The Beginning of Always…

M and A 1

That beautiful girl hiding behind my somewhat less attractive brother is now officially my sister!!!  🙂

That’s right, Mark and Alise are married.  We had such a fun time during the wedding festivities, from the bachelor/bachelorette party (which is where they were in that picture) to the rehearsal, to the hotel hot tub, to the wedding itself.  We had such a fun time in the past few days that last night I slept for 11 hours straight!  (The fun of being a bridesmaid is a lot of hard work…)

A little nugget of inspiration that stuck in my head…there’s always at least one, isn’t there?…  The priest mentioned in his talk at the wedding that Mark and Alise accept and encourage one another’s differences.  It reminds me of a scene in Dharma & Greg after their big country club wedding, where Dharma said, “I promise to always let you be you, and let me be me.”  I think that’s so important in a relationship, and it applies differently to various people.  Some people have a hard time letting the other person be themself, not trying to change them.  For me, the hard part is often to be myself.  I find myself feeling the need to change, to become more like the other person, sort of to win their approval and acceptance.  Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember that in the right relationship, I won’t have to earn their acceptance.  And even though it’s hard for me to remember that, I appreciate the fact that certain men in my life, including Mark, have continually tried to remind me.

But the most important thing is…I’m so happy to have Alise for a sister!  To tell you the truth, I’ve felt like she’s been a sister for quite awhile, so it’s wonderful to celebrate making it official.  In fact, several years ago Mark was asking me questions about buying an engagement ring (yes, I seem to be the resident wedding expert…how ironic is that?…), and he mentioned that he knew he and Alise would be together for the rest of their lives, ring or no ring, wedding or no wedding. 

Remember tonight, for it is the beginning of always. A promise. Like a reward for persisting through life so long alone. A belief in each other and the possibility of love. A decision to ignore, simply rise above the pain of the past. A covenant, which at once binds two souls and yet severs prior ties. A celebration of the chance taken and the challenge that lies ahead. For two will always be stronger than one, like a team braced against the tempest civil world. And love will always be the guiding force in our lives. For tonight is mere formality. Only an announcement to the world of feelings long held. Promises made long ago. In the sacred spaces of our hearts.

–Dante Alighieri

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