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I woke to the rough sounds of my youngest son’s retching.

“Too much merry-making last night,” my husband muttered.

My better half has an understated way with words, and these, even laced with sleep, were delivered in  his calm, matter-of-fact way, while lying within dark unfamiliar surroundings of a downtown Tulsa hotel.

“Poor Kyle.  Will he be all right by tonight?.” I asked this with my mind racing ahead, thinking of that Best Man’s speech which laid crumpled on the window sill by his bed.

“Yeah.  He’ll be fine.”

I needed to hear these words from my husband of twenty-five years: Shoring up life with a few comforting words — when things go bump and barf in the night —  is what my husband does best.

Of course, thinking of tonight’s wedding festivities, I hope Kyle will be better than fine.  I hope he will be at his tip-top ‘best’, living up to his spot in tonight’s wedding party line-up.  But then, I hope we are ALL at our tip-top best, full of joy, indulging in more than a little harmless merry-making since this is my oldest son’s wedding day.  Have I mentioned — somewhere in a post along the way — that at six o’clock this evening. Bryan and Amy are getting married?

So what will this day bring?  Many merry-making guests dressed in their finest finery.  That’s a given.  Walks down the glamorous lobby aisle, which this morning, was still littered with rose petals from last night’s wedding.

To be sure, a few happy tears — courtesy of moi —  to accompany the speaking of age-old vows of “better or worse.”  Then lovely music.  And probably some that will not seem so to my way of thinking.  A first dance in a grand ballroom will follow  — and a second dance between our bride and her father will lead to the third between my son and me.  And if the DJ has been able to locate it, we’ll dance to these sounds of Carly Simon.

And then the “just marrieds” will cut the cakes baked by the bride’s oldest sister. a pastry chef in Kansas City.  And who knows what else?   Except that like the rest of life, the best moments will come unexpected and completely un-rehearsed.

I write this line thinking of Don’s mother who longed to be part of this evening’s marry-making, who instead is home in her own bed, weak as a kitten from a three-week ordeal that began in ICU and ended in a hospice center.  True to the worst of life, this was not unexpected.  Janice’s battle with cancer entered its ‘fourth-stage’ earlier this year — and this, solely out of love for Janice, who prefers to speak of the ‘betters’ than the ‘worst’ of life,  has been one of the ‘unmentionables’ flapping around my life of late.

Better and worse.  Light and dark..  Life and death..  In health and sickness — even the sort self-imposed from too much merry-making.  These opposites help define one another, don’t they?  And like in the case of my husband and I, who like Bryan and Amy, are a couple of “opposites-attract”, perhaps they also refine one another.  And who knows but that maybe, one day, this soon-to-be married couple will regard the other as their ‘better half.’  As I do my husband.

I do I do  I do.