Ah, yes, here we finally have a nice picture together. A picture where one of us isn't dressed as a nun, or we're not in a bar, or we're not in some awkward, unplanned pose. Of course, I'm dressed as a bride and you as my Matron of Honor, but otherwise we look pretty damn good, eh?
I've told everyone who will listen (and there are many who will) about how wonderful you were to me during this whole marriage process. How you listened to me babble/bitch/rant/rave/laugh/cry about this whole wedding thing and all the stupid little favors and decorations and outfits that went along with it. How you got dragged along on all those shopping excursions (okay, maybe not so much dragged as willing to go on the shoe trip, right?). How you were there during the big moments—the dress, the bridesmaid dresses, the invitation making, the rehearsal. How you nodded and offered insight and laughs, and never complained about me talking about "me" all the time, or everything that I was going through, and me never really focusing on you too much. How you helped me (and Nic) make wedding favor cookies til 2:00 a.m. and then turned around the next day and did the same thing with the programs (and your family!) til the wee hours of the morning. All without complaint, gripe, moan, or a roll of the eyes.
And on the actual day, you were phenomenal. Although I'm sure you were nervous and uneasy and weren't totally sure what to do (me neither!) you handled it all with aplomb and a smile. Yes, it was rather hot in that little room, wasn't it? Yet you had my stupid Bloody Mary ready to go, a snack ready for my growling stomach, a calming word or two for my moments of panic ("Where's the nest with the rings and the ribbons?!?!?"). Not once did you ditch me, or get upset or short tempered, or verbally snipe back at me—or physically slap me, which may have been tempting and necessary, LOL.
And during the ceremony you were graceful and elegant and kept everyone glued together. You were a sight to behold, I'm sure. I've seen the pix, but I can also imagine you walking down the aisle, flowers in hand, a lovely smile on your face, a swish in your walk and your head held high. You set the tone of the entire affair, one of class and beauty.
During the reception you certainly didn't let your guard down, helping me get out of my chair (damn that hem) and seeing to it that I was well fed and had plenty to drink. And you (hopefully) let loose on the dance floor and let your hair down a bit, relaxed, and enjoyed yourself, in your newly-adopted family full of sisters and brothers and children, times two, Hoovers and Ollers and Dirks and Quarnstroms and Hoogestraats et all—oh my!—all ready to embrace you and your fabulous tattoos and your winning smile.
So I just want to say thanks. Words don't cover how much I appreciate you and all you've done and sacrificed for me and Pete and our big day. But I want everyone to see how beautiful you are inside and out, and to share my happiness over having a wonderful friend and sister like you. Everyone should be so lucky as I am, to be blessed with such an incredible friendship as ours.
Love you always,
(Photograph courtesy/copyright Margaret Castellanos)