Who's asking: an usher at Melissa and Wayne's wedding, yesterday
I was tempted to use the line from Four Weddings and a Funeral: "It should be perfectly obvious I'm neither." But the answer was "Bride," of course, and yesterday could not have been a happier, more beautiful occasion.
It was sobering to sit in the pew and calculate exactly how long I've known Melissa. We met in the fall of 1978. We were both 12 years old and starting ninth grade, though Melissa was even younger than I was: she'd just turned 12, while I'd be turning 13 (which seemed so grown-up) in a couple of months. Now she's a physician and professor and working to improve health care around the world, and I'm doing... this. (Not that I feel like an underachiever.)
Weddings are the most hopeful, life-affirming events I know -- even more than baptisms, because weddings are all about creation. Two families become one, two groups of friends become one extended community. The best weddings pour all of two people's lives into one big pot, in hopes that what comes out will be something marvelous and new and permanent, or as permanent as human things get.
I'm so grateful for Melissa's enduring friendship, and would not have missed yesterday for the world. Congratulations, guys, and thanks for inviting me to be present at the creation of your new life together.