We are home! I’m feeling a bit bedraggled–the aftermath of a roundtrip roadway excursion (all 750 miles or so of it) between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area and the joy-filled destination of marvelous wedding festivities. I did leave town with the hope that the party shoes would keep up with me. I’m pleased to report success! I did NOT topple over, and even managed to keep them on my dancing feet for most of the evening. Admittedly, that may have been out of a stubborn need to prove something to myself, but I will analyze that privately.
Despite my personal preoccupation with wedding-wear, I was definitely not the centerpiece. The lovely Amy (who has already seemed a member of the family for years!) and the handsome Drew (one of my cousin Pam’s sons) were the delightful reason so many of us made the journey.
The wedding was gracefully appointed in its simple elegance, intimately set in the Sunset Gardens (Menlo Park) where Amy works as a talented recipe editor. The ceremony, lovely dinner and hearty partying provided the perfect landscape for a joy-filled reunion of brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins and long-time family friends.
It is life affirming to witness the marriage of a younger couple choosing one another for a hope-filled future together.
Maybe this thought seemed even more insistent due to the poignantly positioned wedding date of 9-10-11. Reminders of the 9-11 tenth anniversary were visible (and unavoidable) in everything from flags draped at half-mast to newspapers in the hotel lobby and even a few billboards. Not that anyone really needs a reminder. At a Giants-Dodgers game at AT&T Park (my baseball enthusiasm was buoyed with a breathtaking view of the Bay) the opening ceremony included fire fighters, San Francisco police officers and members of pilot and flight attendant unions. Nine bagpipers and two percussionists led the procession and a video tribute accompanied a parade of law enforcement representatives ceremoniously carrying in an oversized flag to center field. After a brief moment of silence spectators raised 8 x 10 cards with an American flag on one side and the name of a 9/11 victim on the other.
I looked up our two names: Lisa Caren Ehrlich and David R. Leistman, both killed in the World Trade Center. More than names, reading about them in the context of their families and friends– their every-dayness in the WTC initiated a strong response–whew! Tough reading! And ten years later you cannot google their names alone. Instantly the names and stories associated with 2,975 other victims begs a read resulting in a significantly emotional response.
There’s really not much more to say about the profound juxtaposition of my own loving family reunion poised in jagged contrast to the reminders of distressing loss and emotional toll of 9-11. What I can say; however, is that with gratitude and a nod to how important it is to maintain a personal sense of balance and well-being, I can celebrate today–and daily affirming life is something we all can do. Then when life offers up a happy occasion and a reason to celebrate with friends and loved ones, I call it an absolute necessity that we jump in with both feet—fancy footwear optional!
Cheers to Amy and Drew! May you have an abundantly happy life together!