Saturday, July 23, 2016
Can't help but notice lately that there's not a ton of happy just lying around in stockpiles. And I'd try to maintain that it wasn't affecting me except for the fact that ever since the Pulse shooting I've been having recurring dreams about being at the store, at a movie, at a park...and suddenly being caught in one without knowing the status of my loved ones or knowing if it was safe to run. I don't know why those dreams didn't happen with PAST incidents, but...brains are strange things.
I think I've been quiet because I'm trying to wrap my brain around things that your brain shouldn't wrap around.
But that's not what today is about. That's not what this is about. Today, a person I knew since he was 3 years old and who I had the occasion to babysit, got married. To a girl who it is absolutely obvious adores him. A beautiful, kind, zest-for-life sort who could tease a smile out of a grizzly bear, from what I know of her.
And as I saw the pictures post, I saw the overflowing happiness. And a thing I noted, upon studying it...is that I think it'd have just exploded with happy vibes no matter where it was. Because I know the families of the bride and groom are THRILLED. I know they feel like they're expanding their own families. I know the bride's family loves the groom and vice versa. No one had to say it, it's just massively evident in the preparations and in the little community surrounding them. And ok, everyone has their dream weddings. Fall, somehow lilacs, candlelight, whatnot. But what I want most is that happiness. That light, airy feeling of LOVE. The "today is exceptional because my whole family welcomes someone new into it and we are ALL excited" feeling.
I didn't think about how someone ten years my junior is getting married, I didn't think of my life and whether it was missing anything, I saw people I care about smiling from ear to ear in photos. I saw new bonds and old bonds and dancing and laughter and lightness. Did it rain today? I'm sure not one person there noticed if it did.
Soon, there'll be another wedding. A dear friend of mine, much closer in age to me, has found someone that SHE adores and who adores her. And having known her for even longer, I know how her heart ached to find someone who would hold on to HER and her heart the way that he does. I've seen him go out of his way to protect it with the actions he took even as he struggled. I've seen the family rally around it and make room to expand. What a celebration it will be to see the man that earned a heart as big as hers by having a matching one he committed to her take the final steps and become man and wife.
It's stuff like that that reminds me why weddings, why marriage. It's not tax breaks, it's not a guarantee, it's not somehow going to make things easier with relationships...it's to shout LOVE from the rooftops. It's to blend families together and make new memories. It's to say "Today is for love. Today we celebrate these people and the beautiful thing that THEY have that no one else can have."
Maybe we can't control....anything. Things seem dangerously off the rails and people seem to forget that love comes first, and that you can love someone and disagree with them. That hate and violence won't EVER be the answer.
Know what we can do? We can put that love vibe out there. We can keep loving, and keep celebrating love, and remember why it's important. We can know that love isn't magic, and relationships are work, and struggle and hardship, but we can celebrate how MUCH love can change, and all the ways love wins.
And maybe tonight? We'll have better dreams.