This afternoon we attended the wedding of a great pal of mine, Abigail and her husband Kevin. I feel like I've known Abigail forever, but it certainly has not been forever, but it's been long enough and through enough that she is gladly a fixture in my friend list.
A mutual friend of ours and former co-worker, commented tonight how she'll never forget when Abigail told her that she had made friends with me. I think we had a bit of a rocky start as colleagues; but anyone who knows me well is aware that I am not one to back down from a friendship challenge! My friend's memory made me smile--because friendship is one of the greatest gifts on earth. Abigail is one of the amazing friends who sat with me at my brother's bedside, showing the kind of unconditional love that saves you when you are drowning. I'd be sunk without my friends and my greatest joy is knowing that people count me as one of theirs.
Friendship is, truly, the best ship.
Another really great ship is marriage. Abigail's now-grandfather-in-law gave the most wonderful toast tonight (and her brother-in-law did too; as did her father who read the most incredible poem in the world!). Her GFIL, who is 89, said: "There are no rules to marriage. You have to improvise."
And friends, that is just about the greatest wisdom I have ever heard about marriage, second only to the other thing he said:
"There will be bumps. But don't make a big deal out of them."
I can say, in my 18 years of marriage that Mike and I have broken so many conventional rules with each other. I know I've gone to bed angry. I am certain I have been impatient with my husband several times today (and thousands of times over our marriage). I have absolutely been extremely unkind. And there are dark times when we've both doubted this whole show. Bumps and broken rules are as much of a marriage, as is all the romance and all the joy.
But, in the end, it just isn't a big deal. The big deal is the love and the commitment that keeps you improvising and figuring it out and not making a big deal out of the bad. The improvising is, in my opinion, what keeps me constantly surprised by the ways in which we love each other--the dark places and the bright places. It is such a beautiful thing to take this journey together and figure it all out, together.
No rules, friends, just improvise, together!
Congrats to Abigail and Kevin, wishing you the most beautiful life!