So, welcome to the 2nd half of my day, yesterday, May 24th. After leaving Josh’s Bar Mitzvah, I had to make a mad dash up to Boca to return Leon’s Torah, and had just enough time to stop off and say hi to my sister, Nancy. Unfortunately, Alexa, my niece, was sleeping, so I didn’t get to snuggle with her at all. After a quick visit, I started to make my way to downtown Fort Lauderdale, where Simon and Nicole were getting married.
When I first met Simon and Nicole, they told me their wedding was planned for May 24th at 5:30. No problem, I said. Then they told me it was outside, at the New River Inn, a historic replica museum from the 1800’s, situated right on the New River. Hmmm, outside, in May, at 5:30 p.m.???? What was plan B? Well, they replied..”Inside the museum is a small room, and we can move inside if we have to, but we’re pretty confident it will all be ok”….Yes, and now I reflect…the best laid plans….
So, in the drive from Boca to Ft. Lauderdale, it poured the entire way. I mean, POURED. Like, torrential, hurricane, darkness, ominous, thunder, lightning, yucky, stay in bed all day – RAIN. I was worried. As I arrived, 30 minutes before the wedding was scheduled to begin, I saw they had just finished moving everything – from outside to inside. Yes – inside that “little room”, in the little 1800’s museum – with no air conditioning, on a humid 100 degree day. I felt so bad for Nicole..She had so wanted that outside wedding. She and Simon had met more than a year ago on the water taxi. Nicole was on vacation in Florida, and Simon was working the taxi that night. After a long term – long distance relationship, she moved to Florida, and the rest was history. Wanting to replicate that beshert meeting location, they decided on a quaint, charming wedding, at the New River Inn.
So, just as soon as they moved everything inside, the rain stopped. Now Simon was really angry. He wanted his wedding outside, and it was his day, so guess what – we moved all the chairs, the chuppa, the table, the sound system – everything – BACK OUTSIDE. Everything was going to be wonderful…or so we thought…
We began the processional. We came around the building, walked onto the grass, where the chuppa and chairs stood, and I began the ceremony. As fast as you can say the words lightning storm, in the middle of “The Seven Blessings”, along came the rains again, in an instant, and there we were – all getting soaking wet. So – everyone made a mad dash for the inside of the building – AGAIN. Now here we were, all soaked, and gathered (standing) in the little room, with no chairs, and no air conditioning. Poor Simon. Poor Nicole. Soaked.
So, I picked up where we left off, but only after reminding them, and all of their guests about a very important life lesson. We make plans- sometimes, elaborate plans. Sometimes, plans our hearts are counting on. Sometimes, we work so hard on them, that we really choose not to look objectively at the various possible outcomes, because we want what we want, so we plan them. And then, God laughs.
I told Simon and Nicole that it was perfectly fitting, and perhaps this was a lesson they could learn and take with them all through their lives together. Life is all about making plans, and then having everything shift, and change. We make our plans, we plot out our lives, and the turns and twists in the road come rushing up to meet us, just when we least expect them. As Simon stood before me – teeming because he was sweating to death and quite upset at the obstacle they had endured, I encouraged them to laugh – because – what was really important? Here they were, with their family and friends, making the ultimate commitment to each other, celebrating the day they would begin spending the rest of their lives together. It wasn’t important that they were hot and wet. That would pass. Nobody melted. And while the pictures may not come out as planned – it’s important to remember what is important – and not to sweat the small stuff.
Life brings twists and turns – we cannot avoid them. What matters is how we handle them. It matters that we count our blessings every day, especially when we feel most un-blessed. It’s important to lean on the people standing next to us, who love us, and to be strong for them to lean on in return. Nicole was amazing – she kept smiling, because she knew – today was the day she was marrying her best friend, and she never lost her sense of humor. Keep smiling, Nicole. You are beautiful, and unfortunately, you will find days that ruin your plans many more times in your life – but I know you will keep laughing every time – That’s just the way you are. Thanks for allowing me to share your amazing day – rain and all.