My sister got married today. There was no white wedding dress or gauzy veil. No overdone bridesmaids or hung-over groomsmen. No lavish rings or candlelit church. Just the two of them – my new brother-in-law and my sister – with the justice of the peace. She wore my mother’s wedding band, but otherwise, none of us were there. Not our father. Not me. Not her two daughters or his son. They even drove separate cars to the courthouse.
And I believe it was perhaps one of the most beautiful ceremonies.
My father called it “lovely.” This, the nuptials he didn’t see. I had to agree. It was a second wedding for them both. They had each married the wrong person before. Those unions gave them darling children. There is nothing to regret with that. And because Craig is the father of my nieces, I will always have a special bond with my sister’s ex-husband even though we almost never speak.
But my new brother-in-law, Dave, is the “meant to be,” that missing piece that completes lives. I know this; I married mine. My friends know this about me, about us. That Rick closed a drafty window in my heart. It has sheltered me from cold and wind and has been my shield against the intermittent pains that have rained down on me through the years. My father knows this completeness, too. My parents had this bond, and when my mother died, my Dad floundered until he found Anni. She grounded him again.
I had sensed it a million times since that year my sister admitted trouble in her first marriage and through all the inadequate men that blew into our Christmas gatherings and Easter dinners since. She still hadn’t found it, her “meant to be.” That’s the thing; You know when you have it.
The month before she met Dave, Heather sat on my couch and said she was giving up. She was taking her profile off the Internet dating site. She was going to take a break from men, heal her heart, find her soul, be her own missing piece, because sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking we can make that fit. And then came Dave. It seems love always happens when you least expect it.
I used to think all good weddings deserved big church productions and extravagant parties. I now know better. Love surpasses crinoline and lace and cases of champagne. It lasts longer than something old and something blue. It grows in hearts and minds and souls, and when it is right, it fills all the in-betweens.
And that, well, that is just meant to be.