Yesterday, my best friend Eric got married to his lovely wife Jill. I was honored to be asked to stand with him as he was married. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to serve as "Best Man". I would say "Best Woman", but he married his best woman. I get the pleasure of sitting on the sidelines and hoping that he wins... yesterday, he really did!!
Eric and I met when we were both married a few years ago. I soon realized that the more I got to know him, the more I liked him and valued what he had to say. I told his wife about that. Soon, they split (around the same time that Jer and I split), and he and I needed each other, and we clinged to each other. We came from different paths and our situations were certainly different, but we were THERE for each other. We helped each other through some very dark, unhappy moments. I saw him in some relationships that weren't so healthy for him, and saw him in the depths of despair. This favor was returned to me tenfold. It didn't take him long for us to acknowledge the fact that we were "Best Friends".
Eric and Jill met a year and a half ago... yesterday, on January 22nd, they tied the knot! I got to stand next to Eric as he watched Jill descended the stairs and down the aisle. I saw the look of excitement and exhiliration, combined with a tad bit of nervousness in his face... all complimented with a look of contentment and peace. Eric isn't a man to show his emotions on his face, but I could still see it. I know him.
When Jill finished her final descent down the stairs, she took a deep breath, and looked directly at Eric. Jill loves Eric, all of him. While I like many things about Jill, this is my favorite part. She *really* LOVES Eric. God, it's an amazing thing to see. I'm so incredibly happy for them.
Part of my duties of being a groomsperson or "Best (Wo)man", were to make a speech. Due to the confusiong of traditional weddings and mormon weddings and a combination of both, I missed my opportunity. I was told that I should do it during the reception (by a never-mo co-worker), when the pre-wedding dinner would have been the perfect opportunity.
Eric and Jill, I'm sorry I didn't toast you. I really wanted to! Here is what I would have said:
Eric, you and I became best of friends in the most unlikely of circumstances. In the short time I've known you, I've been priveledged to get to know you well. Eric: when you care, you care completely. When you love, you love with your whole heart; that is without condition. You are abosultely what I consider to be "Understated Brilliance". To know you is to love you.
Jill: You and I both know that because of a joke at my expense on your first date with Eric, I didn't refer to you kindly. I've apologized before, and will apologize again. The first time I met you, I witnessed first hand how in love you were with Eric. I was able to see how deeply and truly you cared about him. It was easy to tell that you also care completely, and you love unconditionally. You are a worthy and perfect match for Eric.
Jill, your family is so friendly, warm and welcoming. Please express my appreciation to them! Eric, I truly loved spending time with your family. We had a blast talking about Utah culture vs. the rest of the country, and totally jived on the chicken salad sandwiches with grapes together. Please give them my best; I'd love to see them next time they are in town. Your children were perfect angels during the ceremony and reception. They're such gorgeous Palmatiers!