He squeezes her arm, her hand, her thigh.

She can’t stop smiling.
He can’t stop smiling.

They dance to music only they can hear.

They hold hands.

They tilt their heads back and laugh in unison.

Their eyes are wrapped in glee
and each other.

Becky and Larry.

They’re in love.
It’s the eve of their wedding
and they’re obviously, undeniably in love.
And their love makes those of us who love them
deeply, warmly

I’ve been asked to emcee the
pre-wedding dinner
and to offer the toast,
something I am honored
and downright delighted to do.

I tell a few stories –
embellished, as is the
storyteller’s prerogative –
and I close with a reminder that
Stories are the glue that hold us together.
Stories define who we are when we’re together
and anchor us when we’re apart.
Stories are souvenirs of a well-lived life.
And a wish
that their togetherness be filled with
stories that are more good than bad,
more on the richer side of things than the poorer side,
and that they have more healthy stories
than stories of woe and illness.

Glasses are raised to
their genesis story
and the journey stories
that will take them through
the happily ever after.

His sister Valerie died last year.
I talk to her this morning, asking her to
be with me tonight
to whisper what she wants me to say
and suggest that maybe she let me know
she’s near.

On the way to the pre-wedding dinner tonight,
the program from Valerie’s funeral falls out.

And stories.
They’re all around.
Isn’t that wonderfully, delightfully, exquisitely



There may not be any free lunches, but around here there are free stories. Interested? Mash the “right this way” button in the orange strip at the top of the screen and follow the directions.