Saturday, August 29, 2020

Be Fearless

Friday evening, I officiated Carly and Javier’s wedding ceremony at The Mason in Dallas, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

I ask every person I marry to write an autobiographical essay, and I tell them that their essay serves as the raw material for these remarks. I love quoting couples in their own words and learning from what they say. I don’t usually quote three whole paragraphs. However, these three paragraphs with which Carly opened her essay are just incredible. Check this out:

“The moment I knew I was in love with Javier, we were sitting in Houston traffic, stuck at a stoplight. It was a clear, blue skied, Saturday. It was one of those few days we get in Texas between summer and fall where the sun is bright, but the wind is cool. The windows were down. We had been driving around Houston and trading songs back and forth, and I put on Celine Dion’s song ‘It’s All Coming Back to Me Now’.

Stay with me here, because I know Celine Dion conjures up just about every love cliché you can think of. I put on the song, thinking he’d shake it off, and tell me to change it. But he didn’t. He leaned his head out the window and started belting out the words. He knew all of them. I laughed. The car next to us laughed. And I started singing along too. Sitting there in that car with him reminded me of all the road trips I took with my dad growing up – how we would set off onto the open road, play music, and sing the whole way without regard to who might stare into our car and wonder why.

After I lost my dad, the hardest part was feeling like I had lost my own fearlessness. I had lost the reminder that no matter where I was, or what I did, I was good because I was his. But, as I sat in that car, and looked over at a man who knew that a cool breeze meant the windows were down, and a good song meant that he would be singing it, that I had found a man that could hold me and set me free all at once.”

I wasn’t lying when I used the word incredible, was I?

Now it’s interesting. I do ask couples to tell how they met and why they want to get married. I don’t usually ask when they fell in love or when they realized they were in love, but not only does Carly address this, Javier does too. His story also involves Celine Dion. No, I’m joking. It involves The Doors: “The day came when I realized I was in love and was going to marry this beautiful woman. Earlier in the relationship my friend Ricardo had told me, after meeting Carly, ‘She is not the kind of woman you date; she is the kind you marry.’ I remember I brushed it off with a smirk… One night we were in my apartment with friends. She was in the kitchen listening to Ricardo rant about how much he loves The Doors… She was looking at me and smiling and it hit me, I remembered Ricardo’s words… From that day forward I decided I would do whatever it takes to be with this woman forever. My life was with her.” 

Sounds like he is pretty fearless too. 

Check out what Javier’s fearlessness does for him: “I could go on with so many stories of how amazing Carly is, but the truth is I found my person, my favorite person on this earth, my friend in times of need and my companion in life. Every day waking up next to Carly is a blessing and I am thankful every day that I have her in my life. With her I am the best version of myself, my true self, not withholding or hiding anything. I know my life is better with her.”

It is this same fearlessness that allows Carly to say: “Finding Javier was like finding my heart again. He taught me that I could honor what I lost by discovering what I could find. I never thought at thirty, with all the things life has brought my way, that I would somehow feel brand new, like I could learn how to hold someone’s heart, and all the while, find space to grow… There is something eerie and cool and big before us. And we’re ready to give it all the love we got.”

What a fabulous lesson. If you take one thing from today, be like Carly and Javier: Be fearless. 

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