Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Spring of Two Weddings, and ....

That was RC getting ready for wedding #1. Now she's headed to wedding #2.

December 2009 through March 2010, was a time of grieving for me. Two parents and two funerals, with all the rugged details the loss of loved ones entails. I did have one niece married quietly in between. She missed out a little on the chance to celebrate: with all of us gathering twice in four months for more sorrowful duties.

This year, after time to absorb all this change and feel my spirits gradually lift--this year is my year of two weddings. And happy moments they are. One learns to cherish these rites, knowing they are such important stations of joy along our journey.

The Latshaws, March 2012, Los Angeles.

First, there was my friend Steve's wedding in Los Angeles. He's having a good year. Not only did he persuade the lovely Tiffanie to pair up with him, he has a new movie out, which has just been shopped at an international film festival. It is a Steve Latshaw writing-directing project and I'll have more about that as things develop.

Meanwhile he and Tiffanie are settling in amidst a sea of gifts from their pals, looking at their future and making plans. For Steve, the perpetual worrier, this is a challenge. He is going to have to get used to being happy.

Second wedding? Up is this weekend, in which my niece, Lena, gets married to the handsome Mike. She's the youngest and the quietest of my sister's three girls. And we will all be there to cheer her on.

Lena at the vet where she works, showing off a patient to little Mary.

Participating in these passages in life is a positive reminder that generations move forward and the loved ones we've lost live on in those who remain behind. They are there standing with us too: in the values they taught us and in the memories we hold of other rites where they were present.

In between these two weddings, I've had a funeral--though I was not there to see it and learned of it only by accident. Yet in the days afterward, I realized that it, too, was a passage--one that somehow set me free in a way I didn't at first understand. Gradually, it has helped me to understand so much.

More and more I believe we have been put on this Earth not to run around chasing the bluebird of happiness--though happiness is often a by-product of the things we are here to learn. We learn about real joy through sorrow. We learn about true love, through the false. We find happiness by helping others find it first. This has to be the place where we are forged into something better and stronger--not to mention kinder.

Traveling to this next wedding, I know two young people whose spirits are soaring. And that is bringing me lots of happiness.

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