finally! this weekend, this weekend. it was a true weekend filled with love and lots of family - my cousin got married out on long island so my parents and sister came up and we just partied all weekend long. it was a true long island wedding - ice sculptures, food as far as the eye could see, a million dessert tables, strobe lights, fog machines, an emcee - the works. i love going to weddings in different parts of this great country and seeing new traditions, styles, and culture. long island, while i've gotten to know you super well from the one million visits i have bestowed upon you, this was a side i had not seen yet. thank you for not disappointing me. sidenote: the weather this weekend? pure gold. even snuck in a walk across the brooklyn bridge, which felt and looked like heaven.
while i'm not here to tell the story of my cousin and his bride, i will tell you a little. my cousin's youngest sister (also my cousin, naturally) has down syndrome. she was born long before doctors tested for it, and the day she was born was a big one for my family. it changed all of us, particularly her family, forever. family stories about who said what and how everyone reacted are ones we hold close and that are very special to us, particularly the actions of my grandpa the day she was born. big changes and little changes have persisted throughout the years, and overall she has changed all of us for the better, given all of us a much healthier, compassionate, joyful look on life, and for a few she has altered their paths very deeply. my cousin's bride is a triplet - she was born the only girl of the three, with two brothers who would later be diagnosed as severely autistic, while she was the picture of health. her brothers' lives and diagnoses went on to change and alter her life in similar ways, and it was one summer, working as counselors at a camp for children with mental disabilities, that my cousin and his now-wife met. which is to say: there are some challenges life gives us that are not easily overcome. challenges that we will face every single day of our life. and sometimes it will be very, very hard to find the silver lining, or the joy, or the meaning in them. sometimes, it can take years to put it all together and make sense of it. but know that hardships can sometimes lead to our greatest joys, can sometimes help shape us into the people we were meant to become, and can sometimes even lead us to the love of our life.
during the wedding a slow song came on and my grandma's niece got up to dance with her husband. i believe they are both in their 70's, and the dance floor stayed relatively deserted as they danced along, the whole time her softly singing the lyrics to him. i turned to brian and i noticed her eyes were just as damp as mine. when they came off the dance floor i told her how sweet they were, how encouraging it is to see that as young couple, and she said to me:
"we've been married for 45 years. every time i see him come through the front door my heart leaps, the same way it did 45 years ago. i don't know why, i don't know how it still does, but it does. every day is precious. i know we are lucky, but every day is precious. we don't take this for granted, we appreciate every day."
and he said,
"i come in the back door now."
love is a many splendored thing, no?