Everyone was nice, but they had been bonding over this wedding for months because theylived in close proximity.Eventually, the DJ asked us to be seated as the groom took the bride out to the dance floor tohave their first dance as a married couple. Images of my own wedding came to mind. Theywere charming, with her considerable train fastened up beneath a corseted bodice.Everyone was invited to join them on the floor. Suddenly there was an exodus of peopleleaving their tables and only a few of us were left behind.I couldnt believe I was among those left behind. I was always the first person on the dancefloor. I was horrified at how old and small I felt. I made a note of it. After the dance, theybegan the toasts. The bridesfather arrived at the mike carrying a handwritten, carefullyprepared speech.My daughter is the ray of sunshine in the room when she enters. She is the light in my life,he said. I like this man; he has good taste. He picked her.As I listened I felt intensely sad. My daughters father passed away this winter. When hewas diagnosed with terminal cancer his first words were about Eliza.I wont be there to walk her down the aisle, he said to me. There were tears in both oureyes. I knew how much it meant to him. When I saw that exchange, it brought back to mehow terribly sad that feels, how lonely and helpless. Aside from being outside thecomfortable boundaries of this world of my former peers, I am also a widower; we are afamily without our rudder. We have lost our focus and we cannot grow a new one. It is onlymy daughter and I, and we are all we have.While he was ill, Elizas boyfriend flew from Hawaii and made a special trip to the hospitalto visit her dad. They had a private conversation. I do not know what that conversationentailed, but I do know he loves Eliza deeply. She has a rich romance with a pretty great guywho wants to give her everything humanly possible. I believe he asked her father for herhand in marriage. I also believe he is trying to achieve an income level that will make themboth comfortable and secure before he asks her.Four months after my husband passed away, Eliza earned her Masters in PublicAdministration and a degree in law from the University of Hawaii. It takes a very dedicatedand special girl to follow through in the wake of all that loss and to achieve those lofty goals while working and starting a new relationship. She is a spectacular woman with rare focusand dedication. I am so proud of her.My pride only underscores the failure I feel that I will not be able to afford her the kind of wedding that she deserves when that moment arrives. Not in my current financial situation.Most importantly, I will not be able to supply her with the dad that she wants and needs sodesperately.My sadness is a deep, dark pit of sorrow. I am only touching the surface when I think of thiswedding. I am speaking to the darkness I feel about my own sense of abandonment, loss,being an outsider, vilification, injustice, shame, guilt, despair, loneliness . . .