Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Take the Next Step

Sunday evening, I officiated Meredith and Michael’s wedding ceremony, at The Veranda, in San Antonio, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

Marriage, like it or not, involves if not a gamble, at least an educated guess. What do I mean? Well, if you are even marginally self-aware, you realize that you will change over time, and, spoiler alert, so will your spouse. By committing to the bond of marriage, you are saying that you know that not only do you of today love the him or her of today, but that the you of tomorrow will love the him or her of tomorrow.

Sounds daunting, I know. So, how can you make sure this is more of a grounded decision than a baseless bet? It helps to remember that past is usually prologue, and that history may not repeat itself, but it often rhymes.

Listen to Michael’s observation about Meredith: “Over the course of our college experience, I noticed that a lot of people changed. Having just finished medical school, I noticed that a lot of people change. While Meredith has grown through her experiences, she remains in a lot of ways the same girl I met freshman year. She knows where she came from, remembers the people that were there along the way, and bends over backwards to help those around her...”

And, it’s important to take the time and analyze not only that person in isolation, but that person, yourself, and how you work together as a unit.

Listen to Meredith’s observation, “When we moved to San Antonio in 2014, we both took a big leap of faith. We knew that it would be tough on our relationship – we were moving to a new place where we knew no one. Michael was starting medical school and I was starting a job with a steep learning curve as well. We were leaving behind friends, family and jobs we both loved. It was difficult and lonely for a while, but we relied on each other and I never regretted moving to San Antonio with him. It solidified for me that the two of us were a team and I would be happy wherever we were, as long as we were together.”

And, it helps to go one step further, and pay attention to how that person treats others, because counterintuitively, the you of tomorrow, is not really the same person, but an other.

Michael has paid attention, and says, “Fundamentally, I feel we share the desire to be part of a larger community, to take pride in our work, to take care of ourselves, to continuously better ourselves, and to help others.” And this might be one of the things Meredith admires the most about Michael. She says, “Time and time again I have seen Michael go to great lengths to help or do something kind for the people he loves.”

This takes time and patience, but is really all there is to it. If you have taken the time to contemplate, to observe, to do your homework about yourself and your partner, you are ready, like Meredith and Michael, to take the next step.

In deciding to take this next step, Meredith and Michael have thought a lot about how important the concept of “family” is to them. They say: “We will never forget the love, patience, sacrifice and devotion that our parents have invested in us since childhood. They taught us by example to work hard; to be loyal and honest; to find meaningful life’s work that we are passionate about; and to embrace life with compassion, joy and love. As we look ahead to our future as husband and wife, we hope to honor the legacy of life given to us by our parents. We will strive to give our own children the same kinds of ‘roots and wings’ that have brought the two of us both to this moment.”

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