Friday, July 22, 2011

By My Side

This weekend Husband and I are traveling to attend the wedding reception for my best-friend-since-fourth grade's wedding.  I posted about her actual wedding earlier this year, when she eloped on a cruise.  I was (and still am) very happy for her and glad that she found a guy as great as she is to share her life with.  This weekend is sure to be a celebration.

One of the great things about weddings (and new babies) is that they make you think of your own wedding (or baby).  They invite you to remember when you were so in love and how exciting that time was for you.  Weddings bring back a flood of memories of a time that was very special in your own life, and help you share in the new couple's excitement.  You remember exactly how they feel, and how special that is.  So as I've been thinking about what I want to say at my friend's reception, I've also been thinking about my own wedding.  How much I wanted to marry Husband.  How happy our family was for us.  And how wonderful each and every one of our friends were during that time in our lives.  Especially my bridesmaids. 

 I am not a good girl friend.  I don't like all the catty girl drama that seems to go along with every group of four or more girls, and thus I've never had a lot of girl friends.  I've always had only a close friend or two.  And even then, I'm not particularly good at picking girl friends.  Case in point: a girl I considered one of my closest friends throughout college and law school refused to be in my wedding because I asked a different friend (the one with the reception this weekend) to be my maid of honor.   Not really a good friend.  And I'm certain I was a difficult bride.  But somehow, I ended up with the four most kind, beautiful, forgiving and generous women by my side that day.  Women who truly supported me.  Women who truly were - and still are - my friends. 

I am so grateful for those women.  Not only did they buy expensive dresses they will never again be able to wear without complaint, but they helped me.  Not just during the wedding (although they all did plenty of that - without complaint) - they helped me with life.  One friend helped me navigate a particularly difficult time in my marriage, giving me advice on how to have a marriage while working opposite shifts, and provided an amazing example of love and dedication as her own husband was deployed overseas.  One called me every day of my maternity leave with Sweet Pea to help me combat the isolation and overwhelming responsibility I felt taking care of two children under 2.  And the other two, well, they've just been there for me for as long as I can remember.  I can't imagine not having them in my life.  I truly am so blessed to have them as friends.

So today, as I plan my speech to honor my oldest friend, I am also thinking about the four amazing women who stood by my side all those years ago and vowed to help Husband and I on our own journey of marriage.  You have all lived up to your promise - and then some.  Thank you for all that you did and continue to do for me.  You are amazing friends, and amazing women.  You are true examples of the kind of friend I hope to someday be.


1 comment:

  1. Oh, Karen, you've made me cry. As one of your bridesmaids, this means a lot to me -- and every word of this is true for you too.

    It's not always easy to make (and keep) friends, and I feel so blessed to count you as one of mine. We don't get together as often as we'd like and sometimes FB is the only way we communicate, but I always feel like our friendship has the ability to pick up right where we left off. Plus, it's rare that a week goes by that I don't think of you and your family and pray you are all happy and healthy.

    Also, just have to say that you were a beautiful bride with a beautiful wedding. I still have my bridesmaid dress and figure one day my little E will dress up in it while I tell her the story of your special day and what it means to have a true friend.