She is one of the best souvenirs I have from high school, a friendship that has spanned and thrived for more than 13 years. We have survived the harshness of secondary school bullies, the heady days of college, hearts broken, financial crises. I give her props for enduring my tempestuousness- as I have her erstwhile stubbornness and occasional imperious self.
Just as when I thought I know everything about her, she springs a fast one- a wedding celebration that rocked the worlds of those close to her. I never thought she had an artsy, girly bone in her; I was wrong. From her white vintage Jaguar bridal car, to the very coordinated autumn motif; from her crystal-laden gown, to the smokeless pyrotechnics that erupted in the altar as she and her groom sealed their vows with a kiss- I thought I was crashing somebody else's wedding celebration. I was shaking my head while having this sheepish smile plastered on my face throughout the ceremonies and beyond: you think you know people...
It felt a tad *weird* because she didn't seem the type to swim and live out this fantasy wedding, given her no nonsense mentality, street smarts and (then) abhorrence for anything kitschy. Then again, everything in her wedding was classy, with the ceremonies mounted with nary a hitch, the food superb, the string quartet fantastic, the pop band subtle, the emcee engaging without being obstrusive.
After all, 1) people do change and 2) she's very much entitled to HER day at the altar, in the manner and form she wishes her wedding to take place, in the face of all that she and her family have been through.
I am so very glad to have been part of the wedding celebration of Arbeth and Cheryl (Ches to many of her friends). It was such a joy to witness their love affirmed in front of God's community. Added bonus was seeing friends with whom I have not touched base for several years. Funny how fast the years have gone by... Lovely how well the years have treated us... Interesting how we've all changed but essentially remained the same...
All the best to you, Arbeth and Ches!
May the LORD bless you and take care of you;
May the LORD be kind and gracious to you;
May the LORD look on you with favor and give you peace.
- Numbers 6:24-26
(In the photos: Ches as she first emerges from the hotel room she got ready in; the Glass Garden in Pasig, all decked up for the celebration; the couple with Tita Julie, Ches's mom; the newlyweds with myself and Portia, our college quadriga minus Ellen who got sick that day. We missed you Ellen!)