Young love is the greatest but few people get the chance to revisit and
re-embrace young love. After many years apart, given the chance, love can ignite again with the deep appreciation and wisdom of people who now understand it all.
A trek through soft sand, then a climb up steep stairs was certainly worth the trip that day. My son, Eric Erdman was playing music at the celebration of the 60th birthday of a dear friend. We met him through music and we love him through music. For me, MUSIC is one of the purest, deepest emotions one can experience. We were told by Laura, his fiance, that it was a surprise, and that was the understatement of the day.
The home was as beautiful as the people who came. Some I knew, some I learned to know; they were all wonderful. Happiness was in the air and it blew around us as we celebrated with delicious food, tremendous fellowship and an excitement I could not explain. A feeling of wonderful wrapped around me from the time we reached the top of the stairs that day.
Party favors were there for us all. We had light up drinking glasses and flashing light-up rings. The birthday honoree, Bruce Helbig, spoke several times on the microphone and I quickly learned he is a great speaker. His voice is like butter and he chooses his words well as he tells his story.
After about an hour, I noticed Bruce had changed from short pants to long ones and had donned a nice button up shirt. My thought was, “I wonder why he changed, he fit in well with what he was wearing.” But who am I to judge such things? I let the thought go for a couple of minutes, then I looked out onto the sandy-beach lawn to see him approaching his fiance, Laura Martin. She was in a beautiful wedding dress with a matching hat. I am a slow learner but even I got it. We were at a wedding!
Standing in the sand, they spoke their vows as we crowded around the large deck above. There was a drone taking pictures, in addition to a photographer. It brought me to tears as I saw two people who deeply care for one another, joining their lives officially. Of course it brought me, for a moment, to my Leon. Then I returned to the sheer joy that surrounded me.
Eric played a couple of songs by Marc Cohn, “True Companion” and “Perfect Love” as the newlyweds danced in the sand.
The surprises were not over. Suddenly three other couples joined Bruce and Laura in the sand, facing all of us. They had a dance routine all worked out to the song, “Marry you!” by Bruno Mars and it was so uplifting to watch we had happy tears escaping from our eyes. To me it looked like even that drone got excited as it relocated numerous times trying to get a good shot at the dancing and at us applauding on the huge deck.
Still more surprises? Yes, they thought of everything. Some of the crowd was from other cities, other states and even other countries; so they were not familiar with our local fanfare. For example Mardi Gras is possibly something they had not seen before. So, we all gathered at the bottom of the stairs in the beautiful sand and Laura and Bruce (the new Mr & Mrs) threw beads to us. They also had wonderful gift bags for us all that include mini moonpies, more beads, a bracelet that commemorates the event and a precious note that includes pictures of them in college in 1977 and a current picture in 2017…
The fun continued in the night as Laura's college friend, Melanie Zoghby Cummins, sang some of Laura’s favorite songs, accompanied by pianist Pam Loper. More songs by Eric, then there were hugs galore, talking and more hugs before packing up and heading home.
LOVE IS A DUET---WHEN SHE SINGS, HE CLAPS
We never know what love will hand us; it may be unrequited love, or you may never profess your love for any number of reasons. Or you may get that rare, but wonderful, second chance to reveal your love to the object of your affection. This is a story of love, the
re-joining of hearts and minds, a renewal of life in the best possible way.
It is a dream come true and I feel so honored to have witnessed it.