these days, i tend to officiate at about one wedding per year, at the most. they’re always in california, and are a mixture of former junior highers and fellow junior high staff. but some kind of weird alignment or worm hole has obviously appeared, because i’m officiating at three weddings in a 6 week period, and they’re all in michigan. how random.
the first was this past weekend: my childhood best friend, john mathers. johnny and i became inseperable best friends in third grade; and except for a bit of individuation in middle school, stayed best friends through college (where we roomed together for a year). he was the best man in my wedding (and i in his first wedding), and we’ve stayed close over the years, always picking up where we left off when we see each other once or twice a year.
the wedding was outdoors, on the edge of a lake, in 90-degree, high-humidity, michigan weather. i was melting in my black suit.
john had a rough go with his first marriage (i often considered him my “job friend” – like the dude in the bible – because life just seemed so bitterly unfair to him, despite his off-the-charts integrity and big heart). he ended up a single dad of three kids, and did an amazing job in that role (and has three wonderful kids, 6th grade through 10th grade). john didn’t expect to get married again, as his focus was his kids. neither did cathy, his new wife, a wonderful single mom (of a college student) who met john through a small group. their story is a gorgeous picture of life restored, and it was such an honor to be a part of their day. one of the highlights of the day for me was when john’s 16 year-old daughter introduced me to one of her friends as her uncle.
next weekend, i’m officiating at the wedding of my cousin, just south of petosky, michigan (the northern part of the state), at boyne mountain. that one will also be a full-on family reunion. then, a month later, the last one is my niece, who’s getting married in the small michigan/indiana border town of niles. my family will be with me for that one, and we’ll add a week of vacation in detroit.
time to get the suit dry-cleaned.