Since my husband and I split up, I’ve become a bit cynical about love, monogamy and marriage. But, yesterday as I sat under the ornate high pitched ceiling of an old Catholic Church awaiting the entrance of the bride, the anticipation summoned a youthful optimism and simple delight that only weddings can conjure.
Once the bride entered, her pristine white gown clinging to her hard-earned, once-in-a-lifetime, tip-top-shape body, her face registering that unique blend of fear and euphoria, her hands clutching a floral bouquet of lilac and white … once she entered the church, I struggled to hold back tears. My teenage boys rolled their eyes and shot each other looks that transmitted, “what’s with her?” And, “heck if I know.”
I got it. But they don’t know what I know—that eventually life demands a degree of cynicism that one is scarcely aware of until these moments when one is struck with the memory of idealism.
I watched this bride and groom and recalled my own wedding, which I regard as one of the happiest events of my life (second only to the births of my children). It was pure joy, optimism, love and celebration. I’m grateful to have experienced that level of contentment.
There’s also a tinge of sadness that strikes me at weddings. It’s not so much missing my marriage, I’ve come to accept that it’s over and my ex and I are friends. But that’s the thing, all of those promises made, all of that eagerness to sustain a love that would last a lifetime, that commitment we made and the devotion we felt, where the hell did that go? It’s a shame it faded away.
On a rather inspired note, I still believe in the institution of marriage. I still believe that two people partnered can be a beautiful force of good in the world. I still believe that regardless of the success or failure of a marriage, to experience that intense communion with another person is one of life’s greatest offerings.
A lifetime is made up of moments and if for a stretch of moments, a person can feel so fulfilled, loved and cherished, well, I highly recommend it.
There’s something about a wedding that makes me cry, smile and believe in love again.