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Marrying off Meagan

Last Saturday, I was given the honor to do one of the most important things I’ve ever had to do as a brother: officiate at my sister’s wedding to Robert.  As beautiful as the day was, Meagan surpassed it in every way.  It was amazing to be a part in such a momentous moment in life and hopefully it serves as a great dawn to a new family.  At my sister’s request, I wrote the entire ceremony… all 32 minutes of it.  As not to force mass amounts of reading upon you, here is the part that I love the most and am the most proud of:

Standing on the edge of this awe-inspiring day, we are here to bear witness and join together the lives of Meagan Marrity Wells and Robert Martin Clark, two best friends.   We understand that we are here because this ceremony, in part, is a formality, a requirement by the state of Oregon.  However, this ceremony does not promise love or even require it; however, it is you two, Meagan and Robert, that have brought love here from your everyday lives.  It is not just you that stands before us, it is your love for one another.

As you will be married today, you will be husband and wife– but this is only the first step.  As many of the people here can attest, marriage isn’t just a beautiful ceremony before friends and family; marriage is found in the every day, in the minutes and small details that are sewn into each day.  Have a deep and profound love of these grand moments, the ones that require special words and fill picture albums.  But remember that these are rare in busy lives.  However, give testimony to the little things in your lives together that may get only a moment’s thought: a touch here, a little note there, a kiss on the forehead, or even asking, “How was your day?” These things, as trivial as they may seem, are the underpinnings of your lives together.  These small things existed between you, long before any of us knew that we were going to stand  here today.  I would venture a guess that these small things existed before even you two knew you would be here as well.  Realize these little moments, these dew drops of happiness.

Recognize that marriage is not just a partnership or equality.  Yes, most of the time, marriage is about sharing and completing each other, but there will be times when sharing and completing are not enough. Rather, in these times, the world will press down upon you, and you will need one another to hold you, to reassure you, and, at times, to carry you.  Let the world bring its might against you, batter your doors, smash out your windows, break apart everything else—as long as you two are embraced, the world is nothing more than a blustery mosquito.

As you will be husband and wife, you must understand that this is a happy and fairytale beginning to a long life together—as it should be—but, the responsibility of taking this fairytale through its entirety rests upon your shoulders. To be in love, to be married means to be forgetful:

  • Be forgetful of yourself.  Set aside your needs and take up the needs of your partner, because only then, will both of you get what you desire.
  • Be forgetful of each other’s quirks and faults.  Learn to love those things that aggravate you, irritate you, or even make you laugh.
  • Be forgetful of arguments.  Much like a match, it serves a purpose but is only useful once.
  • Be forgetful of restraint.  Throw caution to the wind, love each other with an unceasing sense of passion and recklessness.  Love dangerously. Love on the edge.
  • Be forgetful of time.  Try to do as much, see as much, experience as much, and love as much as you can as a couple, because no matter what, there will never be enough time.
  • Be forgetful of where either of you have been.  Now there is only where you will go together.
  • Be forgetful of possessions.  The only tangible thing of any importance is that hand that is in your hand right now.  Let the world fall away, let every possession be taken from you—and you are still the wealthiest people in the world.
  • Be forgetful of how to talk.  Know your partner well enough to say a thousand words, without saying a single word at all.
  • Be forgetful of how many times you have said, “I love you” and always assume you haven’t said it enough.
  • Be forgetful of the world around you, for you two are now a world unto yourselves.

We who are here present, those who are absent thinking of you, hope that the inspiration of this hour will not be forgotten. May you continue to love one another, forever.”

Almost exactly 30 years ago, some of  the same family and friends that surround you today, watched  a  young couple marry on another beautiful summer afternoon. On that day, Judge William Wells, Meagan’s grandfather, officiated at the wedding of Meagan’s parents. Since “Papa” is no longer with us, please allow me to speak for him. I will conclude this ceremony with some of the same words that our grandfather used to conclude our parents’ wedding so many years ago:

“May you two, now married, keep this covenant you have made.  May you be a blessing and a comfort to each other, sharers of each other’s joys, consolers in each other’s sorrows, helpers to each other in all the vicissitudes of life.  May you encourage each other in whatever you set out to achieve.  May you, trusting each other, trust life and not be afraid.  Yet may you not only accept and give affection between yourself, but also together have affection and consideration for others.

We who are here present, those who are absent thinking of you, hope that the inspiration of this hour will not be forgotten. May you continue to love one another, forever.”

Congratulations to my baby-sister and my brand-new brother.