Saturday, October 24th, 2009 at 23:05 ET
A lot of people have been getting to know each other this weekend, and a common question has been “how do you know Donna?” or “how do you know Mike?” A lot of you may have heard that I’m Mike’s best friend – we met in 2nd grade. Some of you may have even heard a story about that fateful first meeting. I’m sure I don’t remember very much at all about second grade, so maybe Mike’s version is more accurate – and it’s definitely funnier – but I thought I’d take this opportunity to set the record straight.
In second grade my family moved from Columbia, PA to a new house about six miles down the road in Mountville. One of the big motivators for choosing our new house was getting into a better school district, so, right around Halloween, I started at Mountville Elementary. I’m sure it was a little overwhelming to be the new kid on the scene in the middle of the school year. Maybe I don’t remember all the details of how Mike and I first met, but I know there was a mix-up with a spelling test, I think someone was indeed in the wrong room, and there may have been some crying involved. What I do remember is that Mike helped me get assimilated into that new school and I barely remember a time of my life when he wasn’t my friend.
I think that story, if somewhat nostalgic, makes more sense than his version because it tells you a little about who Mike is. He’s a helper – always has been – who might be content to make his way, minding his own business, until he sees someone who needs a little assistance. That’s when he swoops into action, for a friend, for a stranger, or even for a foe, to lend a helping hand. He’s kind and generous and loyal, and much more like my brother than just a friend.
When he moved to Florida, Mike was trying to help me. We were both entering our 30’s and I think it seemed to him like we both needed a change-of-pace. When he got here he tried the dating scene for a while, but you could tell that he was just a little jaded. Then something changed: he met Donna. I could tell right away that something was different.
Donna turned out to be an amazing woman, a great new friend, and a wonderful partner for Mike. She’s smart, funny, open-minded, athletic, and really challenges Mike to be a better man. I hope they won’t be embarrassed to hear me say that finding someone good enough to present that challenge for Mike was a special find indeed. Donna is wise and insightful, fun and vivacious, and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her. Mike’s been my surrogate brother for a long time and I’m excited that now Donna is my surrogate sister-in-law.
Mike’s been in my family for a long time. Now, in this place, filled with friends and family from Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, the Air Force, and places from across the country to across the globe, we are joined as a larger family. What’s brought us together is the love that Donna and Mike share.
Some of our friends from Florida have a habit of coming up with these cute little sayings. One of the ones we like to use when ribbing each other about marriage is, “forever is a long time.” There’s a good chance you’ve already heard someone say (or shout) it tonight. We all know that some marriages can face difficult times, but I know that Donna and Mike have the devotion to overcome any challenge. This is evident in the love they give to us and to each other – it will watch over them and see them through:
Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast,
it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.
Love never ends.
I know Donna and Mike are ready for their forever together.
So please raise your glasses with me. Donna and Mike, on behalf of your family and friends: thank you for this beautiful party, thank you for bringing us together as your family, and thank you for the love you share with us. We wish you all the best in your life together. As you support and care for each other on your journey together, we look forward to following along on what’s sure to be exciting forever.
We love you. Best of luck. Congratulations!
Filed under: My Life