Friday, September 6, 2013

The Canoeists

It is not a lack of Love,
But a lack of Friendship
That makes unhappy Marriages.
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Shortly after 6:00 P.M. this evening, Suzanne and Ryan shall be married.  It was roughly fifty-one weeks ago that they got engaged.  There have been times in the past year as if it has felt to me as if it only happened yesterday.  Then again, my role in planning this event has been minimal.  I am quite confident that from Suzanne's perspective - and Margaret's too - it feels as if it has taken an eternity to bridge the distance between that date and this one. 

Much to the delight of everyone in attendance this evening, Yours truly shall not be called upon to speak.  No one trusts a lawyer to "say a few words".  And with good reason.  We are the people who write documents that are thousands (and sometimes tens of thousands) of words long, which we euphemistically refer to as "Briefs".  Ryan has two younger brothers, both of whom are serving as Groomsmen as is Rob.  I presume that to one of them has been entrusted the responsibility of the Best Man's Toast. 

Suzanne is a whip-smart woman.  My soon-to-be son-in-law is equally bright.  But this - for both of them - is virgin territory.  I offer them not a Toast but, rather, a Father's Hope.  Whether either of them ever reads these words matters not.  The Hope is not that they shall read them.  The Hope is that irrespective of whether they do, they embrace them and they live them every day....

Suzanne and Ryan:

As beautiful a day as this is for you both, it is my most sincere hope that it does not represent anything more than the first great step on a lifetime of great steps that you shall take together.  That it is not a high point.  That it is instead a starting point.

Marriage is a lot of work.  It should be.  Nothing worth having is easy to attain.  Be assured that there shall be other days like this one.  Days of genuine joy and seemingly boundless happiness.  It is also likely however that there shall be days that bear no resemblance to this day whatsoever.  Days of strife.  Days of heartache.  When the latter occur, remember simply to value one another and what each of you brings to your marriage.  If you do that, then you shall never be without the skills and the resolve necessary to make it through those tough days.      

Beginning today, you think not in terms of your "lives" but of your "life".  You arrived at this point in the river in separate canoes.  Going forward, you shall be together in one.  As long as you paddle in harmony with one another and communicate with one another - one always alerting the other to potential hazards, you shall be able to safely and successfully negotiate your way.  Irrespective of the conditions of the river.     

Be good to each other.  Be each other's best friend.  And each other's safe harbor. 

Most of all, enjoy the journey.    

I wish you much Luck, much Happiness and much Love.


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