“Seeing Beauty”, Ch. 31 (PG-13): A Three Week Whirl of Healing and Wedding Preparations, 11/12/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #305)
[From time to time, I will illustrate my stories with my dream cast: Richard Armitage as Keith Erickson, Mandy Moore as Lily Sherman, Matthew Perry as Brock, David Schwimmer as Jack, and Matt LeBlanc as Sam; the late Jessica Tandy as Hazel, and Leelee Sobieski as Mercedes. etc.]
Author’s Mature Content Note: “Seeing Beauty” is a romantic love story set amidst contemporary times. As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes or other sauciness (R rated) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments. I will label the maturity rating of those chapters accordingly. Otherwise, the general rating for this story is PG or PG-13 due to mature situations and topics. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read those chapters. This is my disclaimer.
Author’s Recap from the previous installment: Lily is healing nicely per her surgeon at her post surgery visit. Then Keith and Lily rush home to do what they have most wanted to do for the past almost two weeks–Lily showers gratefully, and then she and Keith make love creatively. Now Lily just needs to continue healing and finish the preparations for her and Keith’s wedding–just a few things.
“Seeing Beauty”, Ch. 31 (PG-13): A Three Week Whirl of Healing and Wedding Preparations
To say that Lily is motivated to have a speedy recovery so she can marry her love Keith is an understatement. For a girl who had thought that love had passed her by, she is especially adroit with keep her wedding planning preparations on track, even as she heals from her multiple surgeries. She still takes it easy in week two of her recovery–doing light stretching on her arms and neck, but no bending or lifting of any kind. Keith reluctantly goes back to work in week three of Lily’s recovery with her promises to still take it easy. Lily is glad to have the time at home alone when she can organize the wedding invitation responses and last minute details.
But Lily had more than just skin reduction surgery with her also having an ectopic pregnancy that was removed. So she has the hope for future babies on her mind as she attends her Monday June 8th OBGYN appointment with Keith who insisted on accompanying her to give her support. Prior to her appointment, Lily had had an ultra sound test on her abdomen that they are waiting anxiously to hear the results about. As Lily and Keith wait in the doctor’s office for her doctor, Keith tries to distract her.
Keith: “So Friday is D day–when you have your final dress fitting?” He smiles impishly as they walk to side by side chairs to sit in.
Lily: “Yes!” She beams. “Oh Keith! I can’t wait to see my wedding gown on me. I just hope it fits.”
Keith: “Now now, of course it will fit. Your swelling from the surgeries has gone down–and you have lost even more weight, I think.” He closes his eyes and gently pats her body up and down in jest. “Yup!”
Lily: “Keith! The doctor will be here at any moment.” She blushes as they sit down in their chairs in front of the doctor’s desk.
Keith: “Ha ha ha ha ha!” He laughs seductively. “But darling, please don’t lose too much more weight. You’ll fade away. I like your womanly curves.” He raises his eyebrows up and down grinning broadly. Of course, Keith appreciating Lily’s womanly curves as he does now is quite a turn around for a man who initially thought of her as the chubby gal and didn’t give her the time of day since he was accustomed to dating model thin size 6 women before.
Lily: “Thank you!” She leans over and lightly kisses her fiancé. “But Keith, it’s just …” She bites her lower lip.
Keith: “It’s just what, Lily?” He asks coaxingly as squeezes her hand to reassure her.
Lily: “Well, I wasn’t sure what my final gown size would be. So I guessed higher and I ordered a size 20.
Keith: “That was probably wise.” He nods his head in agreement.
Lily: “Hmm?” She whines and pouts cutely.
Keith: Then he back peddles. “What I mean is that even though you might really be a size 18 after the surgery, you don’t want your wedding gown to be so form fitting that it compresses your healing internal incisions. Besides, if the gown is a little big on you, they can always take in a seam here and there.”
Lily: “I hope so.” She nods.
Keith: “Soooo, I guess by your admission that your gown might need to be taken in means that it doesn’t have a corseted bodice with lacings that can be cinched up as needed?” He teases her.
Lily: “Brilliant deduction, Sherlock! But that is all you’re getting out of me about my wedding gown. It’s bad luck for the groom to see the gown before the wedding.” Keith nods and looks down at his hands. Then she instantly regrets what she says. “I’m sorry, Keith–I mean, about you seeing my wedding gown.” She bites her lower lip as she.
Keith: Keith is still looking at his hands, but smiling–which Lily can’t see–because Keith has a surprise for Lily. But he has decided that his surprise for her will wait for their wedding day. So, he stifles his smile and looks up at her and says caringly as he caresses her face. “Don’t worry, my darling. I’ve never come up with an alternative to using the word seeing yet either.” Then looking at his non digital wrist watch and seeing that it is almost 3:30pm–15 minutes past their appointment time–he asks absentmindedly. “Shouldn’t your doctor be here soon?”
