Whammied by Love

A couple of my friends were married yesterday. Of course she was beautiful, of course he was handsome, and of course the ceremony was meaningful. I can’t tell you about the decorations, though they were pretty. I don’t know what anyone other than the bridal party wore. I don’t know any of the minutiae of the day because I was a happy observer. I can only try to share the emotion of what being around these two friends and their families was like.

Sometimes people are friends just because they’re friends. That is how I am friends with the bride and groom, their best man and maid of honor. Their love for each other is a palpable entity that makes me smile. That they include me in the warmth of their friendship is a gift. At the wedding, their vows were simple, the ceremony short but beautiful. The message I got from the wedding was: “This is us. We are together. We are in this moment.”

At the reception, my husband and I sat at our designated table, made friends with two aunts, relaxed together for the first time in way too long. We have our own communication style, and if his tapping on my leg was any indication, he was comfortable in a sea of strangers. The great thing is that we didn’t stay strangers for long.

The bride and groom made their rounds to say hello to everyone; so did the wedding party, and so did the parents. The groom looks like his father and has his mother’s poise. The bride’s father is charming and radiates generosity, a thoughtful man. The guests didn’t care if they knew us or not, we were together sharing a meal, toasting the bride and groom, and that was enough.

Maybe it’s been too long since I’ve been at a wedding, but this one seemed different somehow. More hopeful. More like an exhale before the next breath in. These two, forgive the platitude, are meant to be. It’s not often that one gets to witness a celebration of something that we all know is as natural as air, and as essential. These two are soulmates. They will fight, they will struggle; life isn’t being any kinder to them simply because they are each other’s counterpart. They will, however, laugh much more often, rejoice in each day and each other. I know this with a certainty based on nothing more than their promise to each other.

Then I got whammied. I commented to one of the aunts how lovely the evening was and she said, “With all that’s going on in this world, it’s nice to celebrate what’s good about life.” Indeed. Aunts are good at stating the essential truth of a situation; I agreed with her and rested my head on my husband’s arm, sharing in a celebration of what’s good.

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