S & Kelly (Part 1, 2 & 3 of 4)

S and I have a rare sort of friendship. I don’t believe that beyond a certain age, men and women can be friends. I do believe – that for the most part – in order for us to be close friends, there needs to be a certain level of attraction that exists, and so friendship in its purest form as it exists between two straight women (for example) can never be attained between a man and a woman. Or so is my experience because men always fall in love with me due to my never ending charming.

S is unique.
S and I fell for one another’s friendship immediately and without hesitation and our friendship was based on the trading of secrets (our own, not those of others).

He has offered support when I least expected it and talked me through the most obscure, surreal and craziest moments. He has also always offered an honest and sincere interest in and support of my life. Even though it should go without saying, I will write it anyway: the last two sentences are dittoed on my end.

Understand that S has a special place in my life…and on Saturday he was married.

Part 1: The Wedding
S met a beautiful and sparkly girl named Kelly.
S and Kelly fell in love.
S and Kelly got married…because that’s what folks do when they want to adventure together for an extended period of time. Or so is the case, in my world, shared by the likes of S and Kelly.

My heart nearly exploded through my chest when I walked up to the church and saw him standing in his tuxedo, I was so happy – a word that falls so short of what I actually experienced.

(My heart also nearly exploded because I was wearing a shade of sl*t red entering into a church while others were in subdued hues of brown, black, blue and grey. Hurrah for D who showed up in the same – entirely unplanned – shade of red a wee bit later.)

Not surprisingly for a girl who cries when she sees any act of kindness, I cry at weddings.
On Saturday, I cried a lot, and for two reasons.

The first was because it was in a Church.
I am a Muslimah and so I heart Jesus (as well as Moses and the rest). Consequently, it fills me with unbelievable amounts of warm and fuzzy when I see people standing / sitting before a priest, sheikh or a rabbi and entering into this very ‘covenant’ before God.

There was an incredible moment when the priest mentioned the etymology of the word ‘sacrifice’ and how it is sacrifice and forgiveness that make a relationship work. Sacrifice is rooted in the Latin concept to come together, and so when entering into a union of this sort, sacrifice (a word that too many frown upon) is the key to unifying as one, rather than existing as two solitudes and feigning unity. (Remember that. Also remember that our worth is measured not by our ability to remain a single unyielding entity, but rather how we enrich, improve, challenge to make better the lives of everyone in our path. You did not become so great had it not been for the sacrifices made on your behalf; so always work to return the favour to the universe (so long as you’re not going against your moral code, obviously).)

But I digress.
I still remember S sitting across from me in the fall of 2006 and telling me about Kelly, who he’d already fallen in love with. (Did you know that men are the ones who fall in love at first sight? It’s not actually women, but rather men who will tell you that from the very first moment they saw her, spoke to her, watched her walk up a set of steps, handed her a coffee over the counter, etc ad infinitum, they know that she’s the one they want to marry. It’s men, not women, who are the eternal romantics (this, not to be confused with a woman’s inclination to romance in the form of flowers and candles.))

Needless to say, Kelly’s an easy girl to fall in love with because she’s of the rare few who seem to have an endless amount of love to give, leaving others to wonder how such a tiny chest cavity can hold a heart so big.

S didn’t merely fall in love with her, but rather he fell into a state of adoring her. Seeing this so clearly and in such palpable manner was the second reason I cried more so than usual.

I heard it in S’s voice two years ago and I saw it all over his face on Saturday. What a pleasure it was to be witness to what may very well be the key to ‘ever’ after.

Part 2: The Party
Too much to tell you, and I’ve already told you the most important part.

Let me say that I danced with three wonderful folks, one of whom I will discuss in the following section. First, though, and perhaps most importantly, is that S’s mom and dad taught me how to jive dance.

They had the patience to teach me how to jive dance!! I couldn’t believe my luck – I was so excited and kept tripping at first, throwing my hand up at all the wrong moments, but still keeping the beat and so they kept at it with me.

I can now – sort of – jive dance. I need a little practice, but I appreciate that they took the time to graciously waste on me.

(A little note on S’s family, just so you understand the sort of creativity that exists in their world: S is adopted and in order for the mama and the papa to teach S about that, his mum created a story book about their lives and how they found S. Mama and papa were bears, and S was a penguin brought into their family. I will forever think of S’s mom as The Penguin Lady whose sense of imagination I love.)

Part 3: Salt
I’ve mentioned previously that S is a writer.

A while back, S started telling me about “Max and his amazing family”, with whom S was working on a new project. Whenever S mentioned Max, he lit up with energy and admiration and an overall sense of awe. When discussing Max’s family, I could almost touch how much S has come to love them, most definitely how grateful he is for their presence in his life.

Max is 27 years old with cystic fibrosis. His beautiful beautiful sister also has CF.

I must admit that before I met Max, I’d not known anyone with CF. I will also admit that I had a deep misunderstanding about what CF does and how it affects those who have it. Max pretty much shattered every misconception I had of this disease and I spent the better part of yesterday grilling my med school cousin about CF.

Please learn more about Cystic Fibrosis and consider supporting a foundation in your local area. Also, please read about and get to know the labour of love that is Salt, borne between S and Max McGuire. (I will provide more info on Salt as it becomes available.)

For all of my blogging brothers and sisters, please consider placing a link to Salt’s home. (Shukran.)

Part 4 is forthcoming; the day in pretty pictures, happy faces and a lot of red lipstick.

Three honourary mentions:
(1) Folks were trying to guess where I was from – behind my back – until S told me.
(2) I fell in love with all of S’s uncles, one of whom provided one of the three greatest lines of the evening: “How can the Jews be fighting your kind when all they need to do is look over the fence and see that Palestinian girls look like you?! WHY ARE YOU SINGLE??”
(3) The other two “greatest lines” of the evening belong to Kevin, the best man, who started the evening’s hilarities with his speech as follows: “Fornication! Oh. Uh. Sorry, I tend to speak too quickly when I’m nervous. Let me try that again: For an occasion…
& ended our night with this goodbye to me: “When I saw you coming towards the church in your red dress, I thought ‘holy shit! I’ve forgotten everything Freud’s taught me! All of that therapy down the drains. Damn!” (Because, really: What more could a girl ask for, yes?)