I grew up with a close friend 11 months my junior. Since our parents were best friends and we were both only children, we spent our lives regarding each other as siblings (we bonded rather intensely as kids and stayed very close as adults). My brother met an amazing girl and asked her to be his wife (we had been able to hang out several times and we just loved her to death, so we were super pleased). She called me and asked me to be a bridesmaid in their wedding, and told me expressly how glad she was to be gaining a new "sister" and how important it was to my brother that I be part of their big day. This was especially touching since my brother is not a sharer of emotions 99% of the time, and if I hugged him and said, "I love you," or, "I missed you," he'd usually just grunt in response, grin, and offer me a beer!
Their wedding was a tropical destination affair (about 45 guests, including my parents), and my husband and I still agree it was one of the best vacations we've ever taken! In addition to the super-fun and relaxed atmosphere, Wonder Bride went out of her way to introduce me to her other attendants, who of course were girlfriends of hers that I did not know, as she grew up about 1,000 miles from our hometown. She made us these wonderful "thank-you" bags that were monogrammed, and included a beach towel, picture frame, and other lovely favors. She also picked a color for our dresses and - knowing we were all different shapes and sizes - said, "pick anything you'd like in this color, be comfortable and happy."
Basically, this wedding was all about the ties of friends and family, the love shared by the couple, and their joy in sharing it with the rest of us! I was thinking about this wedding and moved to write about bride's gracious and loving attitude because we are coming up on the three-year anniversary of my brother's death. I ache every day with missing him, and am forever grateful to his wife for loving him so much and making him so happy.