Yesterday was my wedding day. We had the wedding in Puerto Rico and had planned for the event for months. The hardest part of planning was dealing with the emotions. When my fiancĂ© and I first picked out the wedding location, we were excited. We wanted a small wedding and we thought that having a destination wedding would naturally limit the number of guests. We also chose the location so my fiancĂ©’s father, who lives in Puerto Rico, could easily attend. I was thrilled to tell my family about my wedding plans. When I told my grandmother, her response was “No one wants to spend money to go to your wedding. Everyone has already spent everything on your brother. You’re being selfish.”

She was referring to my brother’s rehab expenses and her words cut me deep. I spent so much time just wanting to cancel my wedding, elope, and spare my family any further burden. There were many following conversations with my parents about how I needed to do what would make me happy on my wedding day. I felt like I would be just as happy eloping, but it became clear that my parents really wanted to be present for the event.

As it turns out, my brother ended up being back in rehab again on my wedding day. My grandmother asked where he was, but didn’t seem to understand my response.

He called me today not even knowing that the wedding had already taken place. He gave me the usual congratulations, but in the end the conversation ended with him asking for yet another favor. He had run out of cigarettes and wanted me to ask our parents to get him some. He could have called them, but he’s still avoiding that type of communication.

I’m glad he called me and I’m glad he’s doing well. I had a great wedding and, while I did miss him, he hasn’t been present for family events for years so things still felt natural. I hope that one more month of rehab will put him in a place where he can think more about others and not just about himself. In the meantime, here’s to marriage and life going on even when things aren’t perfect.