When a couple takes their vows before G-d, the ultimate commitment is made when we utter five little words:
'Til Death Do Us Part.
In those five words, we are vowing a lifetime to each other. We are vowing that no bodily or earthly presence will ever come between us and our vows to each other. No annoyance, no disturbance, no anger, no jealousy, no dirty dishes nor dirty underwear left on the side of the bed for the 47th time even though the hamper is mere feet away and I've asked you not to do it time and again yet you refuse to listen and I am starting to believe you're doing in on purpose. Nothing. Nothing will separate us. Only death.
But what happens when that happens? What happens when one member of the beloved coupling leaves this world? What happens to the broken-hearted love left behind? Does his life end, too? Is her time in which she is allowed to experience joy over? Are they destined to live this world alone, without companionship, without the everlasting love of another person?
And what happens if we do find love again? Does that mean we betray our first love who has left this earth? Does that mean we turn our back on the family bonds we gained through that former relationship? Do we start over again with no reflection on the past, no reverence for the life we had, and the journey that brought us to this point?
Or do we go forward with tangible ties to the past, as this couple did at the gorgeous Adelphia Restaurant & Lounge. This couple who is moving forward, solidifying their love, proclaiming their devotion but in such a way as to honor their former life; a way that does not abandon the loves who are now looking down on them as they begin this new life together. They move forward with their children and grandchildren by their side but not only that, they move forward with the love and grace afforded to to them by one more person. One more person who serves as a tie to their past; whose presence served as a corporeal blessing of their bond.
The sister of the man who is looking down upon his widow as she is afforded another chance at love. Another soul mate to start this new chapter of her life. This woman stood by the bride's side as her forever sister-in-law found her love in a most wonderful and deserving man.
To say that I cried harder than anyone there is as humiliating as it is true. This will quite possibly go down as the most sentimental wedding I have shot yet and I have the snotty tissues to prove it.