The first time I got married, in December 1983, the wedding took place in my bride's rental home, and I pretty much had the best man appointed for me. Martin did a great job. I think we stayed in touch through nearly the end of the ceremony.
The second time, this time, for Teri and my September 2011 wedding, I wanted to do things differently. Perhaps there is no right way. Still, I wanted to do things in a more traditional manner -- and not rush anything. I wanted to show more gumption and pick a friend of character who could help guide me through the challenges of engagement, relationship building and marriage. Ernie fit the bill. He is my golf partner, and I know through our time on the links that he can deal with the frustrations golf deals out and still see the bigger picture of what's important -- enjoying the day, being outdoors, getting exercise and socializing. Ernie is also a retired yet still practicing Methodist minister, but I won't hold that against him. He delivers meals on wheels and helps people get to hospital appointments. He helped me immensely during leg and neurogenic bladder surgeries, when I was all alone and desperately needed help.
Equally important, Ernie knows how to make a relationship work through personal experience in his 18-year marriage with Neva -- and through counseling others. He has performed many weddings, provided pre-marital counseling. He has watched a few marriages disintegrate and many others that stand the test of time.
Sometimes I agree immediately with Ernie's advice. Other times what he says takes a while to sink in and make sense. The point is, asking for help of any kind is a challenge for me. I have evolved, somewhat. I can get poignant advice from my best man, and it will make all the difference as Teri and I go forward in building our relationship.