This weekend, my best friend Georgia, who I have spoken of often in this blog, got married.
The title of my post refers to a line from Mark Adamo's opera "Little Women" which I've sung 4 times. I don't have any sisters, so when I sang Jo, I always thought about Georgia and how close I am to her to try to understand the character better. Jo is really upset at first that Meg, her closest sister, decides to get married. But she learns though the course of the opera that even though things change, sometimes change can be beautiful and special and wonderful. I have been learning that lesson in many situations in my own life, and I often quietly remind myself, "Things change, Jo". I'm so happy for Georgia and her new husband Micah, and I wanted to share with you all the speech I gave at the reception to honor this very special moment in their - and also in my - life. Here's the speech:
I have to admit I was dubious about Micah at the beginning. Here was my best friend – as close as a sister – who was always careful and measured about all her important decisions – announcing to me a few days after meeting Micah that she was going to marry him. I remember saying to her “Micah? That guy you met 5 minutes ago?” when she called me on her last day in New Orleans and told me they were going to be married. It turned out not to be the official proposal of course, just a declaration of their commitment to each other before they left the job they met on, but it still really freaked me out. I always imagined that of the two of us, the one to impulsively announce they were going to marry somebody they just met would definitely be me, not Georgia. But she said to me, “knowing me, and knowing how careful I am, don’t you think I must be pretty sure about this to make a decision like this?”
And so it was almost reluctantly that I met Micah for the first time. “This is all too fast, “ I grumbled to myself, “this can’t be the real thing.” Except that during the first five minutes of meeting Micah, and of seeing him and Georgia together, I knew she was right. She really had found her soul mate – the person put on this earth meant to “complete” her, if that’s not too much of a cliché. It was so obvious, just from that first meeting, that Micah was not only the person who could get along with, understand, and support Georgia like nobody else, but that the love the two of them felt for each other was incredibly special and deep – the kind of love that inspires the phrase “when you know, you know.” I remember noticing the way he was always checking to make sure that she was okay, and the way she listened to everything he said with intensity and affection. The way they supported each other without competing for attention, and the way they each gave the other the space needed to exist exactly as they were. Neither wanted the other to change. And that’s probably the closest definition I can come up with for true love, and for why people should marry each other; because they accept and love each other for their true authentic selves.
I’m sure part of the reason I was initially reluctant to believe that this connection between them was as deep as she said it was had to do with the fact that I worried that if she found a person who so understood and supported her, my role as best friend would somehow become obsolete. But what I have come to realize in knowing Georgia and Micah as a couple is that finding someone who so admires and supports you the way Micah does Georgia and Georgia does Micah, doesn’t take you away from your other relationships or change your need for other people. It just makes you more secure in who you are, and allows you to find an even deeper truth to how you love others. So if anything, meeting Micah has deepened Georgia’s ability to love, trust, and support and be supported, because his love for her gives her the confidence to believe more completely in herself. I think connections like theirs are rare and beautiful, and I’m so grateful that my dearest friend has found the person who is so clearly just exactly right.