by my sister going on the internet..." is the way the ceremony ended.... in laughter and tears of joy and the immediate expansion of our family. The fact that our son presided over the event was incalculably wonderful. Truly, denizens, it doesn't get better than that.
The groom and God are re-examining their relationship. The bride was raised a non-religious believer in a higher power. The machatunim are regular church goers. TBG and I had had our fill of formal religion by the time we met in college. Finding an officiant who would be acceptable to everyone was one of the (many) things I worried about.
I volunteered to find whatever kind of human they wanted; living in the town in which they'd be married made me the obvious choice for the chore. Amster could have secured the services of a local judge, but the bride and groom were looking for more than a legal connection. They wanted a spiritual piece to their ceremony, too. Our family would have been fine with a religious leader of any persuasion, as long as he passed muster with the rest of the group. His parents were just agreeable as all get out. Only the decision was unclear.
One evening on the phone with the bride-to-be, we were waxing eloquently about the wonderfulness of her brother. He's smart and funny and loves his little sister with every fibre of his being. We've often commented that he's the most mature of the lot of us.... as I type that I realize that I've been saying it for nearly all of the 29 years he's existed on the planet. He's comfortable with himself and with public speaking and almost without thinking I wondered aloud if he should be the one to declare them husband and wife.
There was a brief pause followed by a general outpouring of appreciation of the brilliance of my suggestion..... at least that's how I remember it. She made the call to ask if he'd agree, and his answer was perfect: he was thrilled and honored and delighted to be asked and of course he would do it but first the kids should check with SIR's parents. My boy didn't want to be in the middle of something that might make anyone uncomfortable.
That's who he is; he sees the other side as quickly as he sees his own. It's also what made him a fabulous officiant.
His words were inclusive and reflective and told a story with a moral swathed in the gauze of love. There were no instructions, there were no commandments. There were retellings and remindings and the fact that almost everyone there knew at least one of the tales he told made it all the better. Sitting circle-in-the-round in our backyard, with the sun setting behind him, I watched our family and friends nodding and grinning as he spoke. He'd culled stories of love and affection from family and friends, and he wove them together into a quilt of love.
When he recited Spencer Tracey's final speech from Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, he gave them the only advice of the evening. "The onIy thing that matters is what they feel...and how much they feeI...for each other.... And if it's haIf... of what we feIt...that's everything."
Love is the answer, he told them, as he pronounced them husband and wife. They kissed, we clapped, some cried, everyone smiled, and they danced off the stage to The Beatles. Listen, and feel the love..... just as we did.