VANCITY: The Ultimate (Re)Union

Standing up with hands sweatily clenched onto my camera, I arose in unison with everyone in the sanctuary anxiously waiting for the grand entrance of the Bride-to-Be. I barely caught a glimpse of her before my eyes started to well up with joyful tears, as I also heard my childhood best friend, Nathan, behind me whisper, “Oh my god, I’m totally gunna cry… Jess is so beautiful.”

I looked back towards the groom standing with hands held in front of him, leading the line of groomsmen all of whom I once knew as boys, now have become men. It was the happiest I had ever seen Anthony… and trust me, I have seen many sides of this human. From a taunting chubby bully, to the days of bubble tea runs and driving around his mother’s white volvo, this was a whole other Anthony I was experiencing; the Man grown up and ready to spend the rest of his life with his Woman.

As Jess approached him and Anthony took her by the hands, a flashback to an msn conversation once had between Jess and I at 14 years old resurfaced. “Hey Jeh, imagine if you and Anthony got together. Oooohhhhh!!” “GROSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!” She replied with more exclamation marks and barfing emoticons. What followed after that instance was an irritated Anthony that I had somehow interfered and had Jessica acting “weird” around him because of the possible suggestion. A couple of years later, little did they both know, their best friendship was anything but gross, and everything beautiful.

From countless sleepovers, camping trips, praise team practices, youth group and family parties, Jess and I had our lives intertwined as young girls growing into delagas. The same could be said about Anthony, someone who during much of my teenagehood, I looked up to for advice and guidance, as an older brother and friend.

I sat on the pew, finally deciding to give up on trying to take pictures, and allowed myself to take in the beauty of this union. The tears would not stop. Our lives have all changed, mine drastically in the last 3 and a half years, and to be there to celebrate with two of my oldest friends on a day that we will all remember for the rest of our lives… felt too good.

[my highschool best friend, Amie]

[born 3 days apart, Nathan, another childhood bestie.]

“Like the end to a really good romantic comedy,” commented Tim, Jessica’s older brother and my former first love. Here we all were, Life had happened… and Life was still happening. A jump into present day, the montage showing where everyone had been, and where everyone is now. Time had passed, old feelings of bitterness, resentment, awkwardness, or anything in between because of events that took place in the past, all seemed to have┬ádissipated. I guess we all grew up, became a little bit smarter, a whole lot wiser.

[bridesmaids: Jacquie, Pat, Maureen.]

[Mi Famille. Clearly, 2 years later, my dad is still unimpressed with my side-shaved head.]

[Daniel, Pastor Bernie, Matt and Nate.]

[Gabe, Amie, Dani, Me, Mumta and Becca.]

To Connect and Reconnect… my intention for that day, what became my intention for my entire trip home, was fulfilled more than I expected. Every conversation and interaction was intentional, an open energy full of non-judgement and genuine happiness to be in each other’s presence. The very reason for our gathering on that gorgeous July summer day, two incredible individuals become one ultimate partnership, was a good enough reason for all to forget we ever had any differences, and remember that the history and time we’ve all once shared in our relationships was more valuable than we realized.

Another chapter, another beginning to an end to a beginning. Somehow, all this time apart, made us all feel closer than ever.

To Jessica and Anthony, you two are more dear to me than you’ll ever understand. From the depths of my heart, I am so happy to be part of your lives, and to share such a rich history with you in your upbringing. I can only know you Forever from here on in. Love Always.

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