Yesterday, two families celebrated the engagement of two very special people, my daughter Brooke and her fiance Kelly Ann. Two families who, with a few exceptions, were virtual strangers. As the host of the party, I had the usual anxiety that rears its ugly head whenever I find myself in the midst of planning and executing an event. Will it be successful? Will the food delight everyone’s palate because as we know food is one of the barometers of a good party, and more importantly I hoped against hope that the chemistry among the revelers worked. As the first guests arrived I threw caution to the wind, took a deep breath and relaxed because from that moment on it was out of my hands.
If I could have designed the perfect party, it would not have compared to the reality of the actual event. From the very first martini, the cohesiveness of the party goers was immediate and real. The group was diverse, multi-ethnic and full of life. The two brides to be were radiant as they luxuriated in the warmth, love and well wishes of their friends and relatives. As I made my way through the throngs of guests I could not believe how blessed I was to be among friends spanning decades. Believe it or not there was a representative from every significant passage of my life. Many of Kelly Ann’s family and friends traveled from Trinidad and Miami, Florida to attend a three hour engagement party, how very special was that?
Love and support comes in all ways and forms. Sometimes it’s not in the highly stylized, romanticized and yes fictionalized format we’ve been indoctrinated to expect and because of that it may be unrecognizable. It’s those expressions of love that are inherent in acceptance, non judgement, unwavering support and just showing up that should resonate with all of us. We are active participants in this thing called life and as such we must show up and be present. Whether it’s giving yourself permission to breathe, surrounding yourself with people who bring out the best in you, truly learning to accept yourself warts and all and finally learning to dream for those dreams will take flight and help you achieve your best life.
As I glanced over at Brooke and Kelly Ann I tried to quell my emotions as I realized how beautiful, in both the physical and spiritual sense, they both were. As I surveyed the crowd, an overwhelming sense of peace and joy enveloped me secure in the knowledge that from this day on my daughter and her fiance were becoming a part of a wonderful new whole with the best yet to come.