9/13/08

Soap Opera Sunday - Sometimes Three Really is Company

I got married later than quite a few of my friends. I had a number of long-term relationships that simply fell apart before there were wedding bells. Of course in hindsight that's a good thing.

For me, the thing about experiencing SO many relationships before finding Ryan, was that there are a lot of old memories, fears, and issues that can arise, breaking in on a healthy, trusting relationship. Because of that, there was a part of me that struggled with fear as the wedding day drew closer. I knew I could not imagine my life without Ryan in it. I knew that we should be together, somewhere deep inside, I knew. Even when the fears and doubts would creep in, trying to steal my peace, I just knew. They say that happens. But "just knowing" and also having a mind that over-thinks everything can sometimes make life tricky.

I never wanted to back out. I never stayed awake all night wondering what I was getting myself into. But I can be honest and say that I just felt scared. Not about Ryan, or our relationship. But because I had experienced life the way that I had for so many years, I was definitely afraid of something going terribly wrong. Of losing him somehow, or maybe I was even afraid that I would somehow screw it up. I was a little on edge as the months brought us closer to the day we'd exchange vows and never turn back.

I needed a friend to keep me in line. To remind me that Ryan and I were doing the right thing. To speak wisdom over my worries and help me catch up on all the last minute STUFF you have to do before getting married. I was very very far behind on those things you're supposed to do. Like getting gifts for your bridal party, or purchasing just the right shoes, or contacting musicians to make sure things were lined up. There was so much I wasn't doing, too much to list here. That's what happens with me. If I get overwhelmed, I just kind of freeze.

And then she came. The kind of friend I hope everyone has, or will one day experience. I didn't have to tell her that I needed her to come early. I didn't have to beg. I didn't have to cry. She heard it in my voice and she made arrangements. She had two very small children and a husband in the Navy. She was living in Hawaii and making plans to move her family back to the mainland. She was doing all of it alone and yet she arranged to come and spend the entire week before my wedding staying with me, making lists of things to do and crossing them off as she directed my days. She made meals, bought groceries, and stayed up late into the night as I talked her ear off. Most importantly she loved my Ryan. Because she lived so far away, she hadn't had a chance to be around him all that much. But in that week, as she spent more time observing our relationship, watching how he treated me and enjoying his sense of humor, she voiced such praise that I couldn't help but focus on the positive too.

My friend literally carried me through that week. My natural tendency toward anxiety and fear met her calming presence on a daily basis. I don't know if there are words to describe what that meant to me, what she means to me. She continues to teach me with the way she lives. She is selfless, kind, non-judgmental, and seems to have a never-ending supply of energy, as long as she's in service to others.

Right before the wedding ceremony began, people filed out of the bride's room and left me standing alone, waiting to make my entrance. There was a moment of panic, even though I was feeling joy and confidence at the same time. And once again, she knew. She came back in the room, held me in a bear hug and then looked right at me with those loving, sincere eyes and said, "you've got yourself a good one."

I think she maybe knew even better than I could, amidst my busy mind, that Ryan could be trusted. With my heart, and with our life. My friend continues to encourage our relationship. When I'm upset or discouraged, she is the voice of reason, pointing out the many positive things in the man I chose to marry. This is not the only reason that Ryan is her biggest fan. They are friends now too, sharing laughs and understanding each other like only friends do.

Our little trio is proof that three really can be company.

This post was written as a part of Soap Opera Sunday's September theme "Three's Company...or Three's a Crowd." To join in,
leave a comment on this post and add your link to the appropriately named "Mr. Linky" below:

17 clicked right here to comment:

Sabrina said...

What a joy in life to have those little gems...

Peanut said...

What a beautiful tribute to your friend... and what an amazing friend to have! The kind of friend who just knows...
I too freeze up when I get overwhelmed. I go around in circles, accomplishing nothing. I become absolutely useless until I write list after list and come up with a plan. (usually prefaced by many tears)

Adam and Kristina said...

I will just comment on yours, rather than play along. Friends are truly priceless. When I was engaged, all these issues that regarding my own parent's divorce, came crashing down around me. I didn't realize that would happen. My friends were there to help me through that time, and now I'm fine.

Well, fine is a relative word, I guess. ;)

Oh, and I will be expecting a post like this about me, even though we've never actually met, and we just became blog friends 3 days ago.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

She would never last in a real soap opera, that's for sure. Not evil enough.

But that's why I'm glad we don't live in a soap opera.

Plus, I hate it when people are always coming back from the dead and children grow from toddlers to teenagers in one year.

Heidi Ashworth said...

THis gave me goose bumps!

The Renner Family (Haiti) Blog said...

Thanks for stopping by and adding your comment and encouragement. If you wanted to hip others to our groove, I sure wouldn't cry about it.

Until then, stay tuned for the unveiling.

Cheers!
Luke

Melain said...

A friend's perspective is so necessary from time to time. I'm glad you had her. Don't forget to show up for her the next time SHE'S freaked out!

Brillig said...

Oh wow. Thank goodness for just the right friend in just the right moment! What a fantastic story.

charrette said...

What a sweet story. I DO have a friend like that. A couple of them, in fact. I am easily overwhelmed, sometimes to the point of paralysis, and so grateful for the friends who have been there for me at times like that!

I can tell she means the world to you, and it's great she gets along with your husband too, so you really are a happy threesome!

fiveflowers said...

What a great story! Thanks for sharing it!

Becky said...

Sign me up for SOS! I added my link, but I don't know how to add Mr. Linky to my SOS post. Help!

Heather of the EO said...

Becky,
you can go to your site, click on the title of your sos post. Then go up to the url and highlight it to copy it. Go back to Mr. Linky and paste that url into, um, him. That's it! Let me know if you have questions!

Becky said...

Okay, I did that and it worked. I just didn't know if I was supposed to have the cute little Mr. Linky box show up or what. Thanks!

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

You are so blessed to have a friend who was there for you to hold you and help you during a critical time in your life. They are rare gems.

SOS seems like so much fun. Maybe someday I'll play. It's just a little intimidating right now because you and the rest are such brilliant writers.

Shellie said...

Seems like you've got two keepers there!

2 hearts said...

My bad, I preset my SOS story to post and then left my computer all weekend totally forgetting to link up! Hope you enjoy it...

Melain said...

She sounds like the kind of friend I want to be. We women really need each other don't we.

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