Sunday, July 31, 2016

Fresh as a Summer Breeze

Saturday evening, I officiated Ledi and Mark’s wedding at The Adolphus in Dallas, Texas. I love reciting the Priestly Blessing in different languages. This time I got to recite it in Albanian, in Ledi’s family’s honor. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

When I think of Ledi and Mark and their love story, I can’t help but feel excited. There is an energy, an excitement, a vitality that these two exude, when you interact with them as a couple. Just listen to Ledi’s telling of their story from the very beginning, “I looked over, and I thought, ‘Wow, he’s cute!’” and she adds, “From day one, I had a crush on him. I had a feeling in my gut that he was special.” And listen to Mark’s description of his first feelings, “I remember how beautiful she was. I had never seen someone who in my mind had such perfection. She was funny, outgoing, kind, AND cool! To be honest, I thought she was out of my league.”

Now, being a child of the 80s, I when I read what they wrote, I could not help but think of Kool and the Gang’s most well-known song, “Fresh”, where they sing:

Conversation is going 'round
People talking 'bout the girl who's come to town
Lovely lady (which Kool pronounces – I am not making this up – Ledi!), pretty as can be
No one knows her name she's just a mystery
… She's a lady, one I really want to know
Somehow I've got to let my feeling show
She's fresh, exciting
She's so exciting to me…
Tell you something I really can't hide
Heaven must have sent you to be by my side…
Fresh as a summer breeze
She'll take you by surprise
She means so much to me
I'll do whatever to make her mine

Now, do NOT watch the music video of the song ( if you are not sitting down, if you are not sitting down. It is such an odd retelling of the Cinderella story that it will cause your head to spin. And those 80s outfits went out of style for a reason!
Now, Cinderella is a fairy tale, and that term is sometimes a synonym for unreal or make believe. Not so in Ledi and Mark’s connection. These are deep people, with a profound ability for self-reflection, and they take this ability to their mutual life together. Their descriptions of their feelings for each other, and their appreciation of what this relationship has brought them as individuals and as a couple, sound spiritual.

Mark says, “We connected with such strength and on a level neither of us had ever experienced before. It was and continues to this day to be a very special connection. It has not withered. The honeymoon phase has not ended. We continue to grow with each other every single day. We have ups, we have downs, but it doesn't matter. We have each other. I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for every moment we share.”

And Ledi says, “I want to marry Mark because he is truly my best friend, he is so thoughtful, he is caring, he is smart, he is handsome, he is my other half. He is every girl’s dream and more. He is truly a blessing and I really am the luckiest woman in the world to have a man care so much for me.” Wow. It sounds like this love story is what Kool and the Gang call in their song, Stone Love, “Solid like a rock…”