Many people have asked if it’s weird that my younger brother was getting married. Strangely no. It was strange and a little hard when he got engaged a year and a half ago at Christmas. I had just made a very difficult and painful decision to break up with my boyfriend at the time; therefore, giving up that possibility of marriage for myself. I knew Adam was planning on getting engaged, and I was excited for him, but it seemed a little unfair too. At 24 he seemed too young, and his now-wife was only just 21. There were definitely mixed feelings.
I also need to be a little honest here about my feelings in general toward my brother. I haven’t always been the kindest, most encouraging older sister. I also had difficulty seeing just how well my brother was maturing over the years. In my mind, he was still often just a little kid.
So there we sat one afternoon, just he and I, after Christmas 2006, discussing his relationship. I don’t remember what I asked him. Something along the lines of, “How can you know you want to marry her?” I don’t remember his response either. But whatever it was, it struck me as so wise and mature. His relationship with Sarah was not perfect by any means, and he recognized that. He was not entering marriage with giddy, romantic, idealistic notions. It struck me too how much clearer he understood relationships, love, and marriage than my highly educated, mature ex-boyfriend and I had. I realized then that I could probably learn a lot from my little brother.
A year and a half after that conversation, I made the long journey from Mozambique to Milan, Michigan for the wedding. Oh, I am not so humbled that I wasn’t critical of aspects of the planning. It was not how I would have done my wedding. But it wasn’t my wedding. It was theirs, and it turned out perfectly. Does any wedding ever turn out perfectly? Yes, actually this one did.
It was held outside, on Sarah’s family’s property, next to their pond. The previous day it rained, the previous night it absolutely stormed, that morning it rained again. But a couple hours before the ceremony, the sun came out. Even the next day it was back to raining all day, but the sun was out that afternoon, inviting a couple hundred people to sit by the pond and witness Adam and Sarah’s union. What a joy to see grandparents, an aunt and uncle, good family friends, and my own best friends and boyfriend sitting in the audience, and to see my dad perform the ceremony. How neat to see the many children with disabilities who came to see their beloved Sarah get married.
So my little brother is all grown up now. I haven’t spoken to him since I left the States a couple weeks ago, but I hear he has become quite domestic, taking care of the cooking and cleaning while Sarah works. I’ll give him a hard time about it, but really I’m proud of him. Ten years ago if you had told me he’d be married before me and taking care of a house and a wife, I would have laughed. But actually now it makes perfect sense.