Congratulations on a decade of PDAs! Oh, and marriage.
Dear Rache and Nick,
Ten years ago, my two best friends married each other.
You don’t know them, but they’re really awesome.
I kid, I kid.
Everyone knew I’d be the first to bust out waterworks at your wedding. No one bothered with bets, because it was a gimme. The real question was, where would I hide all the tissue I’d need?
When the day came, I was too elated–at first!–to cry, but tears gathered in my eyes when I saw you, Nick, weeping at the altar. I wasn’t personally marriage-inclined, but I rejoiced the brilliant light shining forth from the union of your two beautiful souls.
From every human being there rises a light that reaches straight to heaven. And when two souls that are destined to be together find each other, their streams of light flow together, and a single brighter light goes forth from their united being. (Baal Shem Tov)
The summer was a hard one for all of us due to Mom’s rapid descent into mental illness. I won’t say the good outweighed the bad, because there were many moments it didn’t, moments in which I felt like I might actually die from the heartbreak. But the good did seem all the more amazing against the bleakness of the bad, and your wedding was the very, very best of the goodness that summer.
It’s your wedding I think of when I hear the words “the perfect wedding.” More importantly, it’s your marriage I think of when I think of the possibilities and not just the sacrifices of marriage. I’ve learned a lot about marriage from watching you.
- It’s okay to disagree. Even about the important stuff, like whether or not Superman is actually badass. (Nick, you’re still wrong.)
- Laughter is the best medicine. It’s also impossible to avoid when two people so lovingly push each others’ buttons.
- It’s all about give and take. “Here’s a deal: I’ll take you to Cambridge for grad school if you’ll take me to med school in a decade!” Y’all don’t go for the small examples!
- Fart jokes are OK if you marry the right person. I would say more, but I’m busy testing the general applicability of this rule on my fiancee right now.
Those aren’t the only lessons I’ve learned, naturally.
- Love is unconditional. This is not the same as saying love is without frustration!
- The past is not the future. Not all marriages are or will be like our parents’ marriage.
- The beauty is in the actions over the years, not the words of the wedding’s hour. Seeing your commitment to talking things through and seeking the best in each other despite frustrations was pivotal to my own saying “yes.”
- It’s not the end when you say things you regret. You keep talking, and keep believing your partner means well even when the words come out wrong, and you’ll find your way back to each other.
- Building each other up is imperative. Knock-downs will happen, but the investments you make building up your partner can–and will, when made often enough–keep you soaring strong, together, through most tumult.
This is a laughably small list compared to the total list of my lessons learned from you, so count it a sampling. Better still, count it as a preview of what to expect from me for your twenty-year anniversary. You’re already halfway there, and hey! If I start writing now and just don’t put down the pen, there’s a chance I’ll be able to get it all down in time.
If I thought I was glad to see you get married, I’m eleventy billion times gladder to see you celebrating ten years of marriage. Your love for each other is a joy, a light shining up to the heavens, and an inspiration.
Individually, you make me believe anything is possible.
Together, you make me know it is.