I am a hopeless romantic. I love binge watching romantic comedies even though I know they are unrealistic and sexist and usually written for straight couples. I get excited to watch the people around me fall in and out of love even when it is hard. Seeing those couples on the news who are celebrating their milestones of forty, fifty or sixty years of marriage makes feel hopeful. And watching the man in my community who goes to the graveyard every day to visit his wife shows me the power of a true, life-long love and is bittersweet as hell. Love to me is a part of life. A necessity. A need. It is corny and gushy and gross and I love every minute of it, even though I also know it can be hard as fuck to make last.
This weekend, Hubby and I were fortunate enough to go to a wedding of one of my good friends. We have known each other for over fifteen years (longer than hubby for that matter) and I was beyond excited to not only attend their wedding, but that they selected us as some of the small number of individuals who were invited. It was a blast. It was filled with lots of dancing and laughing and just watching this couple celebrate their lives together and their long overdue choice to say they are going to spend the rest of their time together.
They are now newlyweds, but they are not newly in love. As the groom walked down the aisle to the front their three children watched with smiles on their faces. This was their parents. They helped them to grow and develop and showed that their is power in the love of two people. They taught them to have compassion, to be kind, that life can be both good and hard, and that they should always tell the people they love that they love them. They raised, and are still raising, these three beautiful children who were able to not only be fortunate enough to have such good parents, but to be able to be part of the celebration of their love as well.
Then the bride walked in. This is my favorite part. I have known her for a long time. I know her insecurities and her struggles and her joys. I know that she was struggling with the lack of control of the day but also wanting to savor every moment of it. And she looked perfect. Is that cliché as hell? Absolutely. But it is also true. The dress she chose was a low cut lacy sheer dress that hugged her figure in all the right places and brought your attention to her natural beauty. The veil, ideally matched to the dress, flowed down her back leaving her a soft, silky trail of material as she moved past us to her groom. And she was crying.
We were all crying. As she moved past where we were sitting, I took a moment to look at the people around the room. These individuals, specifically chosen to attend their day, were soaking up the joy. The joy of watching this couple who had battled out the challenges of life for the last nineteen years, finally get their moment. Excited and happy and emotional to watch them say their vows and tell us all that this is what they want. Regardless of the kids being on the cusp of adults. Regardless of the extended family arguments or ongoing losses of loved ones that come with living. Regardless of what the world may continue to throw their way. They decided they were doing it together. In a five minute moment of agreement, they stood up and said, yes. This is what we want.
And then we celebrated. I celebrated by drinking for the first time in ages and spending three hours dancing the night away. My calves are paying for it today as I remember that I am no longer in shape. We celebrated by singing and dancing and taking ample amounts of photographs to look back on and smile. And I celebrated the moment when I remembered how long I have known this friend, the things we have been through together, and apart, and how happy I was for her in this moment. Straight up happy. Straight up proud. And straight up thankful to be part of it.
Hubby and I have been married for ten years this summer. For some that is a blink of an eye and for others that is a lifetime. I love him and I love the other people in my life. But, for one night this weekend, filled with a variety of small moments, I was reminded of the power that love can hold in a life. Whether it is a wedding or a lazy night at home, it is those day to day moments that make up a marriage and a lifetime of love. Love that even as I write this, days later, I am still feeling the warmth in my belly of celebrating the love of two people who deserve all of it and more!