Here are the words I shared recently at Jenny and Jon’s wonderful wedding in New Orleans.
When I sat down to write my remarks, I couldn’t help but reflect on the circumstances of Jenny and Jon meeting, how their relationship started and how their love flourished from there. You see, I try to meet with each couple I work with about three or four times before their wedding, so I can really get to know them. I always start my first discussion with a couple with a rather basic question, “Tell me about yourselves, and how you met?” Well, this may surprise you, but none of the other 65 couples I have had such meetings with in the last two years, began their answer to the second part of that question with the words, “We met over a bone box…”
Now, beyond the humor, when you talk to Jenny and Jon, you understand that there is a rather deep and serious side to this. Though Jenny and Jon come from different backgrounds, and have had different life stories, they seem to have more in common in terms of their basic beliefs regarding how one should live one’s life, than many other couples out there. This is particularly exemplified by their career choices, and the rationale for these choices. It is clear that they chose medicine, not just because they thought that they had the aptitude and inclination for it, but first and foremost, due to the fact that they really wanted to help people. On top of that, they not only chose the healing profession, rather with some disregard to their own bottom line, they opted for the front line of medicine, to work in family medicine and physical medicine and rehabilitation. In an era, where many of us are faced with a medical world that can be cold, scary and full of technical mumbo jumbo, they have chosen to be the ones, who with a reassuring tone in their voices, will hold our hands, help us make sense of it all, and make some of the pain and fear go away.
I have not known Jenny and Jon for that long, but it seems to me that it is this very sense of caring, compassion and love for others that drew them to each other at first, and cemented the foundation for a true love story. On this foundation they built a genuine relationship of understanding, communication and trust. In this each one has found that soul mate, with whom one can talk for hours, and with whom one can just sit in silence, not saying a word, and still enjoy a tremendous sense of tranquility and peace. It is this relationship that we celebrate today, and really just make official something that is already there, so deeply rooted in the life of the couple.
Jenny and Jon, thank you for reminding me and us of what our priorities can and should be. Thank you for instilling in what we are doing here today true and deep meaning. Hold on to that. Wake up every morning, look into each other’s eyes with the resolve to continue to cherish that happiness, friendship and love you have found with each other, and that sense of caring, empathy and compassion you have for others, and I have no doubt, your bond will remain unbreakable.