What a big weekend this has been! I had the pleasure and honour of watching one of my dearest friends get married to a wonderful guy, in a gorgeous ceremony, followed by a spectacularly fun wedding reception. It was made even more special for me being able to stand by as her bridesmaid 🙂 Despite the rain almost forcing Plan B into action, it was a perfect day and evening, and we even got driven to the ceremony in a firetruck!
I am absolutely buggered now, yet can’t help but still be on a high with a heart filled with joy after such a special weekend. This post is likely to be a bit soppy (from me, a girl who most certainly never dreamt about my own wedding, nor actually thought I would ever even get married)!
This year has been a big year for love and marriage. Michael and I started the trend in January with our beach wedding in Thailand, followed by my little sister getting married in a beautiful ceremony in March, several other friends and colleagues announcing their engagements, Anna & Rick’s big day this weekend, and in just 2 months I am so excited to be travelling back to Thailand to be part of the wedding for 2 of our other best friends.
Weddings hold a somewhat strange place in my heart. It was the morning after a friend’s wedding back in 2009 that I first noticed blood in the toilet bowl, eventually leading to my Crohn’s diagnosis. I will never forget that morning and the first sight of blood, and somehow weddings always bring that memory up for me.
Over the following years, I went to 2 weddings during or post horrid Crohn’s flares. I missed out on hen’s celebrations as I was too sick to attend, and recall not being able to find anything to wear to one of the weddings as I’d literally just come out of hospital, and none of my clothes fit me. I remember being anxious I would need to rush off to find a toilet in the middle of the ceremony or speeches, and worrying how rude that would look to everyone. Don’t get me wrong, both of these weddings were beautiful, lovely occasions, and I am so glad I was able to be part of the celebrations, but I wasn’t able to fully enjoy them as much as I would have liked because of that Crohn’s cloud hovering above me.
During this time, I don’t think I could have managed being a bridesmaid, let alone getting married myself! The thought of spoiling a beautiful dress because of an accident, remaining calm and confident, being able to fulfil bridesmaid’s duties, or even just standing for the length of a ceremony without a toilet was probably more than I could handle. We joke that one of the reasons Anna asked me to be her bridesmaid this weekend was because I understand her overactive bladder and concern about being close to a loo!!
I am so happy and grateful that I am now well enough to be able to accept the privilege of being a bridesmaid (and a bride!) without that fear. My only concern over the 3 beautiful weddings so far this year (other than your typical concerns like tripping up the aisle or something!), was that my ostomy would let out a great big gas fart at the most inopportune time! I gave “my little guy” strict instructions not to act up! Knowing how unpredictable stomas can be, it would be just my luck he would decide to give off a little (or more likely big!) toot right when the celebrant asked if there were any objections!! He didn’t, thank goodness!
He has behaved very well on all occasions, even with a celebratory glass or 2 of champers! Both my beautiful sister and friend Anna were also very kind in the dress selection and choosing something loose and comfortable so there was no need to worry about my bag blowing up and popping out!
All these weddings … the happiness and unconditional love that shines through, the joy it brings everyone, having family and friends together (or from afar) celebrating such a wonderful affair – it is a beautiful thing to share and be a part of. It makes me realise how lucky I am to have Michael and my amazing friends and family. It makes me happy. It makes everyone happy and feel good! It is an amazing feeling, and reinforces how thankful and grateful I am to be where I am at now.
So if nothing else, that is what this post is about. LOVE! Love and gratitude. Companionship and heartfelt joy. Creating memories and giving thanks. Lifelong connections and happiness. Friends, family, partners and lovers. Togetherness. It’s important to me to express these feelings after such a special weekend and year of LOVE!
To Emma & Glen, to Anna & Rick, to Kate & Ez – thank you all for allowing me to be part of your special day. To Michael, thank you for being the incredible person that you are, I love and appreciate you more than you could ever know. To anyone reading this, may your life be filled with love of all kinds, and blessed with laughter and many special moments.
Finally, from my favourite Twigseeds cards series by Kate Knapp: