Friends, Weddings, Happiness, and Health.
Saturday August 24th 2013, 5:51 pm
Filed under: Family, Friends, Me, Myself, and Reid

I am truly blessed to have so many great friends in my life. It only makes sense that great friends are also great human beings. Naturally, a lot of those great human beings gravitate towards one another as friends, collaborators, and spouses. Over the past several years, I’ve had the honor of attending many weddings and celebrating with many great friends as they married many equally great human beings.

I’ve written before that friends are my drug of choice. When I’m among friends, I am filled with an energy that is otherwise absent from my life. I am more powerful when I have friends around me than when I am alone. Their presence is extraordinarily addictive, lifting me up mentally, emotionally, and physically. I feel wanted and understood and inspired and happy. Who wouldn’t want to feel that way all the time? Eventually, though, without exception, at that inevitable time when we are forced to part and go our separate ways, the tremendous high I get from my friends turns into an intensely bitter withdrawal.

Reuniting with groups of friends is my ultimate motive for attending weddings. I’m sorry, brides and grooms, you’re obviously very important on your wedding day, but what you do best is give the rest of us a reason to celebrate. And what better way to celebrate than with people we love. With friends we don’t see anywhere near enough in our daily (or, too often, yearly) lives. And, yes, celebrating the union of two great human beings. All in an atmosphere ambient with overwhelmingly positive feelings: happiness and friendship and fun and love and togetherness and, maybe most of all, a shared confidence in a wonderful tomorrow for our two great friends.

Despite all my health problems, I’ve attended almost all of my friends’ weddings (though I’ve mostly steered clear of the ones to which I’ve not been invited). I missed Sarah and Tucker’s steampunk wedding a few years ago, for which I’d grown out my chops accordingly. I missed a joyous reunion with friends and with New York City because, for all the energy I spent pushing myself to be there, for all my immense desire and want to be there, my body wouldn’t give. I was just too sick to go.

I’m missing another wedding right now for the same reason. Melissa and Ryan were supposed to be married in Yosemite National Park today, but due to forces beyond their control, they had to move to another location. I’m confident that, though fires drove them from Yosemite, today will be a beautiful, wondrous day. Surrounded by their friends and family, who have gathered to celebrate that bond of love, support, and loyalty that transcends any specific place on a map, to which Mel and Ryan are committing themselves. There is no question that the celebration of their union will be just as grand, that the love and friendship of their guests just as strong, and the pact to which they are both committed just as powerful as it would have been in Yosemite.

Such purely happy moments are emotionally and physically painful to miss. It’s always tough missing bachelor parties and rehearsal dinners. It’s always tough being on the first bus back to the hotel when the party’s just begun. It’s always tough not being a part of the post-wedding antics, whether they’ve taken place in bars or sub shops. Those antics go on to become the stories that are told over and over and over because they’re the best stories. They’re the stories of friends coming together and, after all the pomp and circumstance, being themselves. Being comfortable with one another in a way that only the best of friends can be.

I wish I was a part of all of those stories. I wish I was feeling the high of the energy created by being with my friends today. I wish I could be with Mel and Ryan, celebrating their awesome life event. As sad as it makes me that I can’t be a part of any of those things, I know that today is a happy day. Two great human beings are becoming one whole. There’s nothing better that I could wish for these two great friends.

And so I choose to be happy today. For Melissa and Ryan. For all the guests that are able to reunite because of that special commitment Mel and Ryan have made to each other. And for me, because I realize that having great friends means there will always be more shenanigans that one day turn into the stories we tell over and over and over forever.


1 Comment so far
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Reid: Beautiful sentiments.
May you have Refuah Shlema, full health, to enjoy many simchas of your friends, family, and youself!
Shalom, Dr Bill

Comment by Dr Bill 08.26.13 @ 2:40 pm



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