M and I went to a total of 20 weddings between 1999-2000. That’s 20 invitations we received and RSVPed to, 20 outfits I had to plan for, and 20 milestone events that we happily celebrated with our good friends and family.
We were like little wedding guest sluts: I don’t think there were any offers we turned down during that period. From Santa Barbara to Savannah, Georgia; Sun Valley, Idaho to Sonoma; Seattle to Southern California (what is with the ‘S’ destinations?) you name it, we hit it. I was working at Lonely Planet during this time, a job that afforded me a flexible vacation schedule, so I was free to take a couple of 3 or 4 day weekends for these jaunts all over the US. M was in his 2nd and 3rd year of law school and his schedule was less permissive than mine. But did that stop us? No. M even managed to make it to the rehearsal dinner of one of my BFF’s wedding in which I was a bridesmaid just hours after he’d finished taking the bar. Talk about commitment. We had it in spades. As well as frequent flier miles.
But when it came to our wedding, we weren’t footloose and fancy-free. By this time, I was in business school, and M was practicing at a law firm, so our window of availability had narrowed. Between the time of our engagement in November, and our what became our wedding date in August, I believe there were just 2 potential weekends that would work for us to tie the knot.
[And for those of you at home who might not know the story of our 13-year journey with pitstops to the altar, I’d appreciate you refraining from such outlandish suggestions that we should have considered pushing our wedding date back and have a longer engagement. I. Was. Tired. Of. Waiting.]
So there it was: August 12, 2000 circled in red pen on our calendars. We were elated. But the thing is, that date didn’t work for Everyone In The World We Knew And Invited To Our Wedding. I know, weird right? W and W were back East for Business School, so were T and E, as well as M who had moved to Italy, M and C who had just relocated to Colorado, and S and J who had a family reunion. What can I say? We were bummed.
But a funny thing happened over the years since our blessed event (which was fabulous in every single way thankyouverymuch), we stopped remembering that some of our nearest and dearest had been unable to attend. Instead, they were there for other milestones: the birth of our children, the purchase of our first home, or the Raiders losing in the Superbowl the same year the Giants lost in the World Series. And the last event was hardly anything we wanted to commemorate, let alone celebrate.
And that’s exactly my point.
During the last 4-ish months, as our world has been turned a little upside down, our loved ones have been there for us. In the most outstanding and significant ways that words cannot even describe, but I will attempt to nonetheless. Driving the kids to school, dropping off meals, offering to fold laundry and tidy the house, bringing me gifts and beautiful things while I struggled to find beauty elsewhere, taking The Intern out on walks, and giving the guys and Miss J extra hugs and love during this tenuous time. We received daily emails, cards, phone calls, and texts from friends and family near and far and soaked up all the good wishes they presented. All which were totally appreciated, and filled us with such gratitude.
It’s easy to RSVP for a wedding and show up for the good times worth celebrating.
“To health and happiness!” we would naively toast at these events.
But it’s much more difficult to be there for the tough times. That is the truest thing I now know. We’ve nearly forgotten who did and didn’t come to our wedding 14 years ago, but we will certainly never ever forget the people who have surrounded us with love and lifted our spirits and just been there with us for this journey. By our side and on our team. No frequent flier miles needed.