Halfway through our wedding week, I asked all the women involved in the wedding to join me for a “thank you” dessert. The nine of us piled into our cars, drove down to the Inlet, and gathered around a long table in a tiny cafe, where the sun was shining through the windows and the walls were painted leaf green. We ordered wine and every dessert on the menu, marveling over the sweet dishes that appeared in front of us. At the end, I passed around gifts wrapped with baker’s twine and handed out notes, and we all teared up as they opened them. I wanted them to know, to really know, how much I loved them.
You see, these women flew across the country, putting a pause on their own lives, in order to stand beside me in South Carolina. As they have time and time before, each one chose to love me, to support me, to laugh with me, to encourage and calm and bear witness to life unfolding. Throughout the years, they have been there through fires and sickness and arguments, across the miles and despite living together, choosing encouragement and honesty and goodness every day. They have stayed up all night with me, dancing and baking and telling truths. They have welcomed me into their families with open arms. They have challenged me and taught me and sharpened me.
Between them, there are dreamers and mathematicians, theologians and healers, musicians and missionaries, all women of strength and character and unfailing loyalty. Each one is beautiful, strong, funny, & kind. In short, they are bright, and I am honored to be part of their lives. As one elderly woman said, approaching me towards the end of our meal, “Ma’am, you have the most beautiful group of friends I have ever seen.”
Sitting there in that little cafe, everything felt fresh and bright and colorful. We were delighted with the food, with the company, with the quaintness of everything around us. It was a time of sweetness and of laughter, a time of honoring these gorgeous women. A chance to have fun and to love and to enjoy the moment.
Plus, there were lots of sweet treats. Our lovely desserts included brownie à la mode, key lime pie, pistachio ice cream, pear cobbler, strawberry ice cream, & crème brûlée. All were homemade and utterly delicious and we smiled as we passed them around the table. I have long wanted to order every dessert on a menu, and I can’t think of a better occasion than this one. As Linda Grayson said, “There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”
I love you, my sweet and wild and precious friends.
Thank you for being here. I miss you already.