It was early on a Saturday morning, the day started like any other. I woke up, did yoga, meditated (tried and gave up after 10 minutes), got ready, made breakfast... you know the deal.
I loaded my car and headed to the hotel. Dragged my bags across the grounds, set up, and smiled as one by one the bride and her family sat in my chair, glowingly excited about the day ahead. All, but Nonnie, the brides grandmother.
Nonnie, a small Italian woman who has spent the entirety of her life just outside Boston, wasn't just excited, she was thrilled, animated, vibrant... Nonnie made my day.
This was a woman who has walked this earth for 88 years and doesn't look a day over 70! She has the spirit of a 30 year old and the mind of a brilliant child (innocent, yet wise). Her laughter flooded the room with sun shine and her warmth radiated through each moment of the day.
"You kids" she said in her Boston tinged accent, "You LA kids and your diets, you just need to eat a piece of cake! Life is short, I should know, I've been living it for 88 years and that isn't enough!"
She sat excitedly getting her make up done, "Oh! I've never had this done before!" she exclaimed, "I still want to look like me you know, is that ok? Ah! And I can't wear mascara, I'm allergic, it is just terrible! My eyes, they get all funny." She grinned, "But! Nothing is worth getting too worked up over, do you know what I mean? Look at me, I'm here! I'm as old as the hills and just happy to see my girl get married... so I can't wear mascara, pfft, what can you do? Who really cares? Right?!" her laughter bounced off every surface, a life force set free.
How right she is! Nothing is worth getting too worked up over, at the end of the day, the world holds all you need- love, friendship, community, laughter, opportunity, support, and hope. Letting go of our pride, of our fear (of rejection), taking a step, reaching out... brings us more fully into this life so that we may fully live.
Nonnie, you are a gem of a gem, I only wish to have tasted your amazing cooking.