Sunday, August 20, 2017

My Person

Saturday afternoon, Rev. Jay Hutchinson and I co-officiated Michelle and Max’s wedding ceremony at the St. Andrew's School in Middletown, Delaware. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

Michelle and Max introduced me to a new and fascinating term that relates to love and friendship. Listen to how they describe their relationship, and how their love brought them here today:

Michelle says, "I want to marry Max because I know he is my person. He understands me, I understand him and it just works. It isn’t always easy – but I know we can get through the hard times together because we have already been tested and our relationship only gets stronger from it. He has... a big heart and makes me laugh all the time. I feel safe, loved and understood."

My person was a new concept to me. I thought perhaps it was just a term Michelle used. Then I read Max's words: "Michelle, in addition to being undeniably quirky, is one of the most caring people I’ve ever met. She also doesn’t judge me or anybody else, and accepts people’s flaws with grace and compassion. I don’t know when I realized that she was my person, but I realized early on that this one was different. We complement each other so well, which I think is somewhat rare in relationships. We are very different from each other, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s why it works... We strengthen and support each other, and work as a team better than any couple I know."

There it was again, that term, my person. Now, this couple is probably one of the smartest and most creative I have worked with, so I was not surprised they would introduce me to a new term. I felt like I needed to understand exactly what they meant. So, I went to that fount of all wisdom; no, not the Bible, the Internet. 

Here is one of the best explanations I found, written by Faith Fishkin: "The term my person originated from the show 'Grey's Anatomy.' My own personal definition is the person you go to for everything, the person you can't live without, the person you can't stay mad at, and the person that supports you in everything that you do."

I love that. When two people decide to marry, you know they are in love with each other. That almost goes without saying. However, you also hope they are friends. In fact, if you sense that they are just lovers, but not friends, that may not bode well for their marriage. Friendship in this case is like the foundation of a house. You have to have a foundation to build your love on. 

At least, that is how I would have put it until now. Really, though, I realize that is just not nearly enough. You need a foundation stronger than that. You need the mutual understanding that Michelle and Max bring to their relationship. You need to be each other's person

In fact, though Fishkin points out that your person can be entirely separate and apart from your romantic relationship, the rest of what she says sounds like the ideal marriage. "Being someone's person is a commitment," Fishkin says, "...Being called someone's person is an absolute honor. It means you are the person's 'go-to'. Your friendship has no limits, you will be best friends and each other's person until the day you die, and even then, the friendship is too strong to end…"

That, my friends, is what Michelle and Max share. We should all be so lucky. 

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