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The Morris Girls

Her face is alive with joy. And beauty, such beauty. In her fitted navy dress that hugs every curve, with Bigmama’s diamond bar pin sparkling in the vee of her neckline, she walks down the aisle with perfect poise. And confidence. She has such confidence. My heart swells with love for, and pride in, my sister. My big sister. The mother of the bride. She is gorgeous.


Her hair is her crowning glory, but she’s got a lot to crown. Her navy dress gives no quarter, and she doesn’t need it to. She bikes and runs and standup paddle boards. She is in shape. She moves with grace, a perfect long s in motion. Then there is her mass of red hair, a work of flaming exuberance. My little sister. The aunt of the bride. She is gorgeous.


I wanted to see my niece marry. My godchild, whom I had met mere days after her birth. How could I miss her wedding? I had to see her in her dress, see her with her groom, be there as she said her vows. It was a unmissable moment in her life. But I didn’t expect this special time with my sisters.
The three of us, together.
Me and Elli, there for Marcee as her oldest daughter married.
Me and Marcee, dancing with Elli at the reception.
Marcee emerging from the hotel in her kick-ass tights and boots. Elli emerging in her kick-ass boots and dress.
These fierce, independent women. I was unendingly proud to be one of them.


You see, inside that city where we had never before been together, we were once again who we had been: the Morris girls. Back when we lived in Jackson, Mississippi with our mother before Daddy came into our lives, when we’d been little girls growing up, always known as “the Morris girls.” In those days, when there were only three of us children, before we gained another sister and, amazingly, a brother, we lived life in our own way. Scattered, unstructured, not easily predicted. Free.
So many years later, when Daddy died, that night in my bed as a gaping hole formed in my life, I wondered if without Daddy, we would revert to who we had been. What would that look like? Without the core that had held us in place, got us to church on time, kept us running smoothly—would we dissolve into chaos?
But here we were, dancing.
That’s nothing but the lagniappe of wedding magic. Unexpected moments of happiness, for which life becomes worthwhile.
Love you both.

Marcee and Elli, my sisters
Marcee and Elli

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