It occurs to me I neglected to mention the fact I attended my daughter's wedding without an escort.
My husband does not like airplanes. He doesn't have anything in particular against them as long as he's not in one. We do not use the word "fear" at any time. He explains his "avoidance syndrome" (my words) as his not liking to be inside moving vehicles from which he cannot exit at will. Whatever.
His absence however did provide me with a delicious once-in-a-lifetime moment during the Champagne toast segment of the reception to be the star of the soirée. He gave me the possibility to have all attention focused on moi, moi, moi -- spotlight, microphone and every eye in the house glued on the MOB.
Had he actually been there this would have been a lost opportunity so as Pierre (my jeweler, i.e. previous post) says, out of everything bad comes something good.
I stood before some 130 people and read his beautiful message to his beloved stepdaughter.
Here is what he said (I know this is an extremely long post, but I think his words are wonderful and I hope you will too):
Ma Petite Andrea (he's French),
I would so much like to have been at your side today to accompany you toward the man with whom you have chosen to spend the rest of your life.
Before meeting your mother and you more than 25 years ago I thought life was made up of moments without tomorrows.
But from the day the person who is reading my words to you came into my life I knew immediately my world had a sense and that we formed one of those rare couples where each of us lives definitively not only with each other, but for each other. Suddenly everything seemed simple and evident.
As for you, my chere Drea, the little girl who probably thought I was stealing her mother; our relationship has over the years grown into a magnificent complicity.
I always dreamed of having a daughter and voila -- there you are.
Now. . . Maybe it's about time I started to talk about you and Will. Most of all I wish for you the same harmony and happiness I share with your mother.
It's difficult to create a successful couple -- at least that's what everyone believes.
I don't agree.
Whatever the disparate personalities within a couple, the most important condition for success is that each of you is attentive toward the other -- every moment of every day -- in your thoughts and in your actions.
No one is perfect, but a perfect marriage is possible when both partners replace the word "I" with the word "We".
No one should ever hope or try to change the personality of his or her spouse. A couple must be the sum of their two distinct characters which ultimately creates the richness of a shared life.
Now let's be concise:
1.) Love is easy -- it's simply chemistry.
2.) Happiness is not merely a word. It is a decision.
3.) Once that decision is taken, it allows you to face any situation no matter how difficult. (And you can be sure there will be difficult situations.)
4.) And how about fidelity? Fidelity is the supreme luxury one offers the other no matter what the price in order to preserve and protect your precious couple.
5.) A sense of humor makes up for the rest and heaven knows you and Will are rather gifted in that domain.
Now, entre nous, Will. We're entrusting Andrea to you. Beautiful, intelligent, sensitive and loyal -- she deserves the happiness I'm sure you will give her. And I am certain she will give you in return. You probably know all of her faults, if not I wouldn't want to tell you here and deprive you of the delectation you'll have discovering them in the years to come.
And finally, Will, a formula I've found works quite well with her mother that I'd like to pass along to you in case you might wish to use it from time to time.
Whenever necessary -- and you'll know when it's necessary -- try saying these three phrases.
1.) Je suis desole. (I'm sorry. . .)
2.) Tu as raison. (You're right. . .)
3.) Je t'aime. (I love you.)
From the bottom of my heart I wish you both all the happiness in the world -- tout la bonheur du monde.