Yes, Michelle was at the wedding! Where? Let's just say she felt Jimmy's jinx in a unique way, as things dropped like flies and she picked up the slack. Will there be a repeat of a "Full House" incident involving Danny.
A/N: They showed Michelle was at the triple wedding in subtle ways, but it takes some creativity. They explain Becky's absence (helping her mom) in one episode and it can be figured that's also for Thanksgiving (and could be later) but never Michelle's. Derek is there - but wouldn't be unless Michelle was there. There are no bridesmaids standing up for everyone - so she can be anywhere in the crowd, which is kind of scattered and not with one side on one aisle and the other on the other aisle. Jackson is certain to sing at the wedding, but we don't see that, either. This shows what she was doing. Sadly, i think the Becky excuse... well, you'll see. I tried to line everything up with the timing of where people are shown the day of the wedding; if I'm off by a touch it can easily be figured where they are by the readers.
My stories "How Sweet It Is" and "Working With the Strs" referenced.
Operation Busy As A Beaver
Michelle awakened to the delightful jingle of her cell phone - delightful except someone had forgotten she was on California time now.
"Jimmy was so Gibblerishly sweet," she mused as she rolled over in her motel room bed and slowly picked it up. "He texted me 12:30 AM warning me that he might have jinxed his marriage to Stephanie. Except he forgot I was still on my time after having just made it here in time for rehearsal and then dinner; I had to come back and unpack afterward."
She picked up her phone, but it had stopped. Missed call. She sighed and looked at the time - 5:19 AM.
"This is nuts," she muttered. "If I had slept well the night before, maybe I'd feel like getting up. My body thinks it's..."
It rang again. She noticed that it was her Aunt Becky. Oh, no, I hope…
She answered and heard a terribly distraught woman on the other end. "Michelle?" Becky sniffled. "My mom died late last night. I've been trying to get Jesse..."
"Oh, no! I'm so sorry!" Michelle wept a little. "He's had some problems with his phone."
"I know; I tried him just now, but I thought I'd try you again. I went back and forth."
"What time did she die?"
""1:30 this morning."
Michelle managed a tiny grin. "Jimmy'll feel better. He saw Steph at the stroke of midnight and texted me saying he was scared he jinxed the wedding, and he asked me if I knew where to find something to break the curse. At least he won't blame himself for your mom's death. Who knows how much goat's blood he'd think he had to drink if that was the case."
Becky allowed herself to laugh - and ended up treating the idea as among the funniest things she'd ever heard; not because it was, although the image of Michelle getting a text from Jimmy asking if she knew where to find goat's blood was funny, but because this allowed her to release a lot of tension. Michelle giggled, too, the same infectious giggle that her late mom Pam had had, and this caused both to laugh harder.
"Michelle," Becky finally said, "I am so glad to hear that. I have been a nervous wreck the last few days as Mom went back and forth, maybe passing, maybe not, and worried about finding a flight so I can get to the wedding today..."
"Aunt Becky, no. You stay there," Michelle insisted, getting a little choked up. "They'll understand. We've been prepared for the possibility for a while."
"Thanks, Michelle. I don't think I've slept more than a few minutes the last... what time is it here again?" She chuckled. "I know I didn't get much sleep the last couple nights. I had a plan just in case to get there, but...you're right." She began to weep again.
"They were married over 60 years, weren't they?"
"Well over. When Dad died earlier... I had to help Mom prepare for that, and then after he died she just went downhill so fast... "
"Hearing the sound on the other end, Michelle simply said, "I wish I could be there to hug you right now." She was thankful that Nicky and Alex were there for her, at least.
"I know. Thanks. Well... so much for you and I working with the flower girls, ring bearers, bubble blowers, and all that jazz, huh? It's all yours now."
"Yep. Remember that story Uncle Jesse tells about his 26th birthday, when he was doing stuff for everyone? I'll be there for you the same way."
"Thanks; it means so much to me."
They talked a little while longer before Michelle hung up. She hoped she could get back to sleep herself. But, at least everything else was settled. Jimmy hadn't really jinxed things, had he?
She made a mental note to call Jesse, but he called her at 6:30 - yes, he'd heard, Becky finally got through. They talked a little bit, and then Michelle tried to get back to sleep again, but it was no use.
