My best friend since we’ve been babies (no, really, she’s only 5 days younger than me!) is finally getting married. Her fiance is one of the kindest, most likeable guys I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. And, I knew him before she did.
Did I introduce them? No. And why not, do you ask? Because I’m a bonehead, plain and simple. Heck, I could’ve gotten those two together about 8 years ago (instead of 3) if I’d simply thought, J would be perfect for M.
Fortunately, God is much smarter about these things than me & managed to find a way to put them together anyhow. For that, I am profoundly grateful. She simply lights up when he walks in a room and I have never seen her so happy.
Today was her community bridal shower. We are from a very small town and when someone gets married, we don’t throw some itsy bitsy house party, we rent a hall & invite the entire community. The gift opening generally takes about 1.5 hours (with 3-6 people opening!) and we have games and favours and excellent desserts.
I think that is what the shower was meant to be. The community comes together and provides the happy couple with everything they will need to make a home. It is a humbling experience, knowing all these people think enough of you to bring you a gift. We even got a delightful “blast from the past” when a lady brought pictures of all of us as young kids (age 8-12ish).
I was honoured to be the MC for the afternoon, since the bride’s sister is “too shy” to do it herself. Hey, I’m not one to pass up a chance to speak in public, so I embraced the idea. Then, I got writer’s block. I couldn’t think of a single thing to say for weeks. Well, I had lots of ideas, but nothing really concrete until the day before. What could I possibly say to tell her how much she means to me? How could I sum up all the things I’ve learned about sharing your life with another person?
So, my beautiful bride, here’s what I didn’t say to the crowd:
You have been my best friend and the keeper of my memories for our whole lives. As my oldest friend, you know everything about my growing up years and many things about my adult years. I can’t imagine the world without your grace, generosity and compassion. Thank-you for sticking with me, even when I stay out of touch for months at a time. Thank-you for understanding how tough life has been, without really needing to be told. And thank-you for sharing your special day with me, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
And for the rest of you, here’s what I did say:
And the most important advice I ever got was this. Marry your best friend and remember to keep that relationship at the centre of your life. Jobs come and go. Children grow up and leave home and what is left is the man you married. What I know so far, having a strong friendship with your husband means having someone to share your joys and successes. And in the darkest days of your life, when no one else can possibly understand, your husband will & your love will see you through it.
This is what I know to be true. May it be the same for all of you.