There’s just something refreshing about the broad concept of a re-birth.
We root for athletes to return from bad injuries or personal problems, and admire the politician who can survive a setback and bounce back for victory. Many of us have moved to new locations looking for that “fresh start” in life, and there’s no better feeling in the world than knocking out your bills and starting with a clean slate.
There’s also another kind of re-birth — one that is not a way to erase past issues and start anew, but rather the acceptance of a new element in your life that sets you on a whole new course altogether. I was thinking about that very kind of re-birth this past Saturday.
To set the stage, I was standing on the beach in Bethany and looking on as my good friend Drew Lyons was taking his wedding vows with his new bride, the former Page Thompson. As is often the case with my somewhat jumbled brain, I allowed my mind to stray a bit from the current events.
I started thinking about how happy Page made Drew, and from what I could see, how happy he made her. That got me thinking about the whole “re-birth” concept — about how Drew and Page were stepping off into a whole new life together. Oh, they’ve known each other and loved each other for a number of years now, but this was a different animal.
This was truly the beginning of an entirely new chapter.
My cluttered mind began to wisp away to the future for the two of them. I decided internally that this was their second life ... that everything in their lives prior to this point was a kind of training ground for the life they were beginning together. What once was two people taking individual journeys through their solitary existences was now one pair combining their strengths to overcome their weaknesses and begin a whole new family.
Oh, and I thought about the food at the reception, as well, but that’s a little off track.
Sticking to this week’s story, I looked around at the spectators for the service. My first instinct was to find Susan Lyons, the mother of the groom, and, as expected, she was all smiles at the events before her. There was no expression of “my little baby is leaving me forever” or any of that other garbage, it was all joy and happiness. That joy and happiness, by the way, had been missing for several days before the nuptuals as our little “Sue Mommy” exploded a few times as the big day approached. I mean, I know there’s tension when your son is about to be married, but I have to say that I found the headlock she slapped down on Bob Bertram and the kicks to Shaun Lambert’s shins a little out of line. But you had to admire her technique when she tackled me as I walked up the stairs and started giving me noogies while I screamed to the heavens for ...
But I digress.
The day was about Drew and Page. Friends and relatives came from all over to witness the birth of this new family, and the outpouring of love for both of them made it clear to me that I was witnessing not only the birth of a new family, but also the merger of two established families. With all that support and love, I knew they had this thing figured out already, and were well-prepared to take on whatever challenges came their way.
My stomach grumbled a bit as thoughts of a reception buffet muscled their way back into my psyche but, fear not, my trusty mess of a mind was ready to go sailing again.
My eyes tracked to the area around us. Dark clouds that threatened the day’s festivities had moved onward, leaving a rainbow over the ocean as a backdrop for the ceremony. Heavy equipment and pipes from Bethany Beach’s replenishment efforts dotted the landscape, but work was held off long enough to get through the wedding. It seemed that whenever something threatened to dampen the day’s optimism, something else happened to turn the tide and make the day that much more precious.
But there was still one more landmine to navigate.
If you read this column regularly, get help. Actually, if you’ve read my ramblings before, you’ve probably read about Drew and his best friend, Stephen Mills. The two of them are as inseparable as dumb and Jessica Simpson, and have re-wired or re-built just about anything they can get their hands on — just to see what happens. They’ve been on more odd explorations than Lewis and Clark, and have racked up a list of stories that could rival that of anybody.
As Stephen stood to give his best-man speech, a noticeable hush fell over the room. Would he spill all the goods and embarrass Drew to the core? Would all the tasty tidbits be revealed in such a public manner? Could something possibly bring down this day?
Actually, no. Stephen told some very funny stories, and certainly tweaked Drew a few times for everybody’s enjoyment, but kept it respectful and heartfelt. It was actually a perfect toast, and the perfect cap to the perfect day.
Well, until I discovered that perfect bottle of Jameson.
Sorry about that, Drew and Page. And, congratulations. You two are perfect for each other. I offer this old Irish toast:
Health and a long life to you.
Land without rent to you.
A child every year to you.
And if you can't go to heaven, may you at least die in Ireland.