Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Stark Contrast

We are home from a wonderful weekend in Edmonton at the wedding of a long time dear friend. We had lots of visiting with old friends, catching up, reminiscing, and making new memories. There's something about having history with people, that it's just so easy to be together and you know and love each other already, there isn't the getting to know or trying to understand.

I was blessed to stay with Val and her new husband of 3 years, a great cook, Manuel and excited to hear/see the news of a baby on the way :) Kevin whooped it up staying with the groom and his men, and the kids had a fabulous time at Gramma and Papa's. Strange that we were spread out in 3 different homes to sleep, but it was a nice break for us all.

It's hard to describe the emotions of the day. I am usually a level-headed, fairly emotionally stable person, but I found myself almost unable to contain the emotions on several occasions- ie. felt like I might start the sobbing cry a few times. The marriage of this guy, who we just adore, to a woman who seems to match him so perfectly just brought us so much JOY! I don't think that I have ever been in a room that held so much joy from so many people at once. Sort of like the feeling of a baby being born with excitement, but all these people feeling the same way (at least I imagine they all did). The families on both sides gave such amazing speeches about the kind of people they are and how they waited and God has just blessed them with each other, that they were made to be together.

Meet the cast of characters:

The Groom: Phil Kevin's friend since they were 12. The most easy going, laid back guy you may ever meet. He's loyal and consistent and always smiling. The guys played volleyball together since junior high and right into college. He was the best man at our wedding, they've had many an adventure, backpacking, hiking, fishing, chasing girls (pre- ME) and on it goes. He has traveled the world, lived in Japan for 5 years, dated a few girls and just never found the right one. Now he's turning 40 next week and he has met the love of his life. No one could just believe it took so long! There was many a joke about that, especially since he has 3 older sisters.

The Bride: Marcy
Stunning!! The most lovely girl and a perfect match for our Phil. Similar story, waiting and wondering where HE was for all her 35 years. Strong in her faith, and so loving to her family, shown by the fact that 2 of her "brides boys" were her brothers. Can't wait to get to know her better. She's a nurse, what more needs to be said?

3 Lovely Flower Girls:

The Men:

Michael - neighborhood friend of Phil since they were 5. Mike is a short, sort of odd little guy who has had the same job, same car and lived across the street from his parents for 18 years. Loves Phil!!! Loyal... as the day/drive home is long. And Phil has treated him like gold and given him the honor of carrying the rings.

Kevin - the cute bowlegged one, we all know him.
MY groom with THE groom.

Craig- the tall one. This guy is an extreme extrovert! By the end of the rehearsal dinner, he knows everyone by name, their kids names, their favorite color, and is laughing and hugging everyone goodbye like long lost friends. He is a people magnet, the life of the party, always including everyone so that we all have a great time! He was added to the circle of friends around college and the 4 of these guys became a close knit group. He married young to his soul mate, Julie, a gorgeous, kind, soft hearted soul. So their home, fridge and hot tub became center stage for many of their escapades. We all adored Julie and were devastated when she succumbed to breast cancer at the age of 30 shortly after giving birth to their 2nd, a boy. We have watched as Craig has courageously raised his daughter, the spitting image of her Mom, and their son for the past 7 years! For us we wished we could have been closer to help carry the burden. Phil had moved into Craig's basement after a period of time after Julie was gone and became an uncle to those kids. What history!

The ceremony was lovely. The groom could almost not contain his smile, was that a little undressing with your eyes I just saw?

The kicker for me was the Toast to the Groom. Craig gave an amazing speech with so much humor and so many fun stories because they've all had so much life that has already been lived. Then he talked about all the things that they had been through together. The camping and hiking, the hockey playoffs year after year, and that they've watched friends get married and babies being born, and "even buried those that they have loved". I don't think there was a dry eye for those who know the story. It sure didn't help my mascara situation that the groom and all the groomsmen were bawling! I think the "brides' boys" didn't know what was going on; that poignant comment was missed on so many. (Phil's Dad had also died in previous years).

I wondered how so much joy and sorrow could be contained in one moment. Craig and Julie who had loved and been soul mates, lived so fully and so well even through her cancer, who after 7 years still clings to her memory. A tragic end to that journey of love. And the beginning of another journey starting just the same, so in love, so full of hope and joy, but living a little wiser because of knowing.

It is so good to share in that community! To feel so deeply with those we love and care about. We can't wait to share many more memories together and wish that happiness for everyone! It seems people have so many disappointments in life, that these moments are all the fuller for them. My heart is full!

Marcy - The Avid Golfer

Just Married!
Congratulations you 2!


"bigcanadiangirl" said...

Lovely wedding - Randi will love the orange. Glad you're bloggin' again.

Randi said...

I'm bawling just reading that. What history. That's such an incredible blessing in this world, especially among men. To share a life together is an honor. My heart stopped when I read about Julie ... I remember hearing about it but maybe seeing her husband's face made it more real. I'm glad it was such a great weekend, filled with amazing memories.

Randi said...

And I do love the orange.