I remember very vividly the day that I went to see 'Four Weddings and a Funeral'! It was a sunny and warm day in the city of Louvain and I was in my first year at the university. That day I met up with Hugh Grant and Kirstin Scot Thompson and did the music of my Barry White and the poems of W.H. Auden got a deeper dimension. The movie is now considered a classic by many and the soundtrack I did play over and over again at the time. Why did become such a success? Well, that is perhaps due to the fact that we all attend once in a while a wedding or a funeral.
Weddings are surely more fun than a funeral. But both they have something in common: they bring people together. The last few years I ended up at very intense weddings and funerals. People that I carry close to my heart have tied the knot or I had to say goodbye to some individuals that surely have made a big impact on my life.
The thing with weddings and funeral is also that there is always some drama or there is this moment that you do wonder if you did come up with the right words to say. There are so many times that you assume that your natural flair will be enough to get through a wedding and funeral services but believe me I myself have screwed up a numerous times. I have been head banging in rest rooms at wedding receptions because I mixed up names of the parents of the happy couple. Or I did dare to mention a former boyfriend in the presence of the groom. So not done but it did happen. And more than just once.
And because I end up going to receptions on my own I do end up sometimes standing all by myself in the corner of venues wonderin observing many people and wonder what connects me with them. At a funeral there is then always that moment that I just get caught up by the grief of others and end up crying in the car while I am playing the music by Craig Armstrong. It is so me and I do wonder why I never stick to the straight forward rules that my mother taught me about weddings and funerals. But then I can assure you that I am 100% myself at these moments!
The thing is that I also found out that weddings and funerals can be the moments that you do find out who you exactly are. It is at those occassions that you run into life and what matters most. That those are the events when life passes by and you become very aware of how fragile and precious everything is. The pictures taken at weddings are sometimes hilarious because to be honest a professional wedding photographer has got the talent to sneak up on you and suddenly there is this flash. It is then you freeze in the middle of a very private conversation. Hilarious at times but also very confrontating. Looking at them shows you more then just a snapshot.
My family is the perfect example of human beings who are very good a celebrating life. Oh yes, there are already a few people missing but there are also many new faces popping up. Yesterday seeing one of my second cousins dancing with her boyfriend made me smile. He guided her very gentle over the dance floor while her cheeks turned very red. She surely enjoyed the attention she was getting. He not for one second took his eyes of her. That she was having troubles following in his footsteps was rather cute.
'He is doing a good job.', a voice suddenly told me. 'Oh yes, he is.', I said and I then became aware that the person who was sitting next to me had been witnessing the same scene as me. I even envied that young couple because they still had their whole life ahead of them. Now a few minutes before this scene I had seen my mother out there on that same dancefloor. My mother who the last 15 years her life surely was not that easy. That moment that one of my cousins grabbed her and made her move over the dance floors made me even LOL. And then there was an other cousin whispering into my ears:'Look at your mother. What a woman!' My mother still loves dancing at weddings and she will be dancing along with young&old. She even beat us to it last night. The only excuse I had to bring in is that the Friday rush, traffic and thunderstorms had made me end up being rather tired. But what was I enjoying that view!
Yeah, I guess that at weddings she will miss my dad. There were so many people that were missed last night. My family does not sugar coat things. Even not at weddings. I do have even serious chats at such family affairs. That I the last 24h have been able to catch up was so nice and I also understand myself better and better. Eating a piece of wedding cake was even sweeter while listening to some of the stories my aunts had to tell and I shared many stories with them and showed pics of A.
My family demonstrate a very deep understanding of what life is about and they will never give up and this against all odds. They don't come up with excuses and they can suddenly burst out in singing and dancing. They demonstrate living intensely but there this first layer of varnish you have to scratch of us before we open up. Well, at weddings we shake of that layer and it is there you get the opportunity when someone asks you sincerly:'So C how are you doing?', you are not expected to just say:'I am fine, just fine... It is then that someone, whose genetic content you for 50% share with, will stare you into your face and you just know... It is like coming home.
Then this afternoon ended up at an other wedding reception. This happy couple had tied the knot last summer in the home town of the bride. They did share some pics on Facebook with the world and I can tell you that there was one picture that I just knew that she is very happy in the state she is now. The way she was looking over a field while holding on to one of her children even send me shivers down my spine. I envied her at that moment because I still long for that one moment that I can say outloud that one word that I want to say loud and clear in the presence of the people I love and who care about.
In case you wondering about me and a personal wedding experience. It still has not happened. I hardly talk about it anymore. Oh yes, I have somewhere in my picture library on my phone an image of a wedding dress that I once walked by and just fall in love with. It is a dress that has not left my mind yet. I still picture myself in that dress and dancing with P while I am wearing a wedding band around my finger. Oh yes, people have already told me that I just should give up that this is just in vain. Well, no I don't... never ever... Why? Because the people I love I always give the benefit of the doubt.
So this weekend I said 'cheers' numerous times to the power of love and that wedding vows bring families&friends closer. Once more that life is about keeping close what you love and wish to protect it, cherish it and take good care of it. I have seen the power at work and ladies and gentlemen I can only state that it is a lovely view. It lifts us up...and at the same time it reminds us how fragile everthing is. Because one day you walk into a room where you then have to say goodbye to those loved ones and you then feel like you have missed out a few chances to say how much you did care about them. Weddings and funerals they are part of life... they are reflections of how much we love and care!
P.S.: Oh yes, I picked two very cheesy ones to go along with this one. The fact is that those two where played at the family wedding. And one was even the opening dance of the happy bride and groom. :-)