The reason we came to Brooklyn. Yesterday afternoon my dear cousin Katherine married a wonderful man, Dan. Katherine (and her sister, Jennifer) are my double-first cousins. That is, their father is the younger brother of my father and their mother is the younger sister of my mother. (Let me know if you need a Venn Diagram.) They are, in a lot of ways, like my sisters.
Along with my brother, Michael, the four of us grew up together. Katherine is nearly six years younger than me and, as such, occasionally got left out of things -- like a family trip to Switzerland in 1978. Mike dedicated a song to the absent two-year old Katherine one day as we were hiking in the Alps and happened upon a herd of cattle. The song, Katheriney Koo, Where are You? (taken from "kuh," which is German for cow) became an instant family favorite. Imagine the Von Trapp family signing Scooby, Scooby Doo, Where are You? and you get the picture. The song perfectly captured that our family was incomplete without our Kooie.
Katherine met Dan in New York in 2001. Things did not work out the first time and they went their separate ways. A mere eleven years later and a shared trip to North Carolina to celebrate the bris of their friends' son gave them a second chance. (This is a super-condensed and regrettably boring version of what is really an amazing story.) This time, the bad judgment of youth well behind them, Katherine and Dan were together to stay.
Keri, Lauren, Owen and I first met Dan one year and two days ago. We knew that first night that he was a mensch, a wonderful cook, and that he and Katherine were in love. Owen remarked after meeting them that the next time we would be in New York would be for their wedding at which he hoped to be the "ring kid." Lauren echoed that she would be the flower girl. Quite prescient, my children.
And so it was, a truly joyous afternoon and evening as Katherine and Dan committed themselves each other in front of family and friends. Lauren was the most beautiful flower girl I have seen and Owen the most handsome ring "bear" (one step closer from ring kid, I suppose).
Katherine, as those of you who know her would expect, was a beautiful kalah (bride). I was honored to be asked to help hold up the chupah, which gave me a great vantage point from which to look into the faces of Dan and Katherine. They looked totally content, as though their souls, always meant to be together, had finally found each other. And our family feels a whole lot more complete today.