Catie is not my sister by blood. She is my sister, though, by an extraordinary friendship. We became fast friends through an almost instant connection, like kindred spirits. I joke that we were separated at birth, albeit 7 years apart. Blood relationships don't always keep, so you create your family from those closest to you. In this respect, Catie is my sister in every possible way that matters most.
Beth is truly a wonderful person. She is Catie's perfect compliment. Her spirit is bright and her heart is enormous. We bonded over our mutual autoimmune disease/bitch from hell called fibromyalgia. Beth gets what it is like to live each day not knowing what your body will decide to do, and you have no control over it. Beth is my first friend who understands that if I am not up to doing something it isn't because I don't care or I am lazy. It's because my body won't let me. I can't even begin to explain how wonderful it is to have a friend who gets it!
Seeing Beth and Catie together is bearing witness to a pair souls that have finally found their match. The love between them is palpable. It permeates their home. You feel it from the moment you walk through their front door. To be around them is to experience a love as beautiful and as true as they are. All of us present at their vow renewal were enveloped in the warmth of their glow. We knew we were watching something extraordinary.
The house was full of love that day. We were all there to witness the commitment of two hearts, joined together in pure and selfless love. They have faced adversity, but soldier on together because their love is beautiful, unconditional, and true. They soldier on because life together, even in the face of a whole lot of stupid that is spouting an unending supply of ugly, is infinitely more wonderful than any life apart would be. We all gathered to pledge our love in support of theirs. Being there was a privilege beyond words. Being in a room full of love, kindness and unconditional acceptance was a unique experience on the level of which I have never experienced. There was only one thing that could have been worthy enough to close out this amazing day. We joked about it, but knew the chances of something like this happening was astronomical. Then as most of the guests were leaving, Beth opened the door and yelled for me to get my camera. Why? Because what we had joked about had actually happened: There was a rainbow.
Beth and Catie, I love you both so very much. Thank you for showing me what is possible. Thank you for embracing me as your sister. It is an honor and privilege.