10 friggin’ years!

I want to wish a happy anniversary to two of my best friends in the whole world, Ann and Jeff Murdock. Their love is the center of the universe for a huge part of my own life, and their wedding is a giant personal milestone as well.

It wasn’t long after the Murdocks made things legal that I ventured off on my own to California, so in a way, this marks almost a decade in my adopted home.

Another major reason why it was such a big deal was that The Murdock Wedding was a shift in all of our lives.  It was the last time when so many of my high school friends were all in one place.  Shawn Page got married this summer, and a lot were there too.  But that larger group has scattered to the winds, and we all lead very separate lives.

I was honored to be asked to document their wedding by Ann’s father, the late Phil Gentile.  He was a good man that trusted I would honor the occassion with something nice.  I did one better, and the result was a two hour and five minute long film that encapsulated for me those feelings I mentioned above.

“The Murdock Wedding Story: Forever Together” was a rarified opportunity.  Not only did I get to celebrate my friends, that moment in time, and the love story that was central to all of that, but I also got to learn a lot about the Murdock, Gentile, and Gordon families.  And what a wonderful group of people they are.

Phil and Lisa Gentile wear their hearts on their sleeves, and such big hearts they have.  Ron and Debbie Murdock hide their light under an exterior that doesn’t seem particularly sentimental, but that light burns bright and with surprising romance.  Steve and Julie Murdock, David Gentile, the grandparents, and of course my friends, what they say is simple and universal, but there is a whole world of love in their words.  If we could all be so lucky to have these people in our lives.

And I guess that brings us to today.  Ten years later, on the rare instances that I get back to Ohio, I experience such an odd sensation.  I’m home again, but it’s different.  In many ways, I have sacrificed this life, this love – and the love of so many others – in pursuit of a dream I am still struggling to realize.

My good friend Jamie Mank, who was one of Ann’s two matrons-of-honor and who was my first high school friend to get married, once asked me explicitly to move back.  To get old with them, let our kids (her’s real, mine imagined) to grow up together.  A very tempting offer, but my very core tells me the season for that has not yet come.

These themes are ever present in the novel I’m working on, Home Street.  I’ve been churning and burning the stories that make up this universe of constant change in my mind and on paper since I was seven.  I was writing a draft ten years ago.  But I really feel like this is it for these characters.

Wish me luck.

And join me in wishing Ann and Jeff and those that they love a very happy anniversary.  I miss you, and I pray the best is yet in store.


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