Wedding #2 will come to pass tomorrow, and the year of a thousand weddings proceeds. The weather should hold out. It’s been rainy for the last two weeks here but only in the afternoons and mostly out east – not up in the mountains where she’ll be.
This wedding involves a very special friend of mine. She’s a girl who grew up with me, about half a block away as the crow flies… two-ish blocks in real footsteps. Anyway, when we were youngest… both our dads worked at the same place before the bottom fell out of the Molybdenum industry and our little county got flushed into the economic sewers. We had a lot of other things in common too – far beyond geography. Smokers for parents, though hers smoked more, and drinkers for parents, though mine drank more, also unified us. Most importantly though, our friendship flourished under the intense scrutiny of our peers who had for whatever stupid reason branded us as unpopular. We grew up together and relied on eachother as the other kids in school made fun of our parents, our clothes, our economic status, everything.
We were friends first, of course, before all the social pecking order crap started… and we were friends throughout. We took piano lessons at the same time. We were field-trip buddies and reading partners. We had sleep-overs, and I saw The Little Mermaid for the first time in her parents’ perfect livingroom filled with the glow of the biggest salt water fishtank I had ever seen and the sweetest, most monstrously huge dog on the planet. I loved going to her house. We giggled and conspired together... and while I (clearly) grew up weird, she was my anchor and my reality and she was always ready to kindof drag me back into the real world whenever my head got lodged for too long in the clouds.
When I went to Iowa to get my BA, she stayed in Colorado to get hers. When I stopped with one degree, she found her passion and went back for more. Now she’s a special-needs teacher and she’s the best danged thing that could ever happen to those kids. As “grownups” I’m still weird and she’s as gifted as she ever was at reaching the unreachable and the embracing the scorned. I’m kindof a big old disaster and she’s a beautiful, whole, amazing woman out there changing lives. You should meet her groom. I barely know him but I can see that he’s just about as in love with her as anyone ever was with anyone. He’s sweet and smart and honest and by the gods he just adores her right down to the ground.
This will be an amazing wedding. She’s been through a lot. Childhood for the both of us was cruel in so many ways. It didn’t really get easier. We’ve both been lost, and then found, and then lost again so many times.
Tomorrow she’s going to marry her knight in shining armor.