Lily: Looking at him quizzically, she asks hopefully. “Keith? Can you read your watch face?” She asks hopefully.
Keith: “Oh! No! Force of habit.” He fibs with a smirking smile. “It just seems like we’ve been waiting a while.” He smiles at her and leans over and kisses her on her lips.
Dr. Trent/OBGYN: Knocking and then quickly walking into her office, the doctor says upon seeing then tender moment, good naturedly says. “Okay, break it up you, two. I hear the wedding isn’t for a few more weeks.” She smiles warmly at them both.
Lily: “19 days.” She preens.
Keith: “But no one is counting, right? Ha ha ha!”
Then there is a palpable silence as both Lily and Keith look at the doctor, waiting to hear if she is recovering from her uterine surgery.
Dr. Trent/OBGYN: “Let me ease your mind, Lily. The ultrasound showed that you’re healing nicely–blood is flowing where it needs to be, and there isn’t a lot of scarring that we could tell.”
Lily: “But will I be able to get pregnant if that fallopian tube doesn’t heal properly?
Dr. Trent/OBGYN: “Now, we can’t know if the fallopian tube isn’t completely open unless we were to do an hysterosalpingogram.” [(2)]
Keith: “What’s that, doctor? It sounds complicated since it has a long name.” He asks worriedly.
Dr. Trent/OBGYN: “It is. The procedure involves using a long tube to inject iodine dye into your uterus and then to your fallopian tubes in order to illuminate their structures. It is a painful procedure and not one I recommend unless we have suspicions. So until you have two years of trying to get pregnant and not being able to, let’s put that procedure on the back burner. My guess is that you will get pregnant within that two year window.” She smiles.
Lily: “Alright. If you think that’s best. But I’m willing to try it if we need to.” She says earnestly.
Keith: “Lily darling, there is no reason to submit you to more medical procedures at this time. Let your body heal.”
Dr. Trent/OBGYN: “Quite right. Given your recent skin reduction surgeries, I strongly urge you to proactively prevent pregnancy for at least the first six months of your marriage–to give your body time to completely heal before it starts expanding for a pregnancy.” The doctor looks knowingly over at Keith.
Keith: “The doctor is right, Lily. Let’s get you well and healed, then we’ll think about babies. Doctor, which contraception method would be better for Lily’s health? The pill or condoms?” He asks forthrightly.
Dr. Trent/OBGYN: “I’m glad to see that you take a shared view of family planning Mr. Erickson. Too often, husbands or boyfriends feel that contraception is only a woman’s issue, with the responsibility solely falling to the woman to prevent pregnancy.”
Keith: “Then those men are short sighted. If our continuing to use condoms is better for Lily, health wise, then that is what we will do.”
Lily: “I don’t mind taking a pill, Keith, really I don’t.” Lily says sweetly.
Keith: “But you should. No need to introduce medication into your body when other methods are available.”
Dr. Trent/OBGYN: “Quite right. And Lily, if you do have a delay in getting pregnant once you start actively trying, then one of the treatments I might prescribe for you would be a contraceptive pill–to get your womb having regular monthly cycles to flush out your uterus. Then we would have you go off the pill before you start trying to get pregnant again.” [(3)]
Lily: “That makes sense.” She says a little shell shocked.
Dr. Trent/OBGYN: “Do you have any questions, Lily?” She asks in a concerned tone.
Lily: “No.” She says in a small voice. “It’s just that I wasn’t sexually active before Keith and I started dating. So I haven’t had to think about reproductive health issues until now.” She blushes and Keith squeezes her hand.
Dr. Trent/OBGYN: “Ah! And you are fortunate to have a romantic partner who will share the responsibility for those decisions with you.” She smiles.
Keith: “Thank you doctor.”
Dr. Trent/OBGYN: “So! I will see you in one year and we will revisit your situation.”
Lily: “Thank you doctor.” Lily smiles warmly and Keith also nods his thanks.
After dinner out that evening, Keith and Lily have a quiet and loving romantic evening at home.
Four days of waiting later on Friday June 12th–just 15 days before their wedding–Lily goes to her wedding gown fitting with her bridesmaid Theresa joining her for moral support and another opinion. Sally her other bridesmaid was working. Lily is ushered into a dressing room with the kind grandmotherly seamstress attendant who helps her into her wedding gown while Teresa waits in the spacious hallway sitting area just outside. Then Lily makes her entrance out into the hallway.
