The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.
~~ Audrey Hepburn
Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.
~~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Yesterday a dear friend of mine got married. She and her man Steve have been together for a good twenty years and never bothered with the institution of marriage. They avoided it for a lot of the reasons so many people do these days–including one that my very husband avoided for a few years there. Who needed the government’s blessing on their union? Caryl and Steve were married in every way that matters.
Except they weren’t.
For one they needed medical insurance for him (the same way I will need it when I kick my Evil Day Job to the curb). Most places won’t give you that unless you’re legally married. They’re getting older and need to have a say-so in each other’s lives and not have to worry about meddling or “well-meaning” family who wouldn’t honor what the two of them want.
So they decided they might as well get married.
Now here is something I will say about my friend Caryl. I wouldn’t call her facetious. That would be the wrong word, although I think she likes to come off that way a little bit. She has a hard exterior and shows the world how tough she is and how little silly things like flowers mean to her. She’s not some frail! In fact the word she uses for women is “broad.” As in, “Can you believe what that broad did?”
But for those of us who have gotten to know Caryl? OMGosh! I can tear up talking about her. She is amazing. She is true. She is so deeply loving. She is kind. She is incredibly conscientious. She is loyal to the death. She has one of the most unbelievable work ethics that I have ever seen in my entire life and I mean that. That’s no writer’s exaggeration. I am honored to call her “friend.” In fact she is one of the only reasons I haven’t gone Postal at work.
She is one of the hand full of people who came to the wedding shower they had for me and R at work. Not one person from my department came besides my supervisor. Not one. But she did.
She has brains and you can talk to her about something besides the Chiefs.
And she loves her man Steve with a fierce and terrible beauty.
For the past two weeks she has been so, “Oh please, it isn’t anything. Just a piece of paper. Nothing to get worked up about.”
But (oh gosh, there I go, tears running down my face so much I keep hitting the wrong keys and having to fix what I wrote)….
But I wish everyone could have witnessed what we did yesterday.
This lady…. She was sixteen! She had a gold headband! She was blushing. She was glowing. I don’t know how she didn’t just lift a few inches right up off the floor and float around. I can’t remember when I have seen her like that. Yes I can. Never. She was giddy. She was a school girl. My husband and I couldn’t (and can’t) stop talking about it.
All of that talk about, “I’m not spending that kind of money for a wedding ring,” and stuff like that? Zoop! Right out the window! And she did get something quite nice. She did want some bling. I like what she got a lot.
“Mature,” she said. “That’s what the sales lady said. Mature. I like that.” Almost like Oh, it’s not that big a deal. But she was glowing and smiling and was so happy.
And the ring is gorgeous.
My heart is rushing to think about yesterday. I cried through the whole thing.
Part of that was how connected I felt to her because of my wedding last June….
But mostly it was the love. We were bathed in it! Waves radiating out from them both. SO in love! So very very very much in love!
Institutionalized marriage may be “just a piece of paper.”
But it’s not.
It’s a symbol. Or can be. Should be.
For me and R it’s far frigging more than a piece of paper. And I am overjoyed to see it is far more than a piece of paper to Caryl and Steve,
I am floating today thinking about it all. R and I seem somehow more connected today. Their bond was infectious.
Ladies and gentlemen…love is not dead. I am happy to say it is alive and well.
And it truly does make the world go around.