Last Saturday a former fiance of mine was married up in Crookston, Minnesota. I was invited, with my wife, to the wedding but she was ill and weekends are kind of locked up for me. Although we couldn't come we sent along a card with some money and our best wishes.

The details are not important but things I had hoped for didn't work out between the two of us; too much distance, too many things that didn't make for longevity. It's okay, that's what these things are for, testing out the waters, seeing if a lifetime together is possible with the freedom to back out with less consequence then a divorce.

There is an ironic side in this all, of course, as my wife was supposed to stand up for my former fiance at the wedding. No, she didn't do anything to break things up but one thing leads to another and we've been married now for almost 23 years. I like to talk about it sometimes because it has the feeling of scandal in a lighthearted way even though our lives have been basically boring (if you count boring as contrasted with, say, the life of a movie star). People laugh and smile at it all when I tell them about how I married the Maid of Honor at what would have been my wedding had events not intervened.

Every once in a while you see a bumper sticker that says "You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your Prince" and I think its true. Very few people marry their first love and lots of us have to explore with our hearts exposed before we can find a love that endures. It's an awkward thing and there are a lot of mistakes along the way. Its not hard to step on someone else's toes when you're both stumbling around in the dark, as it were, looking for the light switch.

Still I wish them all well, and pray for them at times, these people who came in to my life as I looked for enduring love. I hope if I was their "frog" they found their prince. I hope they can forgive me for whatever I lacked and that their journey has been smooth. Most of them, of course, I've never seen or heard from because this is the way of things but I do hope one day we may see each other in heaven, recognize each other for an instant, and realize that all has turned out well.

Many blessings, Mary, on your wedding and may God grant you many years!

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