Well, to say "friends" is to put them both in the same category, and that's not exactly accurate.
One was quite honestly my first love. It helped set the tone for what would be (and wouldn't be) acceptable in future relationships. It also forced me to grow in so many ways, that I can't say I regret a moment of the sometimes wonderful, sometimes heartbreaking, but always growing relationship.
It taught me the value of a love letter.
It taught me what is, and isn't acceptable from a true partner.
It reinforced my innate tendency to dream big.
It helped grow my interest in sports.
It taught me that if a relationship is secret, it probably isn't one you should be in.
It taught me to open my mind to divergent points of view and styles.
Honestly, it helped me grow that invaluable steel backbone I have today.
Our pathes seemed to cross from time to time over the years that passed since that fateful freshman high school year where our on-again-off-again young romance finally fizzled out. I think it probably took us 10 years to have something to say to each other, other than "hi." (Did I mention that steel backbone can also be awefully stubborn?)
Anyway, with the past well behind us now, we've become facebook friends - and hopefully better friends as time goes on.
The other old friend that got married was one of my dearest friends for a number of years in growing up. Both being somewhat social outcasts, we were accepting of one another and had a unique understanding that I couldn't have needed more at that point in my life. Though we lost touch through much of high school when she moved away, and then when she went off to college, I couldn't be more proud of the woman she's grown in to. (Yes, the rumor is true...That kid you once made fun of really does grow up - and usually into a dazzling beauty!)
Anyway, I saw a photo of their wedding, and it was beautiful. Yes, we all knew each other growing up, and it's astonishing where those mixed up roads have brought us, years later. I would never have imagined they would have gotten together...and I would never have imagined myself having been married, and divorced, before either of them.
Now, as my friends go off, starting families of their own, I am reminded that - while I'm sometimes envious of their path in life - we all walk our own unique journeys. No one can walk them for us. Sometimes the weather is clear and the path is straight. Other times, it's foggy and difficult to find our way - but it is our own unique adventure and nonetheless valuable in it's own right. For me, that spot on my left hand is barren. For me, for now, the "family" under my roof is me and a 4 legged-perpetual toddler that's about to turn 5 this month .(Where does the time go?!) So, yeah, there's a little bit of an empty spot, but maybe right now, that's okay.
No two people have the same calling in life. Some are called to be pastors, others aren't. Some are called to be soliders while some are called to be entertainers. Some are called to be husbands, wives, mothers, and fathers, while some aren't. (Or, aren't yet.) Each journey is different and while it may not always be easy, I feel it's our job to seek out some measure of joy where ever our journey may lead us.
Afterall- marriage (like life) isn't the "destination". It's just a start of a different journey.