On Friday night, some friends got together for a bash to celebrate my departure. I could write a 10-page essay on the evening. It was just great. There were about 3 core groups (the Dinner Club gang, work people, poker friends) and others who defy categorization -- all them special and dear to me. Some extremely key people (including my best man Bryan) printed out many photos of escapades over the years.
There were pics of costumes (pirates, horse jockeys), trips (Hawaii, Paris, Amsterdam), and every hair style imaginable. I have them now with me in my apartment.
It was really touching, and of course seeing the people was even better. Everyone was very kind and wished me a warm farewell. There really aren't enough words to describe the emotions, and the bittersweet sense of finally going home and yet leaving St Louis and my friends.
I may have denied roots and commitment at every opportunity, but I absolutely do have roots here. There is no denying it.
As I've learned from Traci, I'll be back to visit. I may even book a trip this summer, just to have something ahead on the calendar. Plus, many people suggested coming to PEI. That would be fantastic!
On Saturday, I attended Jess' wedding (JLC is a dear, long-time friend and occasional commenter on this blog). It was really splendid. I loved that it fused a variety of traditions with wonderful choices from pop music (e.g. John Lennon, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder), all tastefully rendered on piano.
There were so many nice touches, but one that stood out for me was an Irish prayer (if I recall correctly). I can't find it online, but it wished the groom and bride many blessings (e.g. shelter from the rain and cold, prospersity, etc). One of them hit me pretty hard, personally: being near to loved ones. Proximity as a blessing. Amen to that. Congrats, Jess! What a lovely ceremony....