"Well, I guess sleep can come some other time," she said as she finally rose. "Uncle Jesse's right, I can get a little nap in and it'll be fine. I have a few extra things to do, that's all."
Suddenly, she had an idea. So, she called Jackson – he was really good with computers. Was it possible to get a recording of some sort?
"Hey, Aunt Michelle," Jackson began. "I heard Jimmy called; sorry, I don't know where to find goat's blood, either. I mean, maybe one of Mom's friends who works with farm animals-"
"Jackson, this isn't about the curse. Do you think it's possible you can find a way to live stream the wedding? Or at least film it? I know it's a lot."
"Maybe… it might be kind of tricky since it'll be in our backyard."
Jackson explained what D.J. had just shared with everyone. "So, since the hall got closed up because of all the crime and stuff, she put everyone in charge of stuff. I told her I could do some stuff, but I have to be ready to sing. I can't just go out there and perform like Uncle Jesse and all the others in my family…"
Michelle knew Jackson was about to get into one of his nervous spells where he tried to back out if he wasn't carfeful. "Hey, don't worry, I'm there for you, babe." She asked; Jesse had told her that story. "How's he handling Becky's news?"
"Typical; he's ready to go on with the show. I guess they talked for an hour once she got hold of someone where they were staying…. Wait a minute." Michelle heard Ramona in the background, but couldn't make out what she was saying. "Here, why don't you tell her."
Michelle imagined Jackson handing over the phone as her mind swirled. How were they going to do this all in one day? She only remembered the wedding reception when Jesse and Becky got married from stories and pictures; that had taken effort, but it was way different than an actual wedding!
Ramona's mind was on the same thing. "Look, I heard you mention live stream; I'm going to need some help, I have to help do the party planning since my mom's going to be a bit frazzled."
"Why, this is like the third time, isn't it?" Michelle quipped.
"True; I guess it's just not something where you can practice. Unlike Jackson going crazy with concern about his singing. Do you have a pen?"
"Sure." Michelle knew Kimmy and her famly were going to be moving, too. She could imagine that Ramona liked this as a way to keep her mind off the move. "I'm there for you. Hey, I just thought of someone who might help with music, too. That way Jackson doesn't have to keep singing the whole time."
"Great, I'll tell him."
Michelle knew Derek Boyd was an excellent singer, and had performed in local shows. If he was still in town, she would ask if they could talk about him singing.
Later that morning, as she finished getting everything Ramona had requested, partly off of Kimmy's list, Michelle dropped the items off at the Tanners. She then saw the old friend she'd thought about. "Hey, Derek? How's it going in there?" she asked as she helped Ramona set things up.
"Their stress level is through the roof. Your dad and Joey are formulating plans to try to get a celebrity minister." Derek shook his head. "They even asked me if I could officiate the wedding. What do I know about conjoining nuptials? And then, Steph's friend Gia offered to do it, because she's been married four times." He paused. "Your sisters and Kimmy deserve to have their wedding officiated by someone who doesn't conjoin her nuptials with a flimsy old piece of adhesive tape."
Michelle giggled; the same precious giggle everyone talked about their mom having. "You always have had a way with words, haven't you?"
"I've tried. Stephanie actually thought of me, too, soon after you called. That part is going well."
"By the way," Ramona inquired, "my mom saw your old bike up in the attic again. Are you sure you don't need it?"
"I know, I keep saying I'd like to save it for if I have a girl." Michelle began to feel the effects of the jet lag a little, but shook it off. "You know, maybe I should just tell Steph to save it for Daniell. I've got all the money in the world," she said with a chuckle. "But, yet, there's a part of me that wants a kid to know what it's like to have hand-me-downs and not just get everything handed to them."
Ramona closed her eyes for a moment. "There is something about having gone through what I have with my parents… it does help me to understand others a little better, have more compassion. But, compassion is something we should learn just by thinking about others. Not only thinking about ourselves all the time. I probably was a little selfish when I moved in here even with the divorce. And I still don't know abut the whole idea of marriage."
