Light the Night

Do you have childhood best friends? Like the type that you grew up with and is your  family even though you’re not actually related?

I grew up with a whole group of people like this thanks to our parents knowing each other since college and settling down in the same area.

One person, in particular, I had literally known since birth. His dad and my dad actually grew up in the same small town in India together so they had known each other their whole lives as well. He played the role of my brother in my wedding and I MC’d at his wedding. Needless to say, we had been through a lot of our ups and downs together.

One day, we found out he had lymphoma. He was in his 20s, just about to head into dental school. I remember that we had found out that he had felt something off in his lymph nodes and were waiting for the biopsy results. I remember coming out of the gym and getting a voicemail from my sister telling me the results were in. I remember calling her back and her telling me that it wasn’t good. I remember going home, changing, and heading straight to his house.

It was scary. It was something that we never thought about in our 20s.

He started chemo. It definitely took a toll. I wasn’t there for the every day but I do have one particular memory of him, I, and a third friend we had grown up with going to an Angels game together during this time. He was tired and he said he always had a metallic taste in his mouth. It honestly really sucked. But the mentality that we always had is that there was no other option and that he had to beat it.

And one day, he did. After that, he started organizing our family and friends together every year for a Light the Night walk. We are Team Unbreakable.

At Light The Night, it is our aim to bring light to the darkness of cancer through research and cures. Light The Night is a series of fundraising campaigns benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) funding of research to find blood cancer cures. We bring hope instead of despair by working to ensure access to treatments for all blood cancer patients. We bring communities together to celebrate those who are fighting the disease and to honor those we have lost.

This year will be our 11th year walking together. It’s so amazing how something that was so hard has become such an inspiration. We hope this year, you’ll join us and donate to our team as well. We want to do everything we can in order to raise money to defeat cancer.

I hope you can find a way to help us out with our goal.

Babies: Serious Relationship-Testers

One thing I learned pretty quickly once I had kids is that I was lucky I married my best friend. I was lucky our relationship was strong. I’ve heard stories where people thought that a child would save their already rocky relationship. Maybe that did happen for some but honestly, I don’t think that would have ever worked for me.

There is nothing like having children to really challenge every aspect of your relationship. The pure exhaustion of having to keep up with your kids  plus keep up with your life and your job every day can cause resentment very easily. When our first kid was born, I remember being jealous of my husband because he was able to go to work and converse with adults for a part of the day. I would forget that then he would have to come home and take care of his child (and me, to some degree) as well.

In order to be able to see the other person’s point of view, you have to be able to love them, to be in love with them. You have to want them to be happy. And you have to be able to remember that when one of your kids is crying at 2 am for 3 hours straight because being tired makes you think crazy thoughts (thoughts such as you just want to sleep and if you can’t sleep, neither can your husband).

No matter how much you guys love each other, this phase is going to be challenging.

So make sure that you marry the person that can go through this with you. Make sure that you have open communication. Make sure that both of you can recognize what the other one needs and what is best for each other.

Like I said, I’m lucky I married my best friend because when I need him, he is there.

 

 

The Wedding Day

I keep seeing some patterns on Facebook with the wedding pictures posted that I wanted to address. It might be judgmental of me or maybe I’m wrong in interpreting the meaning or the situation behind the pictures. I don’t necessarily know the couples beyond an acquaintance and maybe there is something there that I’m not seeing. But here are my thoughts and I wanted to share them.

1) On your wedding day, your smile should be real. Note that I said “should be”. The posed smiles are really easy to tell especially if you aren’t an actor. And maybe you have a great posed smile but the smiles I want to see are the ones that reach your eyes. The ones that really look like there’s nowhere else you’d rather be than in that spot with that person you’re marrying. A lot of times, the first pictures that go up on Facebook are not the professional posed pictures but the ones that your friends and family take at the event randomly. My question is: When the pros aren’t looking and it’s not a posed moment, do you still look happy?

2) My next question is: Is the person you’re marrying your best friend? If that person is, then what’s the need to ditch that person on your wedding day to hang out with anyone and everyone else? I understand that there are family and friends that you haven’t probably seen in years and you want to spend time with them but is it necessary to do it in a way that abandons your partner? Isn’t it possible for both of you to hang out with your friends? Besides, if you ditch your significant other, aren’t you ditching your best friend? Would you do that to your other best friends?

3) A wedding day is just that. A wedding day. I keep seeing people who are so concerned about the wedding itself that they forget to have fun themselves. You plan for a year for this one day (or in the case of an Indian wedding, this one week) and then what? It’s over. But guess what? Marriage is for life. So what if your flowers aren’t the exact colors that you chose or everything didn’t run in the order that you wanted? In the end, you married the person you are in love with. As long as that happened, who cares what else happened? It’s just a small piece of a marriage. There will be many more challenges in life than your wedding day. Get ready for those.

4) If you are more concerned about the wedding than what comes after, maybe getting married at this time or to this person isn’t the right path for you. I can’t necessarily see this in photos but again, you can see the connection between people. And you can see when someone is more in tune with the planning than they are with the fact that they are committing themselves to one person for the rest of their lives.

It frustrates me to see this. Again, I know I don’t have the full story always and there are always things behind the pictures that I will never know. But I definitely hope that I see wedding pictures where the bride and groom look so joyously happy that I can feel it when I see those pictures.