More than a #hashtag

Hashtags can be sooooooo annoying!

Am I right, or am I right?

As annoying as they can be, I can tell you that I am 100% guilty of using and abusing them. After all, when you run a business through social media, they just kind of……..#happen (couldn’t resist).

Unless you have been under a rock or are new to the blog, you know that I am getting married October 3rd (eeeekkkkkk, so close) and, like most weddings these days, Kyle and I have a custom hashtag for the event, #kramereverafter. However, this hashtag is extremely important to me for more than the obvious reason that it symbolizes the day I marry the love of my life.

One thing that I talk about a lot is my incredible family. I am very lucky to have a tight knit bunch who have supported me my entire life and have always had a presence in whatever I did. High school sporting events, graduations, college basketball tournaments, marathons, birthday parties…..my family has always been a part of absolutely everything, and for that I am so grateful. I couldn’t imagine celebrating the milestones in my life without them all with me.

Except now that I have to.

The one part of growing up that I never considered was what I would do without one or more of them at a life event. I think as little kids….even teenagers…we look at our loved ones and relatives as invincible people who will always be there. I can’t help but selfishly wish this was the case.

I have written about my Grandma Bubu on numerous occasions. Over the past 15 years I have slowly watched as Alzheimer’s has taken over her life, and it has been extremely difficult for me to handle. I am convinced that it is one of the worst things that can happen to a person and their family, and while my family and I remain crusaders in the fight to end this disease, we also are heartbroken that this wonderful person is no longer who she once was. In my case, I’ve known for a long time that she would not be able to attend my wedding when the time came, and I somehow managed to accept that idea. I think when it comes to dealing with Alzheimer’s you kind of have to. Some aspects of wedding planning, such as working with a florist, have been more difficult than others because I think about how much Bubu would’ve been involved in the process.

In March of 2014, my family suddenly lost my Aunt Jean after an unexpected heart attack. It was a loss that deeply impacted me and is a loss that I have not fully coped with since it happened. As the only niece on my father’s side, my aunt and I were very close growing up and even though we had some rough patches, I know how much she would love Kyle and enjoy helping in the wedding planning. People laughed at me last month when I mentioned wanting to see The Long Island Medium, Theresa Caputo, when she comes to Youngstown in November, but the truth is my reason for wanting to see her is the hope that I can make peace with some unanswered questions. I don’t care how ridiculous that sounds.

While I had grasped the fact that both of these important family members would be absent on my big day, I had never considered the fact that my Grandma Rosie, who I am very close to, would not be able to attend. In fact early in the planning process, Kyle and I decided against a small destination wedding because it was extremely important to me that she be able to attend. Several months ago my Gram broke the devastating news to me that due to her health she would be unable to attend my wedding, something that had never crossed my mind. Being almost 93 years of age, I understood the health and travel concerns even though the venue was just an hour away from her residence, but deep down my heart shattered, as I know hers did, too. As someone who likes to find creative solutions and solve problems, I tried to think of a million ways to get her to my big day, but I came up empty.

I love this woman!

Which led me to the hashtag that will allow me to share the greatest day of my life with one of the most important people in it.

Kyle and I have incredibly talented photographers on hand to capture the important moments of the day, but it’s the little candid moments that I want to make sure Gram can see. For all of you who are attending the big day, I’d love for you to snap pictures and take videos like crazy, posting with the hashtag #Kramereverafter. My hope is that I have some incredible memories captured by our guests that will make my Gram feel like she was there as I said “I do”. As much as I sometimes get annoyed by social media and hashtags, this one will mean a lot to not only me, but to my grandmother, as well.

Both of my grandmothers and aunt may not physically be there as I walk down the aisle, but I will have a small piece of them with me as I do. For my “something blue” I have collected a blue shirt from Bubu, an apron from my Aunt Jean, and a handkerchief from my Grandma Rosie that my mom has cut into hearts. These three hearts will be sewn inside my dress and be a part of everything I do October 3rd. All three will be deeply missed but I know they will be in my heart the whole time and be there in spirit.

 My Gram may be hip for being 92…..after all she can text. When I told her I would have a hashtag with lots of pictures for her to see after the big day, I am positive she had no clue what I was talking about…..and that’s okay. She will learn soon enough.

Thank you in advance for everyone who helps me share my special day with such a special lady. It truly means the world to me.

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