Michelle walked over and put an arm around Ramona's shoulders. "You were scared. Just like D.J. when our mom died and Steph wound up sharing her room. It's okay to be scared. Someone once said real courage is facing your fears and overcoming them. And, you did that. Really well. We're all proud of the young lady you've become. And when it comes to marriage, if the right one comes, just like Aunt Becky's parents, you'll know.."
"Thanks." They embraced warmly, a hug that lasted for several moments. "I guess I'm getting the ideas from my mom, but in a way, I'm doing almost all on my own. While Jackson cuts her hair." She got a horrified look on her face. "I better go help!"
"Relax, D.J. just texted me, Fernando just agreed to do all their hair."
"Oh, good," Ramona said with a huge sigh of relief.
Max came out with Tommy, Jr.. "Tommy, Jr. just woke up, we need someone to go over the part with the flowers, bubbles, and rings."
"Okay, what do you need help with?" Ramona asked.
"Flower, bubbles, and rings." Max held out his hands. "It's taken me this long to finally convince him it's not 'ring bear' and he shouldn't growl going down the aisle."
Michelle saw Ramona reading a text. "They're here with the last of the things?"
"Yeah; look, I need to go get ready to do the brides' makeup; plus, I think Lola's going to be here, and if she is, I hope Jackson's not so clueless he doesn't know how to handle it with Rocki. You know, old girlfriend, new girlfriend."
Michelle chuckled and walked over to Max. "I could tell some stories from Uncle Jesse. Come on, boys," she said as Ramona went inside. "It was rough at the rehearsal dinner, I know; a bit late just getting the rehearsal in."
Max agreed. "We would have used a pastor from our church, but there's some funerals and other things going on. Aunt Stephanie wanted a pastor who does celebrity weddings, but you know how that goes." Max sighed. "Fame is so fleeting."
After Ramona went inside Jesse arrived with Pamela. "Hey, Michelle, I know it's an hour till wedding time yet, but she insists on putting that fancy dress on, and I told her she can't play in it; can you keep her out of the dress and out of the flowers till wedding time, I have to confirm my flight out to Nebraska to be with Becky, and then I need to change so I can walk Steph down the aisle."
"Is she upset it's not Dad?" Michelle asked as she took Pamela into her arms.
"Nah, we compromised; I walked D.J. and your dad walked Steph at the rehearsal. Got it on film, too. Of course, with a different minister, but still…"
Michelle put an arm around him. "And that's probably going to be ten minutes to get you're your tux, fifty minutes with your hair, right?" she teased him. He said "of course." "Remember that story you like to tell? About your birthday one year? I'm there for you."
Michelle tried to play ring around the resides with Tommy Jr. and Pamela since Max was now inside, fighting off the effect of her jet lag. However, as she tiredly did so – so much she almost felt like she was slurring her wordcs – Pamela yelled "Hey!"
Tommy, Jr. was the next to let go. "Is he playing pin the tail on the donkey?"
"Jimmy… what are you doing?" Michelle rolled her eyes. "Guys, help me put these seas back!"
"no, wait," Jimmy said, stumbling around and knocking over things while still blindfolded, "I can't chance seeing Stephanie! Is that you, Michelle? Do you have goat's blood?"
"Yes, it's me, and no, I don't have any goat's blood." Thankfully, someone else was helping her and the children to get chairs set back up. "Here, take off that blindfold and sit down."
The day was crazy, all right. After she took the children inside, then helped them play a little and get dressed with Max's help, Max got a text. She made sure everything was set, then went back downstairs. In the kitchen, she saw Max with a woman who looked a lot like D.J. and the woman's daughter.
"You must be C.J. and Rose; Max has told me around you. I'm glad you guys have forgiven Steve and moved on."
"it's been hard, but Rose is like Ramona; she seems very level-headed for her age. Sometimes she gives me the strength I need."
"I can imagine." She thought about the prayers that had gone into this, especially for Stephanie, who still realy wanted her own baby.
Michelle had offered to be the surrogate, but Stephanie had insisted that – while Michelle could pay some of the cost if she wanted – Kimmy had offered, too, and it was far easier for someone to do it who was in the same time zone.
She'd done what she could otherwise, though. While she hadn't had a lot of time, she'd come home when she could. It wwas a shame that her husband couldn't make it, but he'd had his own family emergency. Still, she'd done it all even without him.
