Monday, September 22, 2008

"In sickness and in health...til death do us part..."

Five years ago, one of my best friends met the love of her life. They slowly intertwined their lives together and have been inseparable since in the most wonderful fashion. Unfortunately, their lives were shaken tremendously on a cold day in January of 2006 when my friend's boyfriend had a seizure that led to the discovery of a brain tumor. Two months later they were engaged and set a date tentatively in the future because life seemed so fragile. He courageously carried on and recovered to a remarkably normal life nearly a year later. Their wedding date became final for which friends and family began planning. He spent 2007 in great health with no seizures, no extraordinary health problems, and no tumors. Everyone was counting the days in eager anticipation of their celebration, which we all had been patiently and happily awaiting. I had the privilege of witnessing the lovely marriage of my friends, Lo & Mikie, as a bridesmaid on Saturday afternoon, September 20th. This wedding was more intimate than any other I've attended. I'm assuming it's because I know both parties very well and have the honor of being his friend too. He even let me help him with one of his groom duties; something I've never gotten to do before. I think of her family as an extension of my own, as her mom is a woman I truly admire and adore and let's not forget how I have adopted Lo's grandparents because Grandma is the coolest and Grandpa is the cutest. Mikie & Lo mean a lot to me, and I could not be happier for two people.

The celebration following their sweet ceremony was grand. "The dinner, dancing, fun, and merriment" commenced without a problem. There were no disasters, dramas, or hopelessly messed up business. The day was perfect and everyone joyously celebrated the beginning of their next chapter. The bridal party had the pleasure of staying with the couple in the guest house. We all piled in and spent the remainder of the evening in delightful revere until it was time for bed.

At 7 a.m. my friend had a seizure and his wife calmly took care of business.

I do what I think needs to get done in times of crisis. My emotions head straight into the shell and my brain starts working on how to help. In this case, it lead me to the dishes. I headed straight for the kitchen to clean up the mess from the night before. In the midst of the frenzied organizing, I shared one private moment with the bride before she headed out for the hospital. In that one instant I realized what "in sickness and in health" meant. After watching Lo and my dad deal with different circumstances of partners with health issues, this promise signifies something distinctive to me. Many people stand on the altar the glorious moment they utter those words looking stunning, vibrant, and fresh yet they lack the knowledge of what it means to make a promise that big. Lo is the only one I know who did not. She knew, and she accepted it and valiantly embrace the one she loved. May we all be so lucky to find someone whose love reaches depths beyond our comprehension and into the abyss of our unknown. I do not believe she realizes what an amazing woman she is.

I now wonder if people ever consider the density of the words they exclaim on their jubilant grown up day... I have seen three people, two up close and very personally, interpret the "in sickness and in health" vows they have made. I will never forget standing in the kitchen Sunday morning watching one of my dearest friends live her promise. Nor will I ever forget the luminated solo picture of a smiling Lo on his cellphone background as I plugged it into the wall to charge. They have the best kind of love: the no matter what kind.

You'll be happy to know he's ok and she's ok and they are currently snuggled up somewhere enjoying being married. I am with Bethany in wishing them "a lifetime full of as much happiness as two people can stand."

"There is nothing more noble or admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as husband and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends."
- Homer


Ross Douglas said...

I never knew the Simpsons was filled with words so apt.

But seriously, I wish your friends a long and healthy life together.

Mahalo to them and you.

cupcake said...

thank you ross.