Where there is love, there is life.
On Sunday, my dear friend took her vows.
As expected, she was beautiful. He was beautiful. It was beautiful. It was filled with the kind of moments, too numerous to count, when I literally could not find my breath. Love and devotion have a way of creating that kind of magic.
The tears actually started many hours before. I felt weepy as I did my hair and makeup, listening to ABBA and Olivia Newton John; just a small sampling of what we loved as teenagers, and what we still love to this day. My mind went back to movie nights and beach vacations. Six years ago she witnessed my walk down the aisle, and on this evening I would witness hers.
The tears came in earnest when the ceremony began, with the sight of her brother lovingly leading her mom down the aisle. I caught a glimpse of glistening eyes and a quivering lip. The telltale signs of love.
As the night progressed, I had my broken moments. The inadequacies of illness sometimes win, no matter how much I know better and no matter how hard I fight. I watched her from across the room, full of energy, talking to friends from work and others who came into her life after me. I heard the conversations swirl around the table and from elsewhere~about jobs and vacations, remodeling and children, college tuitions and 401ks~and there I was, exceptionally boring, struggling to find things to talk about. My husband looked at me, sensing my pain, and gently kissed me.
“She loves you just as you are,” he said, “that hasn’t changed.”
“I know,” I nodded and whispered back, joyful tears threatening again.
As the first dance as a married couple came and went, and the customary parent-child dances were complete, I grew tired and it was time to say goodbye. She hugged me hard as if she would never let me go. Emily Dickinson once said “forever is composed of nows.” These are the kind of moments that are the very precious fabric of life; there can never be enough of them. I want to sit still in quiet and peace and burn them into my memory so I can hold them forever.
After this very beautiful night, my heart and mind are overflowing.
Congratulations, Calli and Derrick.
I am blessed beyond measure by your love and friendship.
On Sunday, my dear friend of 26 years is getting married.
For normal people anticipating something this special, this week might be a busy one. Maybe there would be errands to run, or a salon visit to enjoy. Perhaps there would be a few gym workouts to fit in, or the mall excursion for that outfit, pair of shoes or makeup item to a make you feel especially fab.
This week I go carefully. Gently. Healthfully.
This week I rest.
This is the kind of time when my limitations resound in an especially strong way. For example, I have resigned myself to the fact that I will have to wear flat shoes if I am to survive this blessed occasion. Jeweled, Italian flat shoes, but somehow that isn’t helping me feel any better. Those who know me best will understand why.
It goes way beyond my footwear. It’s about having to sit quietly in a corner, avoiding conversation, when the pain hits me. It’s about sitting out that dance when that perfect song plays, because I feel too weak to stand at that moment. It’s about longing for my bed, just as the party is getting started.
I try to downplay all of this sometimes, but then I’m reminded by the ones I love that I shouldn’t, as evidenced by the brief exchange I had with my husband last night.
Me: “I need to get over myself. A typhoon just devastated the Philippines for heaven’s sake. As if I have real problems.”
Husband: “Excuse me, but illness is a real problem.”
Touché, my love.
All of this concern aside, as long as I rest and find peace this week, I know I will be fine. Even though it will be her day, her moment (as well as her beloved’s), I will be blessed with the love, acceptance, beauty and understanding of friendship.
All of that wins over the grit and pain of illness every single time.
Have a beautiful week.