Standing up in front of a crowd, gathered to witness your brother’s wedding is undoubtedly a different experience. Being in the bridal party in this scenario is a truly unique and honored experience. Both of these realities of this past weekend got me to thinking about the experiences I’ve shared with my own friends and loved ones and how important they all are.

A life less lived.

That’s life without these people. The triumphs particularly of this past year have all been with the direct help of those who care about me. I cannot claim any greatness of my own, because on my own, I’ve only faltered.

Enriched.

My favorite memories of this year have all been shared with family and friends. They have been there, making good times and bad, great. Each brings a unique vantage point. Each gives insight that I on my own would have merely lacked.

Life, as evidenced this past year, is not the memories and it is not the trinkets we collect along the way. It is the growth we experience along the way and the lives we take along for the ride. Friends and family have been the greatest gifts from God I’ve ever received. And it took my brother’s wedding and seeing everyone who loves him to realize how blessed I am and how much I’ve needed and will continue to need those people each and every day moving forward.

To my faithful readers, I count you as friends. Thank you. Each one of you are important to me as well. And it’s for you I continue to try to make this blog better and better. Because you give me much each week in your readership. Again, thank you and happy New Year.