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Enter Prince Charming
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Good things come to those who wait. And in this story, the good things are truly wonderful and have emerged as being undeniably worth the wait. At times, this “wait” was home to several Mr. Wrongs and one or two Prince Charming wannabees. But over the years, the reservoir of patience reached a high and its depth paid off in an unexpected way. You see, my sister, two years my junior, is getting married this weekend. Her patience is the victor here, and life, the joy decided to happen, as she was busy making other plans.

Let me say this. We all have dreams, aspirations, visions of the way our life should be, but as we all know, life has a mind of its own, and there is no rulebook saying it should follow the exact course we have outlined in our heads. There are many ways to get there, but life can have a tendency to veer off the map, the beaten track, like a spinning top choosing a path in the dirt all its own. And sometimes the route is longer than expected. We can be almost there and nowhere near it. But how we react and how we decide to fill our time in the journey can define who we are; how we fill our time not in the past or the future but now. My sister was not “waiting” on anything. Her “anything” happens all around her; the blessings, the daily, the tangibles. She fills her life with people she loves the most -- her family and friends, her nieces and nephews, her students, her dog. She spends her time doing the things she loves -- giving back, running, traveling. She’s a happy, loving, devoted person. But as her sister (OK, older sister), I’ve been hoping for Prince Charming, Mr. Right to walk in at any given moment. When was that event going to take place, I thought. I wanted my sister to share all these wonderful things in her life with someone wonderful. She deserved this.

Most of us have experienced at one time or another heartbreak or a relationship that didn’t go quite as planned. People come into our lives for a reason, and either they’re a blessing or a lesson. The most valuable of these lessons can’t be taught; they must be experienced. Even in knowing all of this, I still wanted to shield my sister from hurt, from any void. I caught myself skirting movies with titles like, “He’s Just Not That In To You,” “Bridesmaids,” “27 Dresses” or “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” when my sister and I were looking to rent a movie. I couldn’t help it; I’m the big sister. It has always been my job to protect her from the bullies and the Mr. Wrongs.

Then as it goes, “stuff” happens when we’re not looking. And that it did. Enter Prince Charming. Of what I (not my sister) had described as a wait was over. Of what I may see as time passed, moments missed, my sister gains it all back and more in her prince. He is her everything, and so he should. She deserves her everything; her knight in shining armor. I imagine he feels the same way. Enter a new love for him -- after the painful loss of his spouse to cancer. My sister is his everything, and so she should. He and his three children have felt great pain; it is now time for some joy. They deserve it. He deserves it. Recently I asked “Prince Charming” why he was doing what he was doing for my sister; helping her with some tedious task before her. He replied, “it’s just what I do.”

It became evident months ago my role as matron of honor would go beyond just walking down the aisle. Our mother’s health may not allow her to make the wedding and for this, we are sad. But this is what I know. In the midst of pain and joy, amongst all the hustle and flurry of the weekend -- the dress, the food, the flowers, all the preparations -- our father will walk my sister down the aisle to meet her love, her good thing. And she deserves it.