Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Married? Married. Married? Yes, MARRIED. Geesh.

The most alive moment comes when those who love each other
Meet each other's eyes and in what flows between them then. - Rumi

This weekend, my brother got married.

My brother. And his new wife.

They. Are. Married.

My baby brother is nearly 8 years younger than me. As a much older sibling, and with no siblings between us, my relationship with my brother never embodied sibling rivalry. I remember the day he was born. I loved spending time with him, and he with me. But because I left for college when he was just 10, I didn't live at home while he morphed through the daily transformation of boy to young man. Despite this distance, we always enjoyed a close, warm relationship, albeit unfortunately infrequent at times. I always have, and still do, love him fiercely.

Now that we're both adults, we enjoy the erasure of the years that, at times, frustratingly distanced us. We've crossed the age bridge and we're not older/younger anymore, we're friends.

Last weekend, he got married. The two celebratory days rose and swirled with love, contentedness and joy. I rode the current, soaking up every last bit of the wonderfulness that was their wedding. Visions of days past and decades-old memories rose up for their moment in the spotlight. Strands of the past and hopes for the future embodied this space, this celebration of two. Each juncture of their wedding radiated grace and love; each moment a mirror, reflecting the inner, steadfast commitment and love between them.


On Monday morning, with the grace and flurry of the weekend behind me, I finally sat alone with my thoughts. The magnitude of their union forcefully smacked me. Tears gathered in my eyes and emotion clogged my throat as I reflected on the moments, some blurry, some crisp, swirling and rattling through my mind.

So I called my brother, and his wife (my sister-in-law!!), and through my sleepy-hoarse voice, I inarticulately choked out how fabulous they were. And how honored I was to be there. And how proud I was of them. And how much I loved them.


I want to share so many details with you. The careful tutelage that my brother and his bride took with all their guests. The exquisite details of the bride's dress and how it served the perfect canvas for her gorgeous, contagious happiness.

She. Was. Stunning.

The clear, yellow, late afternoon sun that chased away the fog and clouds that had lingered for days. The seriousness with which Abby and Henry took their wedding duties as Flower Girl and Ring Bearer. The exquisite views of the city. The rugged, confident handsomeness of the groom. The joyful tears that brimmed in the bride's eyes as my brother said, "I Do." The giddy elation rivaling the bubbling champagne as they publicly formalized their union. The high-fives that Hubby and I gave each other because we partied with the young folk until 2:30 am (3:30 am Eastern--which is notable because to us East Coasters, it was an hour later ... and we're almost a full decade OLDER).

But more than anything, I want to share this: this weekend, I fell so much more in love with my brother and my sister-in-law. The gussets and shades of love constantly amaze me; it's so expansive, so broad. Just as soon as I think that it would be impossible to trump the amount of love I feel for someone, the love bubbles up and multiplies, exponentially filling my heart and my life.

These two people? My brother and my sister-in-law? They are so upstanding. So gracious. So damn cool. Is it possible that this chiseled, loving, intelligent, accomplished, handsome man--who is, and will forever be one of my favorite men on the planet--used to be the round-cheeked boy with soft brown curls? And his new wife, well, she's spectacular; intelligent, accomplished, kind, funny, fun, (did I mention intelligent), caring, warm and beautiful. I cannot wait to fill my years knowing her more and more.

As I watched the two of them say "I Do", my breath suspended. I clasped my manicured hands. An exposed, red-brick wall served as their backdrop. Abby sat next to me, legs swinging her ballet-slipper clad feet. The suit-clad Henry sat next to her, his expression a delicate mix of curiosity and happiness. From my seat, I could only see my brother's silhouette. But I had a clear view of the bride's face. I watched all of her unspoken words and sentiments shine from her eyes, magnetically attached to my brother's own eyes. It's like they spoke their own relationship Morse code.

Now, I get to watch them settle into this next phase of their life. Together. Married.


That evening, I hung out with their friends. For the first time in a long time, I chilled with my brother and his contemporaries (point of reference: the last time I "hung out" with him and his friends, I was 18 and they were 10, running through the house doing what 10-year-olds do). They are now cool, accomplished, 20- and 30-somethings. Their friends' stories of them lit up the night, sparking laughter, tears and broad smiles. So many of their pals took the time to tell me how much they loved each of them. I learned so much about these two--and about how they love those that they love. I got to see each of them through a wider lens. As a result, I floated around like a helium balloon, riding the high of their fabulousness.

And now their life continues. The downs. The ups. The middle. And everything in between. They're ready. I know it. And more importantly, so do they.


Lindsey said...

Congratulations to both your brother and his new wife - and what a lovely meditation on love's many shades and seasons. xox

Justine said...

Congratulations to you for the wonderful new addition to your family and to your brother.

I am an only child and my partner's brother is 8 years younger than him, just like yours is, except they barely have a relationship with one another, so I don't really have a point of reference when it comes to sibling relationships. But reading all of this, of the love you have for your little brother and his wife gives me so much joy and hope that my daughters will be able to experience this someday with and for each other.

I bet you were an amazing big sister too :)

About Us said...

It was so great to meet you last weekend, Denise! What an amazing time. I'm sitting next to the newly-married Cassie at a coffee shop, as she works away at her programming, and I don't think I've ever seen her so happy, so content, and so thrilled to be in the place she is in life––with Chip! She told me earlier she felt lucky to have such amazing in-laws :)

Yeah for Cassie and Chip!

All the best,
Megan Paonessa

Lauren E. said...

Hey D:

Congrats to Chip and Cassie. I have to laugh when I read your title b/c it makes me think of Donger in Sixteen Candles saying that to hot man Jake about Molly Ringwald. Good stuff!

Hope you are well, my friend. Miss ya!

ayala said...

Congratulations to your brother and his new wife and to all of you for having a new member in your family to embrace and share the journey with.

Christa said...

This is just beautiful, Denise, what a picture you paint! Almost as good as being there!

After a couple weeks of pretty heavy news, this feels like hope. And we all need hope.

Thank you.

Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri said...


This is absolutely beautiful. I know of age differences between siblings. My sister is nine years younger than me and as adults we are both so much closer now. That part of your post resonated with me. Congrats to your brother and his wife! I could feel the celebration and, of course the love, through your words.

Carrie said...

So beautiful D. I am teary eyed as I write this... I'm certain that your words here are a gift for chip & Cassie to relish... you and chip have always had a special and loving relationship and the love you have for him really came through in this piece. truly enjoyed this... keep em coming! xoxo