top of page

Entry date: 11-5-2023 – Another Wedding – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Back in the early 2000s, my wonderful friends Lance and Amy got married and the asked me to be the officiant. I got online and got ordained by the Universal Life Church and thought, “What am I going to say? How do I marry people?” I thought about the bit in Four Weddings and a Funeral where Rowan Atkinson plays a new, verbally clumsy “Father Gerald” who absolutely steps on his tongue during a wedding scene.

I knew I was going to be “that” guy if I didn’t really prepare. I practiced the ceremony a bunch of times and did it on the long drive to the wedding site in its entirety. The ceremony went off without a hitch and everyone was happy and married. I was also hooked on the feeling, too, that comes with helping people join themselves together in front of family and friends.

Over the years that followed, I’ve done more weddings. Next up for me was doing a wedding for two more friends that took an interesting turn during the dancing after the ceremony. Rhondi and I were dancing and the bride came up and ripped my shirt open. It was pretty obvious at that point that I might be 1-1 in successful unions.

And yes, I do keep track of my record. A few of the weddings I’ve done have not worked out. Only two, so far, so my numbers are pretty good, but still. It is a bummer when people don’t make it.

Marriage is hard.

I’ve been lucky, though, to be part of weddings that hold a big place in my heart. I feel a certain sense of responsibility with all the couples that I have married. That could just be ego, sure, but I think it is more of what an actual Reverend or Minister feels for their flock. During the fleeting moments when we are up there, doing the thing, marrying and such, there is a palpable feeling of connection.

Maybe it is the look in the eyes of the two people that are making a lifelong commitment to each other. I love that look. I love seeing the love in their eyes for each other at that moment. Yesterday, when I was assisting two lovely friends on their journey together, I saw the look between them and it made me feel so good. A little gooey, even, inside because it is just so great.

Love is the best thing there is.

We were standing on a deck overlooking Sunnyslope. There were just a few of us there. Rhondi was taking pictures. It only took a few minutes, but it was one of the best evenings I’ve had in a long time. The gifts and/or blessings from the universe have been bountiful lately.

And again, love is the best thing there is.

It would be really interesting to look at all the things that have been created in the name of love and study the moments that inevitably change them from being about love or being based on love, and finally, for the sake of love to being about money, greed, power, and control.

I mean, Jesus, he talked about love. He preached about loving your neighbor and how by him loving us, we should love each other. He talked about how the love he received from God, his father, he then shared with everyone and said, “Now remain in my love.”

“Remain in my love,” in my book, means “Keep loving each other, people” and “Do it my way, motherfuckers.”

Where did that get twisted into the multi-trillion-dollar industry that Christianity is today?

After the wedding part of the evening was over last night, there was seven of us talking and a really cool idea for helping people came up during conversation. It sounded amazing, but that skeptical voice inside of me, the one who worked in non-profits for a long, long time and now works in a public school, asked this question: “How does it get paid for? This work you want to do and the help you want to give…where does the money come from?”

I’m veering away from how cool it is to marry people, yes, but it really does come back to the idea of what love is and how do we show it? Moving forward, I am going to focus more of my attention on how I show love for others. I want more of it in my life. I want less greed and struggle and weird ego-driven nonsense that makes you forget what you are doing and why you are doing it.

Maybe start a cult, I don’t know. Maybe write a book about it and be the next L. Ron Hubbard.

Can you spell love with dollar signs?

You can’t.

It is truly an honor, though, to be asked to join two people in marriage. Love is the best thing there is. Have a great day and know that I love you.

See you tomorrow.

I thought about cropping out the bottom stuff, but this picture really symbolizes what marriage can be. There is beauty and clutter and neighbors and rocks. There is also an endless sky that, hopefully, keeps it's promises.

32 views1 comment

1 Comment

Nov 05, 2023

I love reading your words, and would love the chance to golf with you again. Miss you Tom! Best!

Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page