The elaborately detailed writing on the envelope that arrived at my parent’s house addressed to me had me baffled at first.
But once I peeled back the tab I realized what was inside – the invitation to the March wedding of one of the people that had the greatest impact on making me into who I am today.
I sat down with a smile and read the card over several times – reflecting on the many moments that I shared with this friend over what has been a decade of close calls and near-misses.
Surely things have changed in the last several years as each of the members of that core group of friends goes about their separate ways because of love, or work, or the desire to start a family of their own.
The person you used to see every morning and hang out with every single weekend you now see once every couple of months – if that – and are left to reflect on the good times and the bad times that you all collectively shared as a group.
It’s a road that you’ve been walking for as long you can recall, and all of sudden in the snap of a finger – there’s another fork where you part ways with those you consider your closest confidants so that they can go pursue the happiness that exists out in the world for them.
This weekend that same group of people will be getting together for an annual fishing derby to honor the memory of a friend who passed away several years ago in a motorcycle accident.
I’ll never forget the wretched feeling in my stomach as I drove home from Orange County the morning that I got the news.
It was one of those moments where life just doesn’t seem to make any sense – why murderers and child molesters are left to roam the streets and it has to be somebody who actually did good for his fellow man and brought smiles to those he touched that perishes before his time.
But the world still turns, and those who loved him the most honor his memory by doing what he would have probably have been doing on what will surely be a cold January morning – sitting out in a boat in the Delta trying to land the biggest Striper he could before heading back and meeting up with friends to eat, drink, and be merry.
Looking at that wedding invitation, I reflected back on my own recent past and experiences with love where I found the only person I could have spent the rest of my life with, comfortably.
The cards that end up showing at the end of the hand though are often times beyond your control, and you’re left to pick up the pieces and rebuild something that’s even stronger because you now know what you’re capable of feeling.
Surely my time will come in the future where I’m the one who’s sending out the “Save the Date” cards and the frilly invitations and stressing because the woman of my dreams is worried about how many ribbons we’re going to be able to get for the chairs.
But for the time being, I can just check the box on the RSVP card I’m holding in my hand with a smile on my face – knowing that opening this one piece of mail brought back more feelings than anything I’ve found in a mailbox in a long while.
Just another fork in the road – another opportunity for a new life complete with the trials and tribulations that will only make them stronger in the long run.
Best wishes to the young couple that seem made for one-another and are genuinely happy when they’re together.
You deserve your day. (Seals envelope)