The romance of the Peace Corps has a tendency to wear off quickly when I am away from home and missing out on important milestones in the lives of the people I love. One of my dear friends, Mackenzie, is getting married this Friday & I was originally supposed to fly back to be a bridesmaid when I had my first Peace Corps assignment in Guatemala. Unfortunately, due to the cancellation of PC Guatemala & accepting my invitation to PC Botswana meant that I wouldn't be able to travel back to the states for her big day. Although I could sit here whining & crying about missing out on her wedding (and Lord knows that I have done plenty of that), I have chosen instead to try to show her how much I will always love and support her.
Thanks to Kenzie's mom, sister & bridesmaids, I was able to surprise her with a video skype date to read a toast I put together for her & Dom (read below). The girls printed off the picture (below) for me & brought out the computer with me on skype to read the toast to her -- she was with all the girls when all of this happened, and of course, we were both in tears.
I miss you dearly Mackenzie! You will always be one of my best friends & I wish you and Dom nothing but the best. Enjoy your day to celebrate!!! I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to chat with you before your big day - and know that I am always carrying you in my heart. <3
To my dearest Mackenzie,
In a few days you will be walking down the aisle to marry the man who will love and protect you for the rest of your days. There is no doubt in my mind that you two will find pleasure and fulfillment together in all the years to come. Your wedding is a time to celebrate, rejoice, and give thanks for your husband. As you find yourself busy socializing at the reception, people will be captivated by your radiant beauty and grace, but remember to take the time to carefully observe and create memories of each tender, blissful moment.
It causes my heart great sorrow to not be standing by your side, but please understand that I have been carrying you in my heart every day since I left the United States. Now is the time to celebrate your relationship with Dom, and although I won't be there physically, I will be there in spirit. As you are walking down the aisle, I will be rejoicing in Africa for God's great blessings in your life. Time will move on and as I return home, it will be sincerely rewarding for me to witness how far you two have come in your marriage. You will face days of pure delight, instants of annoyance, and moments of compromise throughout your marriage that will challenge, push, and shape you both into a resilient, compassionate couple with the ability to face any obstacle life may present.
The women standing by your side on your wedding day will faithfully continue to stand by your side throughout everything you experience in life… myself included. I am here to love and support you unconditionally, not just on your wedding day, but every day. You are a true gift to the world & all of us are better women for knowing you.
I hope your wedding is everything you've every dreamed of and more.
Here's to you & Dom!
Love & Light,