“You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it courageously.”
My best friend is getting married...Now What?
"I'm engaged," my best friend, Lynn, of 20 years excitedly exclaimed through the phone, while simultaneously texting me a picture of her smiling so brightly that she was gleaming, holding up her left hand, showcasing her bright and shiny new engagement ring. "Congratulations! I'm so happy for you," I told her and ended the call quickly so she and her newly minted fiancée could celebrate. As I put my phone down dozens of unfamiliar emotions rushed over me, leaving me feeling confused and unsettled. The first time I saw my best friend with her now fiancée I knew it was only a matter of time before they would be engaged. From the way they looked at each other to how she gushed about him during our daily phone calls, I knew there was something different about this particular guy, and I was happy for her. So why then did I feel so unsettled after hanging up the phone? Lynn waited a long time for her Mr. Right and she had finally found him. By all accounts, I liked her fiancée, Jamie. He brought Lynn great happiness, loving and supporting her like no other man ever had. An added bonus, Jamie was as good to Lynn's parents', my surrogate parents for the past 20 years, as he was to her. So what was my problem? My unexpected reaction to Lynn's engagement got me thinking…
Lynn and I have been friends since we were teenagers. We've spent 20 years together supporting, encouraging, and loving each other fiercely. We've kept each other's deepest, darkest secrets longer than some marriages last, never doubting the trust or loyalty we share. Lynn and I have experienced almost all of our major life milestones, good and bad, together. Lynn has supported me during some of the darkest days of my life, including miscarriage, divorce, the devastating losses of my beloved grandfathers, and serious health issues. When Lynn lost her grandmother, I was at her side, holding her hand as she cried and serving as a buffer at the wake because I knew she wasn't ready to speak to anybody, even to receive thoughtful condolences. We've experienced great happiness and joy together, too. Lynn was by my side the day I got married, when I graduated from both high school and college, and she was the first person, with the exception of my parents, to meet my son just hours after he was born (an ode to her awesomeness, she even knew to bring me my favorite iced coffee). Simply put, Lynn has been “My Person” for more than half my life. No other friendship has ever compared to ours.
As I sat with my thoughts, memories rushed through my mind at lightning speed. Reliving all that we had been through together, the memories of countless tears cried, laughing until it hurt, and dancing the night away brought tears of joy and gratitude to my eyes. I was comforted by these memories and the realization that no matter what either one of us had going on in our life, we always made each other a top priority and treated our friendship like the rare, invaluable gift that it is, and then I knew. Lynn getting married was going to change things for us and our friendship. A creature of habit and someone who relies heavily on both structure and scheduling, I do not like change, nor do I adjust well to it. From the depths of my soul, no matter how hard I tried to convince myself otherwise, I knew that for Lynn and Jamie to have a happy, successful, and lasting marriage, things would have to change, and God knows I wish nothing more than a happy, successful, and loving marriage for my very best friend and the man she has chosen to spend her life with.
This revelation hit me hard. I realized the days of me being Lynn's Number 1 were gone, for that's Jamie's place now. I realized the days of Lynn's long weekend visits, known to last far longer than any standard weekend, would be coming to an end. Our endless hours of shopping and talking on the phone about anything and everything will surely be curtailed, and Lynn's time will no longer be synchronous with mine. Instead, as Jamie's wife, Lynn's time will fall in sync with his, as it should. As newlyweds, Lynn and Jamie will spend endless hours talking to each other about anything and everything, and they will surely spend their weekends roaming Home Depot and Home Goods as newlyweds so often do as they set up house together.
Admittedly, these revelations saddened me, for I was happy with our friendship just the way it was. I took great solace knowing I was Lynn's “Person” just as she was mine. I was comforted knowing I could call her anytime, and she'd never been too busy to talk to me, even if it were about nothing. I was very content in my position as Lynn's Number 1.
Looking back down at my phone and the picture of my dearest friend radiating happiness, I had yet another revelation. I realized I was being selfish, thinking only of myself and my feelings. I was allowing my selfish insecurities to cloud one of the happiest days of my best friend's life. Now instead of being sad, I was ashamed of myself. After all that Lynn had supported me through, what kind of friend was I for being so absorbed in my own feelings?
In that moment I realized not only was I being selfish, but I was being foolish. While things were sure to change, nothing could ever come between the deeply personal friendship that Lynn and I share. Her fiancée wasn't a roadblock in our relationship at all. Rather, he was a welcome addition; an asset.
Lynn and Jamie spent this past weekend at my house. Lynn and I spent time together shopping while Jamie, a volunteer little league baseball coach, kindly played baseball with my son, Jack. We enjoyed coffee together in the morning and shared a great dinner out Saturday night, thoroughly enjoying each other's company and conversation. I now realize how silly I was to have worried so much about “sharing” my best friend. After seeing Lynn and Jamie together all weekend, and getting to know Jamie better myself, I couldn't be happier or more excited for the two of them! They make a fantastic couple; complimenting each other the way the longest lasting couples do. I'm thrilled to welcome Jamie into my life, and I can't wait to stand at Lynn's side with a first-row seat to her “Happily Ever After.” Nobody deserves it more.