The time spent over the last few days was one of great emotion, reflection and warmth. I just returned from a trip to my best friend's wedding. I can't believe Aline is now married! it was, quite possibly, the most poignantly beautiful wedding I have ever attended or participated in. The weekend started with my first massage ever on Thursday. The bridesmaids and I went to a spa in Austin and had a steam and a 1 hour massage each. Despite my previous apprehensions of having a stranger intimately touching me, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have never been as relaxed and comfortable with my body as I was during and afterwards. I may be a little late on this little self indulgence, but if you haven't had a massage yourself, I would suggest treating yourself at your earliest opportunity! I know I am now completely addicted and will be spending all my extra income on massages.
Thursday night we met up with a large group of the groom's college buddies. Steve has been in pretty close contact with about 30 of his college friends for 30 years or so (did you find yourself doing the math? yes, Steve is a bit older than Aline). Dinner was fantastic and afterwards we all went to a rooftop bar to have drinks. I truly enjoyed meeting all of his friends and felt completely at home almost immediately. Hopefully this won't sound completely trashy, but in case you didn't know, older men won't let a woman pay for anything...also, the conversations are incredibly stimulating! Many of the wives were in attendance as well, and were exceptionally welcoming and impressive!
Friday was very busy but I was able to start the day off at the pool of my campy little motel right in the heart of the S. Congress area a few blocks from Town Lake and downtown...then I did a little shopping along S. Congress outside my motel. Being in Austin again made me realize how much I miss living in a pedestrian friendly city. The area is so funky and vibrant...with plenty of shops, coffee houses, bars and restaurants all along the street. Later in the day we had rehearsal and then a very intimate rehearsal dinner. I can say dinner was pretty intense because of the amount of love and warmth in the room. Steve and Aline welcomed us all by saying the rehearsal dinner was for their closest family and friends. Steve, who is not afraid of showing his emotions at all, made a speech about how marriage, friendships and family relationships are about love, passion, and sharing. Most importantly, he said, marriage is about having someone who is witness to your life...the good, the bad, faults and all. It's about having someone there who chooses to accept everything about you and who respects your views, goals and your love enough to work through difficulties and challenges. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room for about an hour and a half. Aline's parents, whom I respect and care for greatly, were celebrating their 33rd anniversary and it made the celebration that much more special.
Saturday was the wedding day...and again it was very moving. The entire wedding was gorgeous and loving...very special and I was honored to be a part of this day with them. I am pretty sure I have never been witness to a more heartfelt union. They were married by the same priest who had married Aline's parents 33 years prior.
Aline and Steve make perfect sense. You can see it in the way they look at each other, how they listen and respect one another, how they WANT to speak to one another, how they treat those around them and finally, how they make those around them feel honored. The entire weekend made me think about what it means to have people in your life who will be there no matter what..and how important it is to not only communicate with them frequently, but to make sure you listen completely.
As Aline said to Steve, "I hear you, and I know."