- After the late afternoon breeze carried the sound of the memorial prayer for Larry and others through the gathering of family and friends. . .
- After Em and Ry promised to love each other through thick and thin, she tempering their seriousness with a reference to his penchant for corny jokes, he, to her practice of wearing swimming goggles when chopping onions. . .
- After we processed into a barn decorated with tiny white lights ...and the wedding party danced to music overlaid with a voice track spoken by the bride and the groom, telling stories that connected them to each member of the bridal entourage. . .
- After we bowed our heads and prayed. . .
. . . it was time to raise our glasses. Which brought Conor, the bride’s brother, to the microphone, champagne flute in hand.
|Photo by Amy Brogna Baione|
I recall he wiped his forehead in Lewis Black fashion. Then he said something about wanting to put more time into his tribute, but. . .
(BUT? I thought)
. . .but he had been distracted.
I expected to hear about grad school work, late bartending hours. Instead he pulled his iPhone out of his pants pocket as if to check speech notes, the Lewis Black fidget down pat.
Before I knew it he had his back to the audience. He was taking something out of a backpack he had hidden under a nearby chair. Then he spun back to the mike, and said,
“But I couldn’t pull myself away from this book, just released.”
And that was when he held my memoir up high for all to see. My memoir of loss – the loss of Larry -- which,for myself, I had ruled out of the realm of mention at the wedding.
The guests roared.
And then Conor got serious. . .