I’ve seen a decent number of grooms in my life, but I’ve never seen one more bursting with joy than my brother Mike on the day in early October last year when he married Annie.
Every possible description you could give to describe someone consumed with love for the woman to whom he was about to make a public commitment applied to Mike on that day.
“I never saw Michael so happy,” Mom said afterward.
Today, Mike turns 45 years old.
Dunreith, Aidan and I called and sang to him.
We chatted briefly about their plans for the evening-a massage, spa and tasty dinner awaited-and the time we’ll all spend together in March. We joked and discussed the possibility of Aidan spending the summer out there interning for Annie’s start-up company.
Mostly, we let him know through song, word and gesture that we loved him.
Mike’s pleasure in his life and in his bride crackled through the line.
After listing the litany of physical ailments he’s got-a bum hip and stress fracture in his foot topped the list-he added, “But I’m married to Annie.
“We’re newlyweds,” he said later.
Indeed they are.
Mike’s birthday and newlywed status provide yet another reminder of the major limitations in, if not impossibility of, predicting the future (I can easily tick off a dozen aspects of the call and our lives that I would never have thought would turn out the way they have.).
But it also marks an occasion to weave another strand in my ties to the brother I’ve known as long as I have memory, and to be lifted after a long and hard day at my work by the joy he feels in his life.