Sunday, May 29, 2016

Maureen and Kevin Get Hitched and Patrick Poetry

It turned out to be a gloriously lovely May day when Maureen Murfin and Kevin Rotter tied the knot at the Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation in McHenry.  By reports it was everything the bride hoped it would be as she planned the event for months and insisted on putting it on for about the cost of a third grade end of year party.  It was  relaxed, informal, quirky, and had the spirit of hey-gang-lets-get-together-and-put-on-a-show-in-the-old-barn.
Maureen and Kevin were surrounded by family and friends who all rolled up their sleeves and pitched in.  The bride summed up her feelings on Facebook after, “Wow. Just wow… It was incredible to be so surrounded with love and friendly faces. So grateful to you all!”
The Old Man does his duty.

Maureen’s cousin Ira S. Murfin officiated with aplomb.  His thoughtful and insightful words of welcome, introduction, and recognition of the unique bond that was being affirmed in a community of love were of worthy of any minister.
At the altar
Oldest sister Carolynne Larsen-Fox shared a reading by Bob Marley.  The estimable Emmy Bean sang a song selected by Mom Kathy-Brady MurfinNoel Paul Stookey’s lovely and ethereal Wedding Son (There is Love.)
Emmy Bean sings!
The Old Man could not let the occasion get away without annoying the couple and the assembly with a poem, reproduced below.
After the ceremony, a couple of toasts, and a first dance by the couple and a rough spin with the Old Man folks could spread out over the church and grounds for all sorts of activities—coloring, a crafts project, table games inside and piƱatas, children’s games outside.  Many just mingled in the sunshine basking in the day.
Most of the Bride's close kin--The Old Man, Kathy Brady-Murfin, Heather Larsen, Maureen Rotter, Randy Larsen, Kenny Pearson, Carolynne Larsen-Fox, Caiti Pearson.

All hands pitched in to restoring the sanctuary and the church almost as good as new for services today.
Afterwards Kathy and I joined Arlene and Michael Brennan, Ira and Emmy, Kenny Pearson, Heather Larsen, and Caiti Larsen for dinner at the Village Squire in McHenry.
What a happy day.
Kevin and Maureen Rotter.

Marriage Manual
For Maureen and Kevin
May 28, 2016

Throw this away and flee,
            along with anything like it
            from the slick magazines
            and internet.
There are no magic keys.
            no one-size-fits-all.
Your marriage is as unique—
and as fragile—
as a snowflake
on your nose.

Wear love lightly on your shoulders,
            a spring wrap as the sun sets,
do not let it burden
or encumber you.
Do not set out to test or measure it,
            lay traps and pitfalls.
What you suspect you can make true.

Trust as far as you can,
            and maybe a scosh beyond.
Forgive quickly all that is not unforgivable—
violence, abuse, domination.

I do not believe in Original Sin,
            but I am sure we were all
            born to be assholes
            on our worst days
            and need to be cut
            a little slack because
            we surprise ourselves
            by being better
            more often than not.

Play.  A lot,
            don’t forget to enjoy each other
            so that the endless days of blech       
            of rut, routine,
            and all of the crap you will do
            because you have to
            and the laundry will not
            take care of itself.
You will surely be poor,
            you may become rich.
Take note that beyond some stress
            you will be as happy
            or as sad as you
            make yourselves.

Leave room for others,           
            stupid songs aside,
            it is not me and you
            against the world.
Have friends, cherish family
            even the ones who
            annoy you—
maybe especially them.
Be kind to strangers.
            welcome the hungry
            to share your
            macaroni and cheese.
Care about those you will
            never see or meet.

That’s it from the Old Man,
            it’s all I’ve got.
And remember I failed at
            each and every
            one of these.

—Patrick Murfin

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