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From This Day Forward – Prologue

Welcome to the first episode of book ten in the Operation Quickline series, From This Day Forward. It’s Sid and Lisa’s big day – their wedding. But in the weeks leading up to the event, something strange is going on. The only thing scarier will be their honeymoon.

To Breanna, 4/27/02

Topic of the Day: What else???

My dearest, sweetest Breanna –

In just over fourteen hours from now, you and I will finally be jumping the broom. I can’t believe it. I know it’s going to be one really long day, but I can’t sleep, I’m so excited.

I was so happy when Mom, your mom, and Aunt Mae gave us that picture album tonight. I did tell you that Grandma Wycherly and Stella gave Mom and Dad one on the night before their wedding, right?

You know, the funny thing is, all I can think about right now is not ours or Mom and Dad’s wedding, but a few days the week before, when Mom officially adopted me. It was the first part of us becoming legally a family. As Dad said, it was a day that changed nothing and changed everything at the same time.

It wasn’t like we didn’t know it was coming. The lawyer had called sometime in January – I don’t remember when. Hell, I had turned thirteen only a couple weeks before the adoption. We had a court date the Wednesday before the wedding for the hearing. I knew the judge was going to call me to the stand, and I was really nervous. Both Mom and Dad told me not to worry. All I had to do was be respectful, but honest. I kinda knew how to do that.

Mom and Dad got me from school just before noon that day. My teacher, Mrs. Fleming, seemed relieved. Well, I was pretty antsy that week and pretty much on the ceiling that day. Our case was the last on the docket, but that meant we needed to be at the courthouse by two that afternoon. I changed into a suit and Mom got picture after picture of Dad and me, as he taught me how to tie my tie. Mom had on a nice navy-blue dress and her aquamarine necklace and earrings. She always wears the aquamarines when it’s special, and you can bet she’ll be wearing them tomorrow.

At the courthouse, the judge was a lady. Okay, we were still phrasing it that way. She was nice. I later heard there had been a favor involved in getting us an adoption even though Mom and Dad weren’t technically married at that point.

The judge first asked me how I felt about Mom adopting me. Like that was hard. I was totally down with it and said so.

“We’re going to be a real family now,” I said.

“Because you have a mom and a dad?”

I laughed. “No! I had a real family with my first mom and my grandma. It’s just making Dad, my second mom, and me a real family, you know? I mean, we didn’t start out that way, and now, we are one. It’s cool.”

The judge laughed (please, do not ask me what her name was – I do not remember). But then she asked why my parents weren’t changing my last name.

“It’s because it’s my first mom’s name,” I told her. “That’s important, too. My second mom isn’t less a mom because she’s the second one. That’s just when she came into my life. My first mom is important and so is my second mom. And it’s, like, really cool that none of us has the same last name.”

“I see,” the judge said. “And you’re taking both your parents’ names as your middle names?”

“I never had a middle name before,” I said. “Now, I’ve got two. That’s, like, amazingly righteous, isn’t it?”

The judge laughed. “I believe so.”

I don’t remember what else she asked me, but she seemed happy. In any case, she approved the adoption. There wasn’t much cheering. Only Mom and Dad were in the hearing room with our attorney because it was a court hearing. We got a picture of us with the judge. And the rest of the family was waiting for us with flowers and balloons at a restaurant closer to our place. Aunt Mae and Uncle Neil were there, with all the cousins, except Lissy. She wasn’t born yet. Sy and Stella were there and Grandma and Grandpa Wycherly.

Mom and I exchanged presents. It’s weird that I don’t remember what she gave me. But I do remember what I picked out for her. It was a gold necklace with one of those gold charms that said, “World’s Best Mom.”

Yeah, I’d kind of set the next part up with Darby when I showed him the necklace the week before. It was based on the shit he gave me, but I’m really glad we did.

“I’ve got the best mom ever!” I told Mom.

The O’Malley kids protested.

“Nuh-uh!” they screamed in one voice. “We’ve got the best mom!”

Aunt Mae totally blushed, but she really loved it. You know, she kinda needed it.

It’s like I keep telling you. Whatever barriers Mom and Dad have had to put up to keep us safe, they have invited you in. You are now part of us. I know how scary that is. Hell, I’ve been living with it since I was twelve. But it’s kept me close to Mom and Dad, and I hope will keep us close, as well.

Come share our joy…

You are cordially invited to be with us as our daughter, Lisa Jane Wycherly, is joined with Sid Edward Hackbirn in Holy Matrimony to be celebrated at a noon mass on March 1, 1986… Mr. and Mrs. William T. Wycherly.

Please talk to me. I'd love to hear from you.

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