There's an old saying that goes, "Friendship is not about who you’ve known the longest. It’s about who walked into your life, said 'I’m here for you' and proved it." That was never more evident to me than when I was getting married.
Had I thought it through, I would have made a different decision about who I chose to be my Matron of Honor. The woman I spontaneously chose was one I had known for years. She had seen me through a bad breakup of a five year relationship and had helped me find the person inside that I had lost while in that relationship. Truth be told, we had really not been close for several years. She had moved from the area, gotten married, had a child and had a new life. I suppose I was looking at things poetically and selected her because of the romanticism that came with the way she helped me begin my life over again after a hard time.
It made sense in my mind at the time but it wasn't long after I had selected her to stand beside me at my wedding that I realized the person who should have been up there was someone I hadn't known very long but had become an invaluable Best Friend in that short time.
At that moment, I couldn't see that the length of time we had known each other wasn't the important thing at all. It was the quality of the friendship that had grown. A seedling to a Redwood in the express lane.
By the time I realized my mistake, it was too late and I couldn't reverse the course. I mean, how do you say, "Sorry, I made a mistake. Thanks anyway." to the woman I had chosen to be my Matron of Honor? So, I ended up swallowing my error and regretting it for many years.
While I couldn't say those words to the woman who was to stand beside me, I was able to address the issue in a different way many years later. Nearly 20 years after my wedding, I was still upset with myself so I finally did what I should have done back then. I told the woman who should have been standing beside me on that day how I felt. I think it surprised her since so much time had passed but I like to think I righted a wrong.
The upshot? She and I are still close friends. And, the woman who I had selected for the honor? We really never talked after the wedding. We just went on with our separate lives. Just goes to show at the end of the day, you can never tell who will stand beside you the longest and who will disappear once life changes.