A Friendship Force of Nature

Late last night, after all the rides had been ridden and much of the delivery Chinese food eaten, the eight of us took up residence in the living room of our stay in Kissimmee, Florida to talk about the bachelorette we were there celebrating. Over wine we shared our best Laura memories, laughing a bunch but crying a fair bit, too. It was during that time that I spoke the following toast aloud.

Laura,

Over the years you’ve been “the person” for several people in this room. As one of those oh-so-fortunate several, I can say from firsthand experience that you don’t carry that mantle lightly. A willing and impeccable listener who’s brutally honest, fiercely loyal and so often selfless, for your people you, Laura Lynch, are a friendship force of nature; a blonde, bossy, brilliant hurricane of sass.

Which is why, as we wrap up this last hurrah before you walk down the aisle (Or ride down it on an elephant? I’m sorry, I should have fact-checked that detail...), I believe, in my heart of hearts, that Maninder lucked into the highest kind of riches when he got you as his forever person.

Let’s all raise our glasses to Laura, for finding her forever person.

Cheers!

Off the Market

Over a picnic dinner at my mom's bench tonight my baby brother Bryan asked his girlfriend Jess to straight-marry him forever and then shoved some finger jewels in her general direction and she was like okay sure I guess whatevs that sounds fine to me, or something very close to that probably, and now it looks like I'll be gettin' another sister soon.

Movie Night

After dinner tonight my dad and I drove a mile and a half down the road to the Harbor Cinema, a very old two-screen movie theater on Lakeshore Drive, to catch the 8:30 showing of The Intern because my dad hadn't seen it yet and also because I really wanted to see it again.

Truth be told, I liked it even more the second time and I'm pretty sure that my dad liked it as well because, and he'll kill me for putting this in writing and then sticking up it on the World Wide Web, I saw him wipe away a tear when Robert De Niro's character told Ann Hathaway's character about his late wife in that hotel room scene during their business trip to San Francisco. Robert De Niro's character could have been based on my dad.

Anyway, while I was sitting there in the dark I realized that the last time I saw a movie at the Harbor was around 1995, twenty whole years ago. The movie was The Bridges of Madison County and I was with my parents and that's when I learned about the miracle that is Meryl Streep.

The Love Letters, Part One

Last night my dad handed me a Ziploc bag filled with letters that he and my mom exchanged while they were dating and they're giving me life right now.

The letters begin, as far as I can tell, in the fall of 1976 with a three-page missive addressed from my mom's college apartment at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan to the USS Steinaker, the ship that my dad was stationed on during his time in the Navy. On the back of the first envelope reads "A little sunshine sent your way - - Hope it brightens up your day!" and on the front is a thirteen-cent stamp with a picture of the Liberty Bell on it. In the letter itself my mom talks about apartment living and homework and her intramural softball team, which had just lost their first game twenty-four to one. I wanna go and shake my dad awake right now and ask him the million questions that I've come up with while reading the first dozen or so letters, but that would be kinda nuts so I'm just gonna put my favorite part from the first letter below and pick his brain tomorrow.

I wanted to thank you for a great time when you were home. I haven't done something goofy like that in a long time. I couldn't believe it when you took me and we walked right into that pool. I'll have to say that I didn't get an excess amount of sleep that weekend but it was worth it. Hey - Mark Lambert - you are crazy!

It's so damn cool to read my mom's words and to see how much her scratchy handwriting didn't change at all throughout her life and to witness my parents' love unfolding. Also, I think it's important to note that today is, or today would've been rather, their thirty-seventh wedding anniversary.