This is my Camino. Welcome.

On the strange grace that is Godly friendship

Necessary photo of me and Mark-character from a million years ago when we were young and stuff.
Necessary photo of me and Mark-character from a million years ago when we were young and stuff.

On Tuesdays I like to go to mass. Heck, I like going to mass most days. BUT on Tuesdays my usual hangout (St. Al’s) sometimes merely offers a Communion Service…which is nice…but last Tuesday I needed more plus the sacramental grace of confession. So, I headed out to a further-away parish across the city’s center.

On my way there I passed a guy who I usually see at St. Al’s and I was like, “Hey! You should come to mass with me!”

And he was like, “But I’m going to St. Al’s.”

And I was like, “No! Come with me! PEER PRESSURE!”

So then he caved and we went to mass together.

Want to know how I met this friend? I went on a bike ride across the city one time, years ago. My oldest brother, Dave, was far away volunteering for some time and another bike-ride participant reminded me of Dave. So I went up to said bike-rider and was like, “Hi. You look so much like my brother…can I take a picture?”

And I did.

YEEEEEARS later I saw him at mass and was like, “How do I know him, how do I know him, how do I know him?”

And then I had an inkling of a memory so I asked, “Um, one time did you, um, ride your bike across a city and, um, did a girl approach you and ask for a photograph?”

He shyly answered, “Yessss?”

So I said, “It was me! I took your picture!”

On Tuesday I stood next to him at mass and smiled in my heart because you never know, you know? You never know why or when your path will cross with someone you’ll end up befriending on this Camino of faith/ life/ awesome.

Updated photo because I requested it.
Updated photo because I requested it.

In August of 2011 a girl Facebook messaged me, “Hi. I’m new to town and I heard I should meet you. Want to hang out?” (<– more or less. I can’t find the original message).

So I was like, "Sure."

But she didn't know what she was in for.

I remember she was like, "Yeah, I'm not sure why I moved to Michigan."

And I said, "I think you're probably going to get married here. I give it a year."

I was wrong.

It took two years.

Cue the awwwww's.
Cue the awwwww’s.

But, on Saturday, I stood in her wedding. I curled her hair, I walked in front of her, I inwardly squealed when they exchanged vows and pushed the rings down their fingers "in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit," I extended my hand when the priest asked us to pray for the couple.

I watched her marry a guy I once met in a Salsa dance who elected not to learn the raunchy lesson but rather to make up his own with zeal and excitement. She married him, this guy who allowed me to persuade him to be in a play, the guy who makes brownies, the guy who loves her.

I sat at the bridal-party-table with my chocolate truffles and my eucalyptus-leaved-bouquet and marveled at it all. I was standing in their wedding. They’re married.

Life is crazy and unexpected and joyous.

My family of people.
My family of people.
On Friday I spent the night at my brother-and-sister-in-law’s. They met at a mutual-kinda-friend’s birthday party. SIL spoiled me with a manicure and gluten-free poptarts. It was the best.

I bridesmaided it up with partner-in-crime bridesmaid who I met at my brother-and-sister-in-law’s wedding…and now we stood in another wedding together. She keeps me sane and responsive. She blinks and raises her eyebrows at me when people say weird things at weddings. We laughed at the Best man’s speech and clinked our glasses…another successful weddin’! She’s the best.

Bridesmaid in crime.
Bridesmaid in crime.

I was driven around town with Kathryn because my wallet/ license/ phone was locked in a different car (accidentally) by a well-meaning out-of-town guest. I don’t remember how I met Kathryn, but I remember that I called her one time all, “Want to go out to dinner with me so I can convince you to do a play with me even though I have no idea what I’m doing?” So then we did. #thebest

I sat down at a table on Saturday and talked to beebee Julia who was all, “I TRY TO TALK TO EVERYONE ABOUT THE CAMINO BUT NO ONE UNDERSTANDSSSSSS”
Camino peeps are the best. We partied hard.

And I thought about all of this when I talked to one of the other dewds in the wedding party. You don’t know who you’re going to meet, who is going to end up your friend, who is going to end up marrying whom, who is in it with you to the bitter oh-no-my-wallet-is-locked-in-a-car-with-my-cell-phone end. Somehow, though, it happens. And then I stand there in my dress, holding my flowers and marvel over the magic of it all.

Watch out.

I may someday stand in your wedding.


Rehearsal times.
Rehearsal times.

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