Our lovely neighbors, Sean and Diana, got married in beautiful Monterey, CA this past week and we were honored to be included in all of the festivities given that the entire wedding party was less than 40 people.
While they have been our neighbors for six or seven years, we’ve only become really good friends in the last year. The bride and I through yoga and the groom and I through alcohol and poking fun at one another. And we can’t forget that our dogs (Violet and Sophia) are friends, too. To say that we are blessed with them as friends and neighbors (not to mention the rest of our amazing neighbors) is an understatement. This became even more obvious through wedding festivities.
My daughter Rachel and I attended Diana’s bridal shower and were folded into her extended family with such love and ease that it felt like coming home. It should not have been a surprise given how Diana (aka Molé Mama)wrote about how her family expressed their love for one another through food in her book Molé Mama.
The bride and groom included us in the rehearsal dinner where we were fortunate to meet the groom’s family for the first time. And we loved them, too. We felt so honored to be included with the family and the bridal party at this dinner. Apparently I passed the ‘Q mark of approval’ in that the 3 year old ring bearer who has high standards when it comes to people, accepted me as an honorary auntie (the only kind I will ever be, sadly enough).
Diana had arranged for a morning spa day for some of us women attending the wedding. We enjoyed a lovely breakfast out on the spa terrace along with massages generously paid for by Diana. It was a gorgeous morning full of love and laughter that carried through to the ceremony and reception.
It was such a joy to be surrounded by Diana’s cousins and friends (who may as well be family) and Sean’s sister-in-law and mother-in-law, and to be included as family as well. With Diana’s parents being gone, Diana has done such an amazing job of creating and cultivating relationships with people who can’t help but be seen as family to each other. And they put up with Sean, too.
Inclusion does not come naturally to everyone and sometimes it takes effort. We (my husband and I) make every effort to be inclusive and to teach our children the importance of being inclusive when it comes to other people (and dogs…we don’t exclude dogs).
I suppose, for me, I try to be inclusive as a result of often feeling like an outsider and knowing that it doesn’t feel good to feel left out. I think we have all felt that way at one time or another.
When I was in Barcelona this past winter for 4YFN, I saw a woman (Karen) sitting alone and asked her to sit with a group of us. You could have lit up Times Square with the wattage from her smile in being asked to be included in our group. And, yes, we continue to remain in touch.
In this troubled political and highly technological time, I think it’s even more important to reach out to others and include them. A lot of people feel isolated or have been rejected in some way and providing a sense of inclusion (authentically) is so simple and yet so powerful.
And really, shouldn’t we be focused on putting more love and goodness out into the world? And glitter. Lots and lots of glitter!