I had the privilege of witnessing one of my longest-serving, and best, friends get married yesterday. I sat in the reception and listened to various people comment on the excellent qualities of my friend, knowing that it was an accurate representation of this man I've known for my whole life.
As I sat there I couldn't help wondering what people might say about me should I get married again. And I felt a sense of shame: I doubt my references would be as glowing. At least, not if they were to be accurate.
'When I look at myself I don't see the man I wanted to be; somewhere down the line I slipped off track. One step up and two steps back.' - Bruce Springsteen, 'One Step Up'
But the man I saw yesterday, my friend, is still very much in my life, and we both expressed a strong desire to try and recapture some of the closeness that, as so often seems to happen as life goes on, has somehow been lost, just through the passage of time and that all-powerful force: 'stuff'.
In my friend I see a true 'man', and an excellent role model. Someone who I want to emulate, not necessarily in outward accomplishments or actions, but in strength of character, in loyalty of friendship, and in a personification of love. And I don't apologise for sounding overly sentimental.
Congratulations, mate. May your marriage be life-long and full of joy. I'm glad I have the opportunity to continue to be friends with, and learn from, you.