Letter to a Newly-Married Friend

Dear James,

As I attended your wedding celebration last week, so many thoughts came rushing through my head.

I thought about our friendship and how it is a reminder that friendships take many forms.  You and I attended high school together, yet it was our geographic proximity during graduate school and the discovery then that we shared a wide range of common interests that really deepened our friendship.

I thought about all the fun we had together doing the small things that added up to a lot, like going out to movies, eating full course meals, attending Boston College football games, agreeing on politics and debating law.

I thought about who you are as a person and values you hold most important, like loyalty, love and kindness.  Those are the qualities I treasure most about our friendship and are the reason I consider you one of my closest confidants when I need to talk to someone about life.

I thought about how there is so much you’ve taught me about life.  While I tend to live my life by the motto “Que cera, cera,” your methodical and thoughtful approach reminds me that there is something to be said for contemplating about the future, planning for it and succeeding through diligence and perseverance.

I thought about the passion you have for your work and the intensity you bring to life.  I’d like to think that I bring the same kind of energy to what I do, but I confess I’m no match for you, for I often get exhausted just watching you go all out, all the time.

I thought about our careers and how we ended up in a similar environment in the same profession.  I knew a long time ago, when we were just starting out, that you’d achieve the promotion you got right before the wedding.  I admire the fact that you consider your new role just the beginning to even greater aspirations for your career.

I thought about the time I met Diana for the first time. It was only a little more than a year ago, but I could tell even then that she was going to be The One from the way you were looking at her.

I thought about all of these things, then I became overwhelmed with emotions.

The emotions were many, but if I were to encapsulate in one phrase what I felt, it’s pride in seeing your becoming a man right in front of my eyes.

We’ve been adults for some time, of course, but adults only in the sense of being independent, self-sufficient, tax-paying members of society.  As I watched your getting married, I realized that the decision to share a life with another person, to bear the responsibility for not just one’s own life but also a life of another, is what truly makes one into a grown man.

With your marriage to Diana, you will be ahead of me in the journey of life, as has been so often the case.  I’m not ready to take the step that you took last week–I’m pretty serious when I say I want to be 18 forever–but perhaps for the first time in my life, I contemplated how my adulthood may look.

If and when I get to where you are now at, I hope that you will still be there to provide me guidance.

Congratulations, my friend.  You are very lucky to have found Diana, a wonderful bride to an amazing groom. For evidence of what an incredible person both of you are, look no further than all the love in the air at the reception celebrating your union.

As you embark on your new journey with Diana, I only have one advice.

Don’t change.

Continue to be the thoughtful, loyal, compassionate person that you already are, for I am certain those qualities will serve you well in your life with Diana.

Continue to be passionate about life and what it has to offer, for I have faith that it will bring your new family much happiness.

Continue to have faith in God, for He will help you through the numerous challenges a marriage inevitably brings.

And continue to be my good friend, for–as selfish as it is–I don’t want to lose all of you to Diana.

Thanks for inviting me to be a part of the celebration of your and Diana’s new life together.

Thanks for being my invaluable friend.

I wish you and Diana the best in your future together.





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