Theresa: Lifting her head to look up at Lily in her wedding gown, Teresa gets tears in her eyes. “Oh Lily! You look so beautiful!” [(4) right]
Lily: “Do you really think so?” Lily asks hopefully. “I so want to be pretty for Keith.” She says self consciously as her hands flutter around her satin skirt smoothing down an already wrinkle free expanse of delicately lace sheathed fabric.
Seamstress Miss Kitty: “My dear, you are a vision of loveliness. Your fiancé will feel blessed by the angels when he sees you walking down the aisle toward him.”
Lily: Tearing up at the seamstress’ unknowing remark, Lily says. “But that’s just it, my fiancé can’t see me. He’s legally blind.”
Theresa: Taking Lily’s hand in hers, she comforts her. “Now Lily, Keith’s eyesight is improving every day. You said yourself that he says he can see you more clearly when he is up close. And he will be able to see you in your lovely wedding gown when you join him at the altar.”
Lily: “Thanks for that, Theresa. I know that I should just think about the positive–and not that my hips and backside are more well endowed than I might like.” Lily makes a face and they all laugh.
Three ladies laughing: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”
Theresa: “Lily, considering you and Keith are already living together, I’m guessing that Keith is well aware of your ass-ets.” She jokes.
Lily: Swatting her friends arm playfully, she says. “Theresa, stop! I’m already embarrassed about Keith and I living together before we are married. We don’t need to broadcast it.” Lily says in a hushed voice as she primly looks over at the seamstress.
Seamstress Miss Kitty: The caring grandmotherly seamstress lady lifts Lily’s chin up with her finger and smiles. “My dear, you are marrying the man you love and who loves you. That is what you should focus on–not your address. Ha ha ha!” She chuckles. “Now let’s see if we can’t make a few alterations so that your gown will fit you perfectly on your wedding day. Hmmm?” She smiles warmly at Lily.
Lily: Looking at herself in the floor to ceiling mirror, Lily smiles at herself and say shyly to the seamstress with a sigh. “Thank you!” [(5) right]
At the close of her wedding gown fitting appointment, Lily decides upon a final veil choice to complement what will be her upswept hair style. Then lily and Teresa go on to have a lovely gab fest at lunch after, before heading over to the hospital to see Sally.
Unbeknownst to Lily, Sally and Theresa have planned a secret wedding shower for Lily and Keith right in the hospital rehab unit’s lounge area this Friday afternoon after her wedding gown fitting. Keith is in on the secret and he picks up Lily’s former care patient Hazel on his way to the hospital in a cab this Friday afternoon. PT Myron and Keith’s friends Brock, Sam, and Jack will also be there–as well as Lily’s church friends Carol and her toddler daughter Keira, and her minister Pastor Nels and his wife. Teresa calls ahead and lets Sally know that they are heading up the elevator so Sally wrangles everyone into the lounge. As Lily and Theresa walk off the elevator at the rehab unit, they are greeted by an empty hallway and nurse’s station.
Lily: “Oh! Where is everybody?” She looks around not guessing the surprise.
Theresa: “I think Sally said that they were going to play bingo in the lounge. Let’s try there.” Theresa gestures and Lily nods following her down the hall.
Lily: “Oh, the lights are off. Nobody is in there.” She starts to turn away from the lounge room’s open door.
Everyone: Then the lights flip on and everyone yells. “Surprise!”
Lily: “Oh my goodness!” Lily is flabbergasted.
Sally: “Welcome to your wedding shower!” Then she gives Lily a big hug.
Lily: Seeing all her rehab unit friends around her–including PT Myron and former care patient Hazel, Lily tears up. “This is so wonderful of you!”
Keith: Sneaking up from behind her, Keith kisses her cheek and she whirls around. “Can a civilian join in the fun?”
Lily: “Keith!” She wraps her arms around his neck and gives him big hug. “You were in on this, you stinker?”
Keith: “Well, let’s just call this a joint operation.” He winks at her. “And I brought a few of my own reinforcements.” Then the boys, Brock, Sam, and Jack join them–as does Carol and little Keira, and Pastor Nels and his wife.
Lily: With tears streaming down her face, Lily says from her heart. “Thank you everyone for coming. I’m really touched.”
PT Myron: “Now hold on, Lily. Don’t fall to pieces on us just yet. We have cake and punch and presents to get through.” He says eyeing the cake hungrily.
After a few pictures are taken of everyone with the bride and groom, then everyone is enjoying their slice of cake while the presents are opened. It is a kitchen themed shower. And as is customary, the gift wrapping bows and ribbons are dutifully put together on a paper plate like a makeshift bouquet as the presents are opened. They also have a mock veil for Lily to wear, and handcuffs for Keith to wear on one arm–the boys thought of that one. Lily just rolls her eyes in amusement.
