I broke some bad news to my friend on her wedding day

One of my happiest moments was when my longest-running friend asked me to be in her wedding, about three hours after she got engaged to her now-husband. I was pretty flattered – Katie and I have known each other since she was born, but she is a very outgoing and likable person who has met and made many friends in the last 20+ years.

I told her yes, of course, and wedding planning began for an October 2015 date.

A few months before the wedding, Katie made a special request for a fun photo opp: She asked me to bring a beloved relic from our childhood to the wedding so we could re-create a photo from when we were little. “Darling” was a stuffed lamb I’d been given in an Easter basket when I was maybe five or six. Katie had also become attached to Darling, and over the years, my mom had to sew many repairs of Darling’s limbs due to overuse. Once, while on a family vacation, we spotted a Darling twin in a gift shop, and my mom got it for Katie. We’ve had them ever since.

Or so I thought. As soon as she asked me to bring my lamb, I realized I hadn’t seen it in a couple of years. The last I remembered, I’d set it aside with one other stuffed animal the week my dad moved out of our family’s old house in 2013. I called my dad and asked if he could look in the basement of his current house for her.
He did, but had no luck. By then it was August, and I only had a couple more months before the wedding. I weighed my options, and decided I wasn’t ready yet to admit to Katie that I’d managed to lose something she considered so precious. I’m not proud of what I did next.

In a classic sitcom move, I took to the internet to see if I could find a replica. I did find one on eBay, but after asking the poor seller a few very strange questions (“Do the arms and legs move or are they sewn in?”) I ultimately passed. I knew I was going to have to admit to Katie what had happened.

That said, I still put it off. I flew in for her wedding a week before to celebrate with her friends and family and prayed she didn’t mention the photo. Maybe she’d forget, I told myself, knowing it was unlikely. Instead, I spent the week digging through boxes at my dad’s house, but came up empty-handed

Finally, the morning of Katie’s wedding arrived. I walked into the venue where she and her family were having breakfast. The first thing she asked me when she saw me was if I had brought Darling. She just looked so happy and excited. I breathed in deeply and told her the truth: I admitted we’d spent all week looking for her, and that my dad had been looking months earlier, but that she hadn’t turned up. I told her I was sorry, and braced myself.

She gave me a huge hug and said she was sorry for my loss, because she is a wonderful human being and a very understanding friend.

In the end, we re-created the photo she wanted, using just her lamb. I’m impressed Katie has managed to hold onto hers for so long, and while I’m sorry I wasn’t able to do the same, I’m glad she understood.

Her wedding day was a beautiful celebration of her and her husband’s love, but it also felt to me like a wonderful reminder how how great lifelong friendships can make you feel, years later.

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