a heart full of joy.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Gathered here today is the group of people that are most important to this young couple.  We are their family, their friends, their confidants, their coworkers…their favorites.  They have asked us here to bear witness to their commitment to each other, to share in that promise with them, and to celebrate their love as a community.  
To this occasion Suzie and Russ bring their open hearts, their fierce love, the dreams which bind them together, and their own individual personalities.  They found each other five and a half years ago under the awning of the Chicago skyline when neither was looking for love.  She saw him as an old soul, an old-fashioned kind of gentleman increasingly uncommon among men his age.   And he, well, he thought she was pretty.  They fell in love easily, and have carved out a life together filled with common goals and an abundance of laughter, both tender and crass.
But their differences must be celebrated just as much as their similarities. They hail from completely different parts of the country, from different religious traditions, different family dynamics.  There’s Russ, a preacher’s son from North Carolina, by way of Mississippi, who prefers to mosey through life, revelling in crowds and carrying on conversations with just about anyone that will have him.  He is a thoughtful, good-natured man, both open-minded and strong willed, ever appreciative of a good drink, good company, and a rocking chair in which to enjoy it all.
And then there’s Suzie, half-Polish, half-Viking, a native Minnesotan, equal parts brassy and quiet.  Unlike Russ, she adores solitude and is most at home with the stillness of a glassy lake and the chatter of her own mind.  Indeed, she is a force of nature in her own right, quietly conquering everything in her path and inspiring everyone around her to tackle the challenges laid before them.   
In short, their differences are what define them but, ultimately, are exactly what drew them together.  Their amazing creativity is each their own, yet each inspires the other.  Where one has shortcomings the other has room and cause to succeed.  Their differences compliment each other and fit together, roughly, like hand-hewn pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, forming a picture that no one has yet seen, least of all the two of them.
That two different people can join together so completely and yet not lose themselves is the very thing we celebrate here today.  Because, you see, these two people belong to us.  They’ve belonged to us for years, in some cases their, or our, entire lives.  And now this married couple will belong to us as well, but not at the cost of either of our two great friends, our niece or nephew, our son or our daughter.  
Today we have lost nothing and gained, from their commitment, one of our own: to support them as a family, to love them as individuals, and to ground them to their histories, just as they write theirs and ours anew.
 i have few words to express the amount of joy that fills my heart,
after witnessing one of the most beautiful weddings i've EVER been to, this past weekend.
that of my sister suz & her husband russ.
simply amazing.
{more pics & stories to come.  the excerpt above, was written by suzie's now, adoring husband, which was read during their ceremony.}



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