Just last week I had the extreme pleasure of attending my oldest friend’s wedding. We met when we were three in Ms. Sue’s dance class in the Lawrence Park Shopping Center in Broomall, Pennsylvania. My family and I flew up from Florida to attend. It was glorious!
There are a few things I noticed about this wedding. Being that the bride and groom are in their forties, the wedding had a magnificent maturity about it. It felt very real, humble, and peaceful. Their vows were spoken through the mouths of experience and willingness. Their smiles and tears reflected the deep love they understand and the wisdom they share. I forgot to bring tissues to the ceremony. Luckily my old dear friend Heather was close by with a batch…she knows me well.
As lovely as the ceremony was, my experience with my old high school pals was the icing on this Divine cake. The evening before the wedding, a group of us gathered with our spouses for a celebratory dinner. This group which now includes spouses has been together for over three decades. We have all shared exiting moments such as the birth of our children, momentous holidays, moving to different parts of the country, and some moments of loss. This amazing group which stems from childhood withstands the test of time. Our spouses get along brilliantly. When we are all together, it feels like home. I don’t even think it mattered that there was food on the table. We were all so happy to be together. We laughed and giggled and when the bride and groom showed up the evening before their nuptials just to spend a moment with us before their big day, fireworks lit up the room. I stopped for a moment to look around the restaurant. It seemed as though our little cocoon was actually this massive burst of energy and light. It was easy to see how deeply we were all loving each-other.
The next day at the party celebrating the marriage of the bride and groom, we all danced until the DJ quit. I can’t remember the last time I danced so much without a thought of leaving the dance floor. There was something truly magical about dancing with all of my pals from childhood. Suddenly every piece of my identity was gone. I was no longer a wife, mom, writer, or happiness advocate. I was just me. I was free. I felt no expectations, nothing to live up to, no reputation to be conscious of…just complete elation. It was an amazing feeling, and I wondered if I was the only one who felt this tremendous release on that evening. Later, I spoke to another friend who shared the same experience. It helped me recognize the power and meaning of these long term friendships and the blessing it has bestowed upon my life. I may not interact with all of these old friends on a regular basis, but there is a deep connection we all have that is unspoken, and I am grateful for the awareness this wedding has given me as a personal gift. It was not only a wedding for a couple in love, it was a wedding of old friends, and a confirmation of unconditional love.