"I've been dealing with a couple little kids for the last hour after helping Ramona the do the party planning, stopping one of the grooms – Jimmy – from walking around blindfolded and picking up after his mess, and a bunch of other things on almost no sleep the last couple nights." Michelle yawned. "I do what I can. And, God gives me the strength to get me through. She recalled when she was seven learning about God's forgiveness and unconditional love, and realizing she was a sinner in need of a Saviour. "You're smart enough you can probably talk rings around me about that.:
"Ever heard of Ravi Zacharias?" Max enjoyed Michelle's look of shock. "Don't worry, I'm not that smart. I have heard he's a really deep thinker, though."
"You had me going." Michelle shook her head. "I'm glad it's not even head knowledge that's important; it's heart knowledge. Just simple, childlike faith, calling on Jesus to save you, believing He took the punishment for your sins when He died and rose from the dead."
"I know. It's easy for me to think I do it all myself. But, I know I need His help. Like when I got upset with Steve because he beat me in chess the first time. I'm glad you're here to talk to,: Max said sincerely, not wanting to bring up Michelle mischievous past when she was little.
"Yeah; with all the stuff I've had to help everyone do…"
"Don't forget the live stream," Max added.
"That, too. You're sure you don't need me to do any more for Tommy Jr. or Pamela?"
"That's okay, I've got it from here now. All ready for operation wedding?" Tommy Jr. and Pamela cheered.
"Here's the flowers, the bubbles, and the rings." Michelle handed Pamela the flowers, Tommy Jr. the bubbles, and Max the rings. "They know what to do now," she said as Jimmy Gibbler walked in, after putting a bag over his head.
"Hey, could someone check on Danielle? I don't want to see Steph, and I was hoping there'd be someone in here."
"I'm there for you," Michelle said happily as Max left with the others. "I know, Steph was hoping she'd be up from her nap by the time of the wedding."
Michelle felt her legs getting tired as she trudged toward the basement as the others went outside. She hoped Danielle was up, but if not, she had twenty minutes till the music started.
"Wow," she told Danielle as she sat on Stephanie's bed. The baby was awake. "I am exhausted." She looked at her watch. I have twenty minutes, though. Maybe I can lay down for a couple…"
She found herself drifting off to sleep before she knew it. She thought about the love the entire family had shown, and the incredible way everyone had come together.
After Jackson had finished singing, with a break for Derek, Pamela walked downt he aisle throwing flower petals while Tommy, Jr. blew bubbles. Max smiled proudly; he was so glad to have had help from Aunt Michelle during this hectic time, but he'd managed to get his charges doing everything right. He even had the rings.
But, where was Michelle?
As the brides were walked down the aisle, the boys began whispering among themselves. 'Ramona," Jackson whispered out of the corner of his mouth, "did you see Michelle?"
"She went to see if Danielle was up," Max insisted.
"Is something wrong?" Danny asked once he was seated next to Jesse, having overheard whispers, though not about what, as the last of the ladies was walked down the aisle.
"Michelle's not here. Tommy, Run fast downstairs and get Michelle," Max whispered.
"Max, we have to…"
"The minister's not here yet anyway," Max hissed at Jackson as Tommy did as he was told. "Besides, if she's not here Jimmy might think he's cursed for the rest of his life!"
"Just a second," Jackson said as he ran after Max.
Just as Max was entering the kitchen, with Jackson close behind, Tommy, Jr. came up from the basement. "Shhhhh," he said, "Aunt Michelle is sleeeeping!"
The older boys ran downstairs and shook Michele awake. "Aunt Michelle," each said quickly.
"Oh no," Michelle said as she woke with a start, "I have to help Tommy Junior and Pamela officiate the wedding while I show Jimmy how to help the flowers blow bubble while wearing bags on their heads!"
"Aunt Michelle, get Danielle, they're about to say their vows," Jackson insisted.
Max pointed upstairs. "Jackson, take Tommy, Jr. and go out back, tell them everything's fine. I got this," Max said in a commanding voice. "Come on Michelle."
"oh, no; I didn't sleep through it, did I?' Michelle asked with severe alarm as she rose and looked around in a haphazard manner while Max picked up Danielle.
"Just follow me." He led Michelle up and out the back door.
