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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Love is All You Need

I always cry at weddings. I cry…not because I’m overcome with joy for the couple saying their vows…I cry…because I’m afraid the pair doesn’t know what they’re getting into.
I admit I’m a cynic when it comes to love. I’ve been quite unlucky in the area of everlasting affection. I’m not good at relationships. I don’t like having to consider other people’s needs before my own. And apparently other people don’t like to consider my needs ahead of theirs either. 
I often find an excuse not to attend weddings. I can conjure up a migraine, a belly-ache, or a bout of the flu in no time at all. I call and decline…cough, cough, sniffle, snort…and wish the bride and groom the very best. I might even send a gift. But I rarely attend a wedding. I don’t like to cry.
Last weekend, however, I happily broke my rule about not attending weddings. I went to a marriage ceremony at St. Mary’s Catholic Church so I could witness the joining of my friends in holy matrimony.
I cried, of course. But this time, tears rolled down my cheeks because I was sure the couple knew exactly what they were getting into.
The bride is the mother of my daughter-in-law. The groom is someone I’ve known since he was a 20 year old kid selling life insurance door-to-door.  Carla and Craig…C&C.
The C&C stands for Carla & Craig, but it could also stand for Committed & Compassionate, Courageous & Caring…or any number of  C&C  words that describe love at its very best.
You see…Carla & Craig have both done this before. This is the second marriage for each of them. They both have children and grandchildren. They both have spouses who died from cancer within the last three years.
Both Carla and Craig loved their first spouses dearly and faithfully. They cared for them and helped them during their long, critical illnesses. Carla’s husband fought cancer for nine years; Craig’s wife struggled with it for three.  Their loved ones died within a year of each other and left Carla & Craig lonely and heart-broken.
When they met each other last year, Carla & Craig realized that they could love again…and that they did, in fact, love each other. Their sad expressions of grief were replaced with smiles and the glow of happiness.
And everyone around them, who loved them, and had watched as they waged a battle against cancer with their spouses…well, we all smiled and glowed with happiness, too.
So, yes, last Saturday, I went to a wedding and…I cried. The tears welled as Carla’s 19 year old son walked her down the aisle of the church. They slid down my cheek as C&C promised to love one another for richer or poorer.
And this time, when the couple vowed to love each other  in sickness and in health, I smiled because I knew for sure that not only did they both know exactly what they were getting into…I knew they had already been vetted for the job.
Carla and Craig have lightened my burden of cynicism and made me believe in the power of love again.
C&C…all you need is love…love is all you need.

Peggy Browning

Link to All You Need is Love   sung in 156 different countries.

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