The Pleasure of Your Company is Requested

Photo credit: Marni Rothschild
In just a handful of days, a dear friend of my heart that is very far away will be saying "I Do".  I cannot be there for her big day.  I am heart broken about that.  The event planner in me has a thousand things to tell her, checklists to send, words of wisdom that all begin with "Be sure to..." and "Don't forget to..." in order to manage all of the details of the day.  We message pictures of dresses and venues and I think about all of what that day will look like for her.  

The friend in me wants to hold her hand and do her make up and cry with her and snap a thousand pictures of the tiny, beautiful moments so she will remember them when the emotions of the day inevitably paint the memory of it into a rosy haze.  I have a full heart of secrets that I want her to know- secrets about marriage that are impossible to know before you arrive.  How can you know what intimacy like that looks like until you are in it?  

How can you know how giant the chasm is that is between what you know emotionally and what is completely unknown (and utterly terrifying as an independent, self assured woman)?  How can you be sure faith and time and trust will actually carry you over that chasm, delivering you safely to the other side? 

How can I tell her that when her mother is diagnosed with cancer just weeks after her grandmothers both pass that he will be the one that carefully holds her fractured heart in his hands until she can figure out how to knit it back together?  

How can she know that when she struggles to redefine herself a hundred thousand times, he will continue to love and validate every new reincarnation, oftentimes just sitting beside her in the wreckage, not trying to fix it, simply being there with her so she doesn't have to be there alone?  

How can she prepare for the stumbling of careers and finances and self reliance and the cleaving that comes when all that they will have in that mess is each other while they try to navigate a way out, even when they are so, so frustrated and disappointed with themselves and each other and the world?  

How will she anticipate the late night drive with windows down while she cries after her best friend announces her divorce and they clutch so tightly to their own marriage and, through tears, they make new promises that they will do whatever they have to in order to not ever stop talking, to continue to listen and seek help and remain vulnerable and so very careful with the other's heart?  

How can she foresee that he will take on the role of parent with her when she finally decides to make a legal daughter of the longtime daughter of her heart?  

How will she reconcile how damn hard it will be to let go of her pride and work on her own shit while he works on his so that they can try to mend their broken selves and grow together, that his only real demand in all of it will be that she continues to become more of herself because he loves her so much even in those terrible moments when she doesn't like herself, much less love herself?  

How can she predict the feelings of adventure and possibility when the two of them begin a new travel journey together, always hungry for different cultures and experiences, finding that they are their best selves when they travel?  

How will she ever survive the hysterical laughter that will come in bed, late at night, when the rest of the world is asleep and passion translates in so many different ways?  

How can she envision that something as simple as a silent touch in a quiet morning of coffee will hold so many unspoken words, so much comfort?  

How could she possibly comprehend how tied up her love and life will be with this person, this love to which she will say "I choose you.  Every single day, I choose you.  Even when some of those days suck, I still choose this love"? 

She doesn't know.  She cannot know. 
I cannot wait for her to know. 

It is part of what the tears of joy are about on wedding days- the great big, huge, enormous, vast, colossal, giant, epic YES to which you are committing and have no idea how big that "Yes" really is yet.  I cry tears for the miracle of these two amazing souls that finally found each other to create a sum that is even greater than their remarkable parts.  

I may not be there in body, but on their loveliest day I will be murmuring words of love and encouragement to the wind so that it will seek them and kiss their cheeks, whisper in their ears and weave through her hair, swirl around their feet and send them into each other's arms, binding their hearts and lives as they make promises to each other and commit to this amazing journey together.

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