As happy as I was for her, I was nervous about going to the Wedding.....actually, I’m not even sure if nervous is the right word…I was hesitant….hesitant because I’ve never met the groom, the bride and I have drifted apart and frankly, I was not really sure I even fit in her life anymoreThen I realized I was being a jackass
First of all, so what if I’ve never met the groom, I’ve known her since I was 14Secondly, so what if we’ve drifted apart- once you become a part of someone’s life, you are always a part of their life regardless of how often you see one another or talk
And finally, I realized it did not matter where I fit in – she invited me; if she had the notion to invite me, I should have the respect and be flattered to attendThis is a woman who has been in my life since I was 14….she made high school bearable (well, the first two years anyway then she went and graduated leaving me behind…)
She encouraged me when I wanted to give up and she told me to give up when I could not see the forest through the trees or the trees through the forestShe and I have seen each succeed, fail, laugh, cry, gain weight, lose weight. We’ve lost touch, gotten back in touch and lost touch again but somehow, always know how we’re both doing
She held onto my secrets as tightly as I’ve held onto hers. We’ve been supportive of one another, critical of one another, and at times I suppose mean to one another but I would be hard pressed to not have her somewhere in my lifeIt was a privilege to be a part of her Wedding Celebration and I am so grateful she thought to inlcude us in her day
The ceremony, though non-traditional in my church going mind, was quite touching and very personalIt was officiated by the friend of the Bride and the readings and music could not have been more personal to the Bride and the Groom. Though I do not know the two of them together, I learned a great deal about them and their relationship during that 25 minute ceremony…probably more than I would have learned over dinner and drinks
I’m glad I went for a number of reasons:1. To see an old friend finally find happiness…to find stability and consistency…she found her lobster and I got to witness it
2. I adore the Bride’s Mum and Dad so to get to see the is a treat, but to get to see them watching their daughter get married is, well, it was so heartwarming, touching and emotional on so many levels….I don’t think my words could do it justice
3. At the Reception, I got to sit across from the Bride’s brother the whole time! I have had a crush on him since I was 14…….I was convinced I was going to grow up and marry him…even when I was at his Wedding (which turns out was 20(!) years ago) I was still convinced he would turn around and marry me….he did not much to my disappointment…..but I’ll tell you what, he has two gorgeous kids and his wife is a hot ticket….a total hoot. She had Sean and me on the floor every time she opened her mouth – I’m so glad he married her instead of me.
4. I reconnected with three women who I have kept tabs on through the Bride but was always reluctant to reach out to – I can’t tell you why but I was
One was a woman I went to high school with – in high school I totally wanted to be her. She and the Bride were in the same class, I was a couple years younger than them….so I was sort of like the third wheel……joining the party late. She was (and still is) gorgeous in a very Marilyn Monroe Gentlemen Prefer Blondes kind of way and had this fashion sense and style that I adored but knew I could never pull off (she was wearing hats way before Blossom came along)She was artistic, listened to cool music, read books that no one else was reading and moved with this grace and flair I envied. As we grew up, I would hear about her through our friend but saw her maybe a half dozen times over the years since high school/college – and always when I was at my worst (living in IL having some sort of quarter life crises, right when I moved back to the East coast wondering if I had done the right thing as I loved my life in IL but things had changed….I had changed and needed a change of venue)
She was grown up, married and a Mum before I could even imagine giving anyone but myself attention – and she is the Mum I want to be. Her kids come first, her face lights up when she says their names and her every breath is for them. She cooks and bakes and takes photos of her kids that are striking – and I’m pretty sure, based on the pictures I saw, they have her sense of fashion style!Another was a woman I met first as teenagers and then as young adults….I never knew her all that well but knew her well enough to enjoy the few times I would see her through the years. She and the Bride grew up together
I remember always being intimidated by her because she was older than I was, way way prettier and had her shit together long before anyone else our age did. She moved away (like west coast away) and has always had a grown up job…..when I would see her in subsequent years, I always felt inferior to her (never because of anything she did mind you, simply because I compared myself to her and she was where and what I wanted to be) and in a way, I hoped that I would attain what she had attained – that is I wanted to be as grown up and as put together as she always seemed to be.She and I got engaged the same week, married the same year and though my baby is 3 and hers is six months old, we are both finally the Mums we wanted to be …and, it turns out we are way more alike than I realized (although she is still way prettier than me)
She’s the person at the party you find yourself gravitating towards because she looks like she’s having way more fun than the rest of us….plus, her husband, who I was meeting for the first time, is one of the nicest guys I have ever met. His wit and charm matched his wife’s…..they could totally be Grifters if they wanted to be…and even when you figured out you were being conned, you would so not be mad at them as they are that coolThe third woman I met when I moved here. The Bride and I lived together for a spell and this woman was a friend of hers from grad school. In some ways, I was jealous of their friendship – I suppose because she was present in our mutual’s friend life when I was not…and they knew one another better as adults than my friend and I did….and in my head, because we had been friends for so long, I should have know her better.
When the Bride moved away, this third woman and I made attempts to stay in touch – not always successful but we tried. And the lack of success was more my fault than anything – I was floundering in ways I never thought I would be and just did not know what to do with myself.Anyway, this woman had talents I could only dream of – and was so sure of herself…..maybe she thought she too was floundering but the confidence with which she moved was at times inspiring….and irritating because I could not do it. She had this amazing ability to make you feel as if you were the most important person in the world – and when you were with her, you were the most important person in the world
She has a great gift for words, can pick out a book for you to read that outs it all in perspective or can cite a passage to illustrate what one is struggling to say and nail it! She is kind and compassionate and could totally pass for Joan Cusack’s sister. She was so in tune with her emotions…the good, the bad and the ugly.....she was one of those woman who made you want to literally run to the top of a mountain and be all I am woman hear me roar….but she was so subtle about it….and not at all condescending or all liberal like about itI realized, standing there as a 39 year old woman with a husband and a 3 year old, that for the first time, I felt like I could hold my own with these women – that I finally had the confidence to stand next to these women who through the years I’ve admired, emulated and yes, envied…..all while watching an old friend bask in the happiness she so deserves
I was totally having an I am Woman, Hear Me Roar moment….but at no time did I consider going all liberal
So to my friend and her husband, an Irish Wedding Blessing for you:Happy is the bride that rain falls on
May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace.
May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase.
May the saddest day of your future
Be no worse than the happiest day of your past.
May your hands be forever clasped in friendship
And your hearts joined forever in love.
Your lives are very special,
God has touched you in many ways.
May his blessings rest upon you
And fill all your coming days.
And to the three women I reconnected with, an Irish Blessing for you too:May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.