I am 'The Luckiest'

When Emily walked down the aisle at our wedding one week ago, our guests saw me collapse into a ball of emotion, tears rolling down my cheeks. I’m guessing that most assumed it was because of the power of the moment, seeing my bride for the first time in her wedding dress. As a matter of fact, friends of mine had an ‘over/under’ bet as to how long it would take until I lost it. Most put me at about 3 minutes. ‘Under’ was the way to go.

Yes, Emily was amazingly beautiful. Yes, I was full of emotion as I gazed out onto friends and family. But there’s more to the story. If you’ve ever seen the movie Cocktail with Tom Cruise, you may know what I mean when I tell you that she ‘spooked’ me. She got me good. Real good.

To explain, I need to talk about wedding planning, and our choice of first dance.

Emily and I had an idea to put the first dance up to a vote for our guests. Each of us would pick a song that was a surprise to the other, the guests would vote, and the DJ would play that song.

I picked The Luckiest by Ben Folds, and she picked For the Longest Time by Billy Joel. Her and I are a bit competitive, and we both were sure that we had the winning song. We asked a few close friends what they thought (without telling each other the song), and without question, everyone picked Emily’s. Another one lost. Sigh.

Months later, we went to see the movie About Time.

It’s a romantic comedy with a beautiful message, and without giving away anything, the end gets very emotional. As is typically the case during such moments, Emily looked at me, gently teasing me … Are you crying again?

As the last few minutes of the movie played, Ben Fold’s The Luckiest played underneath. And I lost it. Completely. I explained to Emily that this was the song I had picked as our first dance, and it makes me think of her, and it’s beautiful … etc, etc …

Fast forward to more wedding planning:

I am in a klezmer band in Athens, and our violinist is also a marvelous vocalist. She sings an absolutely gorgeous rendition of Erev Shel Shoshanim, a traditional Hebrew love song. It is often sung as the bride walks down the aisle. For months Emily said that she didn’t love that song, and would prefer if the band sang another song.

Finally, she gave in, knowing that I really love the version that my band sings. I was so excited as I visualized Emily coming down the aisle to this beautiful melody.

Just three days before the wedding, I practiced with the band, as I would be rapping to Emily (Rabbi’s Delight, a take on Rapper’s Delight) in between a marvelously energetic 40-minute hora. At that practice, I mentioned how excited I was to hear Erev Shel Shoshanim on my wedding day.

Unbeknownst to me, Emily had surreptitiously gotten the band to switch out Erev Shel Shoshanim with The Luckiest.

I realized something was amiss when I noticed that the words sung were not in Hebrew. It took me a few seconds, but all eventually came clear. And then, enter afore-mentioned collapsing.

Here are the words to this beautiful song. I will forever think of them and my even-more beautiful bride. I am indeed The Luckiest.

I don't get many things right the first time

In fact, I am told that a lot

Now I know all the wrong turns

The stumbles and falls brought me here

And where was I before the day

That I first saw your lovely face?

Now I see it everyday

And I know that I am

I am, I am the luckiest

What if I'd been born fifty years before you

In a house on the street where you live?

Maybe I'd be outside as you passed on your bike

Would I know?

And in a wide sea of eyes

I see one pair that I recognize

And I know that I am

I am, I am the luckiest

I love you more than I have

Ever found a way to say to you

Next door, there's an old man who lived to his 90's

And one day, passed away in his sleep

And his wife, she stayed for a couple of days

And passed away

I'm sorry, I know that's a strange way

To tell you that I know we belong

That I know that I am

I am, I am the luckiest

God in the Grit

How I proposed to my gir ... I Mean, Fiancé