As a little girl, I'd always fantasize about my wedding day. Sure, the groom's face wasn't quite visible (and yes, I'm still out there searching for him, in case you were wondering), but everything else was set. My dress (Hayley Paige, please!), taking a bite of the cake with my dark, mysterious stranger; I had each moment perfectly envisioned in my mind. Though, I struggled with the one scene: the walk down the aisle. Tradition dictates that the father walks his daughter down the aisle. But there was one problem: I didn't want to choose a father to walk with me. My biological father was absent for my whole childhood, and while my stepdad was incredible and I am so grateful for his love and support, it felt strange to me that if my biological father ever came into my life, he'd watch me walk toward my groom with another dad.
I grew up not knowing my biological father. He lives in Israel with his family, and we didn't meet until I was in my twenties. So, for quite some time, he's been out of the picture, and to this day, we're still pretty disconnected. The language barrier, the missed moments, the resentment that's impossible to fully remove no matter how hard I try — all of these things have made it difficult to forge a strong relationship. However, my Israeli family will be invited to my future wedding, and I know they'll be there to watch me marry someone that I love.
But this leaves me in a pickle. I don't want to offend my biological father by walking down the aisle with my stepdad, because I know he means well, and has tried to apologize for rejecting a relationship with me before adulthood. But I also don't want to make my stepdad feel unloved or neglected by walking down the aisle with my biological father, because he's really been like a real dad to me since I was about 7 years old. Neither scenario feels right. I can't picture it, and if I try, I don't feel super happy, as I should. (It is my wedding day, here!)
So I considered walking alone. I don't really need someone to walk me, frankly. Everything that's happened on this journey toward understanding who I am, who my family is, which people love and support me, and how best to give back to them in return (and what I really do owe to those who haven't been there), I've pretty much handled without outside help. In my mind, I've grown up well so far, and I can walk myself wherever I go with my head up high and with a full strut of confidence, despite such obstacles.
But then I realized who deserves to walk me down the aisle: my mother. She's been one giant parent whose heart counts for probably 10 normal parents. She's always been my rock and supported me, giving me a very fortunate life that I don't take for granted. She decided to have me on her own, without a partner, just because she wanted me so freaking bad, and that's incredibly meaningful. It's always been just the two of us, with some extra friends and family thrown in, like my stepdad, who has treated me as a biological child and who I care for deeply (and who I plan to have a father-daughter dance with, followed by a mother-daughter dance, naturally).
But for the walk down? I don't want to walk alone when I have such a strong woman who has been literally everything to me my whole life, ready and willing to walk with me. And I've realized, I don't need a biological or father-figure dad for the walk because I have my mother. So, when that day comes around, my mommy will be right by my side as my best friend, my ultimate hero and role model, and my greatest supporter who will love me unconditionally, and never let me fall.