Emily into his family. She had never had a father, so she enjoyed the ribbing and picking on that her step-father gave to her and her siblings. He treated her like she was his daughter. No one could replace the time that was lost, but so far, Emily was happy to have the family she never had before.

Emily and Ben were going on their honeymoon, but Grandma was going with the Hayes family to their cottage at Lake George for two weeks. Mr. and Mrs. Hayes thought Grandma might like to come with them and get away from the construction, since it was now going to be more intrusive into the apartment. Scott had access in case there were any emergencies and he would be overseeing the final construction in the bakery in Emily and Grandma’s absence.

Scott refused to let Emily help with the cakes, saying that they were his gift to her and Ben. And what a gift, Emily had never seen anything like it. The masterpiece had flowers of sugar trailing down the cake in various shades of purple. Some translucent, some opaque, but all spectacular. The icing of the cake was a beautiful beige with a slight lilac tint to it. She knew once she saw it, that if it had been entered in the competition, that he would have won. Ben’s groom cake was constructed to look like a stage with an angel that looked a lot like Emily in the middle of the stage singing. This cake would be a surprise for Ben, in more ways than one!

On the morning of the wedding, Emily woke up in a daze and could not believe it was her wedding day until she was whisked to the salon by Grandma and Julie. A few blocks away, Ben had barely slept in anticipation of the day he had dreamed of. Today, he would be marrying his angel. Only one thing would make this day any better, but with everything going on, he did not want to bring it up to Emily.

Emily had not agreed with Ben on a nine o’clock AM wedding, so he would have to wait all afternoon until four o’clock to see his bride walk down the aisle. But when he did, time stood still in his mind. People on each side of the church aisles faded away and all he saw was Emily, his angel looking more like an angel than ever, gracefully gliding down the aisle to him. She was wearing a beautiful strapless wedding gown that tapered in at the waist. There were tiny lilac flowers that looked like the flowers Scott had made for the cake, but these were made out of crystals and pearls, were flowing from the top of her dress, down one side and spotted across the full skirt, with more flowers edging the trim of her dress. Her veil was trailing down the back of her dress trimmed and flowing with more of the lilac flowers.

Walking down the aisle, Emily just focused on Ben standing at the end waiting for her with his cute grin and a twinkle in his eye. He was so handsome in his black tuxedo and white vest, shirt and tie. She was walking to her high school sweetheart and the love of her life. Every step she took she remembered him befriending a ‘ragamuffin’, the girl who wore baggy clothes and hid in her locker or a book just to not be noticed. She remembered him giving her the greatest gift anyone could, confidence to sing in front of people. Although she didn’t sing much over the past thirteen years, the past few months, she woke up with a song in her heart and she knew that too was because of Ben. She remembered the way he made her feel when he proclaimed that he loved her and would fight for her. She remembered his proposal and the gift of expanding the bakery and the additional apartment that would be theirs now adjacent to Grandma’s. She loved him with every fiber of her being. She could not wait to be his wife, his love and everything she could be for him.

Standing at the alter, Ben said his vows to Emily, blocking out everyone else in attendance. “Em, you are my best friend, my love and my life. Today, I give you all of me. All of my hopes, my dreams, and my heart. I promise to love and support you, your dreams and your goals. I promise to laugh with you and cherish every day that we have together.

And I promise I will never let you go. If our path is difficult  and hard, I promise to hold you and comfort you as we allow God to lead our way. If our path is joyful and everything seems to go our way, I promise to rejoice with you in God’s love. I promise to hold you close until we take our last breath, and then continue to love you for as long as time goes on. You are my love, my life and my everything and I will always love you.”

Emily smiled and Ben could not help it, he reached up and took her hand and gently kissed her fingers. Emily took a deep breath and she began to sing her vows in a song to Ben. His eyes grew wide with amazement. The one thing that would have made today even more special was if Emily sang and now she was singing to him a promise of eternal love.

“From this moment life has begun
From this moment you are the one
Right beside you is where I belong
From this moment on

From this moment I have been blessed
I live only for your happiness
And for your love I'd give my last breath
From this moment on

I give my hand to you with all my heart
Can't wait to live my life with you, can't wait to start
You and I will never be apart
My dreams came true because of you

From this moment as long as I live
I will love you, I promise you this
There is nothing I wouldn't give
From this moment on

You're the reason I believe in love
And you're the answer to my prayers from up above
All we need is just the two of us
My dreams came true because of you

From this moment as long as I live
I will love you, I promise you this
There is nothing I wouldn't give
From this moment
I will love you as long as I live
From this moment on”

Emily smiled and reached up and wiped the tear that was about to trail down Ben’s face. “I love you Ben and I promise to love you from this moment on.”