My baby sister got married this weekend. It was a sweet, 3 minute ceremony in the San Francisco Courthouse atop a curving marble staircase under a domed awning. The din of other ceremonies below us was the orchestra; the lights coming in from the skylights the candle glow; the smiles of the six witnesses the heartfelt happiness of a thousand supporters.
After the ceremony, and before dinner, some of us went to Top of the Mark at the Mark Hopkins hotel. The views were incredible and a few of Gabby and Maurice's friends joined us. A little later there was an intimate dinner with the rest of their close family and friends. We all drank wine, ate incredible food, and took photos with nerdy Holga cameras. We chatted, hugged, made toasts...
When dinner was over some of us went to a bar for the "Official GM Afterparty." It was the first time I'd seen the inside of a bar in 2 years. It was dark and swanky and I felt totally "behind the velvet rope"; like a woman about town, not a mommy. Gabby and Mo left the bar early and the rest of us stayed behind to revel in it all.
The following day we bar-b-qued at my sister's. Maurice made piles of food and we drank mimosas. Hollis ran around the house yelling, "Lala!! Lala!!" (his version of "Larry") all afternoon and my mom and Terry rocked the grandparenting while Anthony and I visited with my sister and Maury's friends. They were relaxed and happy. My sister padded around the apartment in socks chatting with her peeps, while her husband grilled for hours outside in the crisp air, fully entertained by no less than a small band of men at all times.
Sunday, we bar-b-qued again at one of my sister's good friend's house in Russian Hill. The rooftop deck afforded us a view of the Golden Gate and Alcatraz and Hollis could see sailboats in the bay. We lounged around, ate more incredible food, and a few even sang the lyrics to "Dead or Alive" (I have to mention the sobriety of all during this spontaneous karaoke session). Yeah, that's how we roll.
There was a small crouching gargoyle perched on the roof below us looking out over the city's dust colored building tops.
Monday, Gabby came to our hotel and had breakfast with us then we headed out.
All last night I was beyond exhausted, but I also had this other feeling, a feeling of peace. I feel at peace that my sister is safe, loved, and protected. She has an other. A partner. A husband. She will always have a soft place in her life and this affords me a sense of relief that I didn't know was missing until now. They are building a family and a wonderful life together. For so long I have been strong for my baby sister, protecting her retroactively because I did a shitty job of it when we were little. I have ridden along side her during the highs and lows of life and now she has a new Shotgun at her side. Maurice has officially stepped in.
I'm so happy and proud and overwhelmed and relieved and grateful and thrilled and about a thousand other emotions. Gabby, especially (because she's my little heart), deserves love and support and safety and Maury gives it to her in spades.
Of course I will always be her Big Sister and boss her around, but it's no longer my job to make sure she's safe anymore. I'm teary as I write this, but I'm not even a tiny bit sad. I'm eternally grateful that my little sister has the intelligence and fortitude to find and sustain such a beautiful and unique relationship; one that nurtures her and allows room for growth.
My sister and her husband are a truly inspiring couple. They go out of their way to be supremely kind to one another. They are always considerate and protective and allow each to be quirky and wonderfully weird, to have their nervous ticks: a gift so few partners give. They have a long, interesting history riddled with teenage hijinx and college lovin' - so much more exciting than meeting on MySpace. They are calm when others get feisty, practical when others get irrational, and thoughtful when others get shitty.
This weekend was incredible in every way and I'm glad that my sister is safely tucked under the wing of such a good man.
And I can't wait to meet my little niece or nephew this fall. Gabby is going to be a spectacular mother and I can't freakin' wait to slather this little baby with love, love, LOVE. Just like what Larry and Mo give to my little baby... and each other.