After opening up several of presents containing her new kitchen towels, a crockpot, several other kitchen gadgets, and a gift certificate for a local kitchen store, Hazel [(6) right] hands Lily her gift for her with a flourish.
Lily: “Thank you, Hazel. But you didn’t have to get me anything. Just having you here to share in our joy is gift enough for me.” She squeezes the old woman’s hand caringly.
Hazel: “I know, Lily Dear. But I think that you will really like this gift–Keith will, too, I think.” She says pointing to the flat rectangular wrapped box on Lily’s lap.
Lily: “It’s light weight.” She says lifting the box up and down. “Is it a table cloth?” She asks eagerly.
Hazel: “Noooo.” She smiles impishly.
Lily: Lily shakes the box from side to side and hears tissue paper and fabric sloshing. “Is it oven mitts?” Hazel shakes her head no. “Hmm. I wonder what it is.” She has received lots of lovely kitchen items and can’t think of anything left for her to receive from her gift registry.
Keith: “Come on, Lily Darling–open it up. Even my curiosity is piqued at this point.” Keith [(7) right] gently teases as he rubs Lily’s shoulder. Then he smiles over at the broadly grinning Hazel.
As with her other gifts, Lily gently opens the taped wrapping sides–hoping to save it as a memento. Then she slides the box out the wrapping and sets it on her lap. The box doesn’t have a store name on it, so that doesn’t give Lily any clues as to what is inside. Everyone is waiting breathlessly to see Lily’s final wedding shower kitchen gift. As Lily lifts the lid off the box, she sees white tissue paper covering up what is underneath. As she removes the tissue paper, she spots some delicate lace fabric and she looks at Hazel quizzically.
Hazel: “Lift it out of the box, Lily dear.” She says impatiently.
Lily lifts the fabric out of the box and lets it drop to the floor. Turning the fabric around, Lily realizes that she is holding up a sheer white lace negligee in front of herself as everyone’s mouths gape open.
Hazel: “Well dear, I just wanted to get you out of the kitchen!” Hazel claps her hands together with glee and laughs
Everyone: Needless to say, everyone at the wedding shower howls with laughter for several moments as Lily blushes every shade of pink that there is–especially since Lily’s minister is here. “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”
Keith: “Hmmmm.” Keith growls while fingering the sheer lace fabric. “You will look lovely in this negligee my dear.” Keith leans in and nuzzles Lily’s neck. Then whispering in her ear, he adds for her alone to hear. “It’s a pity that you won’t be wearing it long.”
Lily: Lily’s eyes widen and she giggles. “Ha ha ha ha ha!”
Keira: Two year old Keira points to Lily and Keith. “Lilla boyfend.”
It was a lovely wedding shower shared with dear friends. And in just over two weeks, Lily and Keith will celebrate their marriage in front of all their family and friends. They can’t wait!
To be continued with Chapter 32
(1) The “Seeing Beauty” story logo is a composite of:
a) Image representing Keith Erickson is that of British actor Richard Armitage as Lucas North in the BBC’s Spooks (2008 – 2010), series 8 promo, pix 15 was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Spooks/spookspromo/album/slides/series8-15.html
b) Image representing Lily Sherman is that of American actress Mandy Moore and was found at http://images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/Mandy-Moore-mandy-moore-661788_1024_768.jpg ; NB: I chose Ms. Moore to represent this character not because she is fat or chubby–far from it–but because she has a fresh faced innocence and sincerity that reflects the goodness of this character. Any pre weight loss Lily images could be handled with makeup and costuming.
(2) The hysterosalpingogram is a procedure to test and view the structures of the uterus and fallopian tubes; more information is found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hysterosalpingography
(3) Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that may lead to infertility. PCOS might involve a woman not having regular periods or the other extreme of excessive bleeding as one of its symptons. Cysts on the ovaries can also occur. For more information, visit http://women.webmd.com/tc/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos-topic-overview
(4) Jessica McClintock wedding dresses are found at https://www.jessicamcclintock.com/search/keyword/wedding ; the image shown here of a beautifully demure gown (brightened and color corrected) is found at http://zibbet-production.s3.amazonaws.com/images/169/846439-original.jpg
(5) Lily image is that of Mandy Moore and was found at http://images.fashionmonitor.com/Images/2012/6/2_19052_9105.jpg
(6) Image representing Hazel Wilkerson is that of American actress Jessica Tandy in her role as Ruth in “Fried Green Tomatoes” was found at
(7) Keith Image (brightened, masked) is that of Richard Armitage being interviewed about his role of Lucas North in Spooks series 9, DVD Extras and was found at
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