As a widow, I have RSVP’d “no” to several weddings. I just wasn’t ready yet. Last fall was my first wedding back, and I did pretty well. It was my first wedding as a widow, but it was also my first Jewish wedding, and I was just so fascinated by it, that maybe it was distracting or something. I had a great time. I did some crying, but I also danced the hora. It was really fun.
On Sunday, my friend got married. He’s like a brother to me. I’ve watched him grieve his singleness for so long, then watched the adorable love story unfold (they met in either Junior High or High school at camp and have kept in touch until their 30’s. I mean really, can you get any cuter than that?). I wanted to see them get married. I thought I would be fine. I already had one wedding under my belt. I wasn’t fine.
I did all right for most of it. Then they did their vows. ‘Till death. They, fortunately, have no idea what they’re vowing to each other. One of them is promising the other to go through what I’m going through. We just don’t know which one. Or how soon. (Hopefully it’s a long, long time from now.) I started to cry. Then, the minister said something about hoping that they had long lives to be faithful to each other. I lost it. I had to leave.
It’s embarrassing. I hate it. I hate that I can’t just be normal. I hate that I know so much. I hate that I’ll never be able to think of weddings or wedding vows in that laissez faire kind of way.
On the drive up to the wedding (It was about an hour and a half away) my sister Ellie and my friend Rick and I were chitchatting and making conversation. Ellie asked, “So if you could change places with any character in any book you’ve ever read, who would it be?” What a fun question. But I knew my answer. I loved my life. I loved my story. I didn’t long for someone else’s. I always thought that there should be a book about my love story, but no one would want to read it because it was so normal, even though our love was so fierce. I loved my ordinary life. Now I feel like there could be a book, but what’s changed, what makes my story extraordinary now is the way it ended.
I know that in some ways this is a gift. It’s a calling. Some days, the good days, I can be thankful. I have sight that others don’t have. Most days I just wish that I had the blinders on still and could just see a wedding the way I used to. I wish I was normal.