"What a treat it is to meet Jess' co-workers from _____, to get to know Mike's family and high school and college buddies, to see the faces of Jess' fantastic friends--some of whom we've just about grown up with ourselves!, to have our own family and friends here with us.
Tonight we are a community in this grand ballroom, and it doesn't get much better than sharing a moment like this with the special people in our lives.
Jess was about 8 months old when she said her first word. We were in the back seat of a friend's car when from nowhere she looked up, pointed to the roof, and clearly said "Light". When I think about who Jess is and who she will always be, there is not a more fitting word than "light". This girl lights up the world.
When Jess was eight, I got a call at work telling me she had had an accident at school and had been taken to the hospital emergency room. I probably drove 90 miles an hour to get to her. I rushed into the ER and there she was--calmly sitting on a guirney, her leg in a cast, proudly displaying a pair of crutches. She held those crutches tightly in front of her, smiled at me, and said, "I've waited my whole life for this...."
Today is another day you wait your whole life for. I can tell you with certainty that Jess has found a guy she clearly and totally loves. Tonight, we're celebrating the power and the wonder of love.
Mike, we welcome you into our family and we are thrilled that Jess is part of your family. We will always do our best to love and support you both. We promise to keep our opinions to ourselves (most of the time) and to call before we visit.
We hope you'll forgive us if we have a temporary lapse and offer advice every so often. Starting tonight...
There are a couple of things I want you to know:
First, protect eachother. Go to bat for one another. Draw a circle around your relationship that provides a resting place and shelters you both from harm's way. No doubt you will sometimes take your frustrations out on eachother, but every day let your actions confirm and reaffirm that no matter what, you will be there for eachother.
Second, keep your feet firmly in the present moment. Avoid getting too caught up in trying to correct the past or plan for the future because when you do that, you can too easily miss the sound of crickets in the grass or the kind gesture of a good friend or a total stranger.
It's important to have and pursue goals, but you should know that the present moment is truly all there is. It can take a lifetime to learn this the hard way, so I hope you guys don't miss too many moments of your life together. Stay present.
Jess and Mike, it is written that when children find true love, parents find true joy. Here's to your love and our joy, from this day forward.
2. He's 13 weeks old. He squints to really see you, he smiles when he does, he reaches for colored rings, and he sits by himself and takes in the world around him. Mr. Ryan is a total doll. I cannot believe I will know and love him for the rest of my life.
3. They haven't yet found their permanent wall-home, but I surely am loving seeing my dearest friend Ces' artwork everyday. What could be better than to have these paintings atop of my favorite books? When JB and moved, I went through every one of my thousands of books and only kept the ones I wanted to read again at some point, or those that carry memories too precious to discard. This photo is what I presently see when I wake up every morning and head for the coffee maker. Bottom line: I am very lucky.
4. Another of my almost famous side shots. I forgot to rotate it when I could. On Wednesday of this week, JB and I went to the wedding of Joey's cousin. It was a beautiful traditional affair, beginning in this Congregational church and ending with oceanside reception complete with dancing and good food. What was different about this wedding, however, was that the happy couple are two women. This was the first time JB and I witnessed the normalcy of such a right: the state of Massachusetts has legalized gay marriage and it showed. I know there are religious and political differences of opinion about this, but I can tell you that the joy and love present on this day confirmed loud and clear that these two loving people deserved to celebrate in this way with their family and friends. Yay to both of them!
5. What really happens when you don't allow your ego or power to be a factor in your relationships? I can tell you I have never ever been more vulnerable. I am trying to be real without pretense, to express what's important to me, including my needs and hopes, and although I am not niave, I am trusting from my heart. It's not always easy, but I recommend it.
6. My father always said "A man who doesn't drink has everything". I would roll my eyes, never associating until years later that he was correctly disapproving of my accumulating wine bottles. Now I don't drink and it's a good thing.
7. Where did those 5 balloons tucked into the bare lilac tree come from on Easter Sunday? I think my father had something to do with it--how he does this from heaven above I cannot say--I'm surprised he's been so imaginative-- but ever since he died impossible flowers and colors seem to appear from nowhere.
8. (An adjunct to # 5) Here's an update on my life with Deep Love: It's still awesome. It's still hard. It's still confusing. It's still the real deal.
9. I am negogiating with Emily Rabbit to be a guest blogger once a week. The first effort did not turn out too well. I am hoping Ces will agree to reassure Emily that it is alright to whine and cry from her stomach. I think that may be a factor in our negogiations.
10 Pieterbie is one of my favorite bloggers. I love the way he expresses himself and how he looks at life.
11. I make quite a few spelling errors in this blog. This is funny because I am a stickler for accuracy and design integrity in letters and materials. I think I often let the spelling go in favor of expediency. If I could do spellcheck on Blogger, it would help.
12. JB will absolutely not let me post her picture. I ask her about once a month. Suffice to say she is a very wonderful beautiful person in every way. Except she's stubborn about her picture on the blogs...
13. I believe I will have a book contract before the year is up. I am a writer. I'm improving. There. I said it!