Today is one of the high holidays of Halfglassistan.
If you've been paying attention, you knew it was coming: I began a sentimental journey at the beginning of the month, added to it, sprinkled in a few wordless clues here and there, and had the intention of telling the tale of the Wedding Wedding today, its 10th anniversary.
Then we were taking off for TAHITI*.
Now, before you go getting all worked up and wondering how the hell Team Wedding can come up with that kind of coin (you know who you are) — let me explain.
Yes, Tahiti is a real place. No, TAHITI* is not. Except how it exists in my mind. Kinda like Cat Con. (In fact, she made all the arrangements. She has the best taste.)
TAHITI* is where there is no cancer. No unemployment. No bills. No agonies of aging parents. No chemo. No scans. No tests. No fevers. No antibiotics. No tubes. No migraines. No scales. No thinning gray hair. No chipped teeth. No weird aches. No insomnia. No fears. No hate. No confusion. No changes. No passive-aggressiveness. And no cancer. Did I say no cancer? That's OK. TAHITI* so doesn't have cancer, it doesn't even have a word for cancer. You can see why I'd be confused.
In TAHITI*, we are always young and beautiful (or, as Cat Con says, younger and beautifuller — because we're never not beautiful). We are always laughing. We are always singing. We are always dancing. We are always loving.
Hmmm. If you've spent any time at all in Halfglassistan, I think you'll realize we've been to TAHITI* before. We do a lot of laughing and singing and dancing regardless of what else is going on. And the loving? Well, we're all about that around here.
In fact, there's no need to tell the story of the Wedding Wedding. Yeah, it's a good one, even in my not-so-humble, oh-so-biased, opinion. But, right now, what happened that day isn't what's important. What's important is that 10 years later, there is not just an anniversary of a beautiful fall evening, but — that there is a Team Wedding. And TWHQ isn't a figment of my imagination, but a real-live place. In the real world. Where all of those not fun things I listed above do exist.
And we go on in spite of them. We are better because of them.
We're not celebrating today that I put on a stunning rum-pink satin beaded dress 10 years ago and carried the most gorgeous champagne-colored roses with just a hint of pink at the petals' edges. We're not celebrating that I smiled and kissed Mr. J before our minister even began the ceremony — yet don't even remember doing it, because it was so natural. We're not celebrating that Mr. J and I, from memory, recited vows that each had written to the other. And cried through them, along with everyone else in the room.
No. I've realized that what we're celebrating today is that, 10 years later, I love and respect Mr. J even more than I did that night. Even more than I would have believed possible.
After spending the week among loved ones who, for whatever reasons, have forgotten who they are and what they mean to others — we're celebrating that we still can appreciate who we are together and what we mean to each other.
After helping another loved one memorialize the husband she lost just five days after their 40th wedding anniversary, we're celebrating that we've at least had 10 together — and praying we have many more.
And, after meaning to leave for TAHITI* yesterday around noon, but being sidetracked — we're celebrating that we get to go to TAHITI* at all.
So, au revoir, y'all.
We're in TAHITI*. See you when (if) we come back.