Thursday, March 25, 2021

Fairy Tale

Saturday evening, I officiated Renee and Darrin’s wedding ceremony at the Filter Building, in Dallas, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

I ask each person I marry to write about themselves. No judgment, but it won’t surprise you that some people write a little better and some people write a little worse. We are all born with a diverse and diverging set of talents. It also won’t surprise you that some people have had a more interesting life than others. None of us, after all, controls our circumstances; that is left to fate. There is little you and I can do about that.

So, when in response to my request that a person write about themselves, I get a masterpiece, I just consider myself lucky. Well, friends, count yourselves lucky today too. Here is how Darrin began his autobiographical essay, to which – most people do not do this, but you will not be surprised Darrin did – he gave a title, “A Short Story”: “The year was 1990, the month was April, it was the eve of Passover. At 8:45 at night the Jewish nurse at Medical City Dallas exclaimed, “Baby Moses is born!” He even grew up speaking Hebrew like we imagine the original Moses did! You just can’t make this stuff up.

Now, lest you think the drama in this story ends there or is confined to the groom’s storytelling, listen to Renee: “Well, this is a fairy tale, LOL!” she says. “Kidding, but it is definitely fate at its finest! We were actually in the same kindergarten class at the JCC. There’s a picture of us at a cute school assembly, dressed in our PJs and I’m peeking over looking at Darrin. (Will attach pic; disappointingly she never did.) We didn’t realize this until later in life. We found these pictures at his mom’s office while dating.”

Now, in an old fairy tale, to use Renee’s term, that is all you would need, but this is real life, so even though Darrin claims that kindergarten is where their “love was built, but not truly realized until a few decades later,” and that “As you could one could imagine, our fate was sealed long ago,” that is really not why we are here today.

Fate, after all, is what happens to you, and though, again, none of can control our circumstances, we do have some choices in how we react to those circumstances. To use an episode many years after kindergarten, one cannot choose if one, Renee, almost falls at a party, but one can choose whether to sacrifice a portion of a front tooth to catch her from falling, like Darrin did. When you make a choice like this, you transcend fate and enter into your destiny.

Similarly, doing the work to continue together through a long-distance relationship and allowing it to build you, as individuals and as a couple, is not fate but destiny. As Renee says, “We were able to grow as individuals and experience one another through new seasons of life.” And much more recently, in an experience none of us will really comprehend until we have exited it, they were able to harness the forced togetherness of the earliest part of the global pandemic to strengthen their relationship even more and plan today’s celebration of their love.

Renee and Darrin, we hope that life will not throw anymore chipped teeth or global pandemics at you. Still, whatever challenges life does throw at you, continue to work together, turning your fate into destiny, and your bond will not only not break but be strengthened even more.

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