Michelle felt a little stunned as Max handed the baby to her and zipped back into his place just as Kimmy and Fernando were finishing their vows – apparently, someone may have signalled them to go long. She could see Jimmy breathing a huge sigh of relief as he and Stephanie noticed her holding Danielle.
After a little bit of a pause for the commotion, Michelle nodded at Stephanie, who gave the go-ahead to s tart her vows.
Michelle was given a seat way in the back where she could see the others; she understood Max rushing up there to stand in his assigned place, but she really didn't want any attention to be drawn to her. It was enough that she'd been here for this.
Michelle went up to lay down again part of the way through the wedding reception. The others could tell she was wiped out. She awakened to see Ramona peeking into her room. "Hey; I can find somewhere else to sleep if I have to."
"What time is it?" She looked at her watch. "Wow; my biological clock is all messed up!"
"I can understand."
"It's like when I was up with my husband over Thanksgiving when he had to help his family with…" Michelle shook the cobwebs out of her head. "Wait, you moved out, didn't you?" She had to laugh. First I almost sleep through the most important day of my sisters' lives, like that story Dad tells about sleeping through their school activities, now it's like Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky moving back in."
"Yeah. Well, it started when Steph told us earlier today she was pregnant."
Michelle gasped. "Are you serious?!" She let out a whoop! "Oh, that is so amazing; I need to congratulated her! Is she here, too; is she up?"
"The newlywed ladies are all talking downstairs; I finished helping with the last of the cleanup and now I'm as tired as you must have been," Ramona said with a yawn.
Michelle found the ladies in the kitchen. "Hey, Deej, Steph. Sorry I almost missed your wedding," she said sheepishly.
D.J. put an arm around her. "After all you did helping us when Aunt Becky couldn't make it, and that other stuff happened, we completely understand."
"Yeah; I'm just glad Jimmy doesn't feel like he has to perform some strange tribal ceremony now," Stephanie deadpanned.
"Funny thing is, he almost did cause the jinx by asking you to check on Danielle," Steve pointed out. "Just one in a long line of crazy stories with this family. And, I'm so glad I'm part of it." He and D.J. kissed.
"Well, I was at your first wedding – of course, I still lived here," she seemed to realize suddenly. "It's Steph's I really couldn't stand to miss."
"That makes two of us," Jimmy said as he brought something in from the yard.
"Can we be alone, just us sisters," D.J. asked. The men left to join Kimmy and Fernando in another part of the house. "We're really glad you pitched in. Aunt Becky called a couple times, we had to keep telling her you were sleeping. You can call tomorrow morning."
"D.J. and were talking about all you've helped with, even thousands of miles away. It's so nice to know we're a faily despite the distance," Stephanie added.
"I know. I'm so excited that you're pregnant; that really is a miracle."
Stephanie put an arm around her. "And I know someone who has been praying for years for that." She wandered a little as she continued. "When everyone started moving away, and then I got Drcy to help you with stuff while she babysat and you drifted toward her, I felt like I didn't have much purpose; like my work was done here. Sometimes I worried, did I influence you to leave through how I acted?"
"No. I guess we all got busy with our own stuff, especially after we met that child actress I became friends with. I'm glad you had some stardom, too; and still do, with your singing your own songs now," Michelle responded.
"Me, too. I never missed that scene once I left, though; I guess I always felt like someone needed me and so I could be committed without worrying they'd leave."
Michelle looked sincerely into Stephanie's eyes. "You're not worried about me, are you?"
"No, you have your own family. Your own career."
D.J. concluded, "You're always welcome back here, though. Because today showed just how much you care. You gave all your energy to help make sure we had three tremendous weddings in one. We may be in different parts of the country. But, here and in Heaven, we'll be sister forever.. We'll always be there to help each other."
"Thanks, Deej; you're the best! You too, Steph!" The sisters all hugged.
I'ver retired lots before, but I don't think I'll hve time to do more now, so again, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy my other stuff. And remember, you're only a single, sincere prayer of repentance to Jesus away from eternal life. Thanks for reading, and check out my Pritn On Demand books, which I mention in my profile, so it's easy to remember just do a search for "The Title of Extraordinary Length" (a parody of YA books) and go from there.