Melissa is a kindred spirit. The same kooky, kinda crazy in a good way blood flows in both our veins. And her husband-to-be could be a copy of my own stoic-except-when-he-is-with-me-then-he’s-a-teddy-bear husband. I loved hearing of all the silly and sweet details as she and Jamal planned their wedding day. And all those plans, except the one where the weather cooperated, came off without a hitch. The rain drove us inside Rockwell Hall at Kent State University , but our spirits were not dampened. To get Jamal’s smile ready Melissa had arranged for her nephew, Malik, to don a silly mask and pretend to be Melissa sneaking up on him to reveal herself and her wedding gown. While he laughed at that, his smile only truly became luminous when he saw his Bride descending the stairs towards him. And from that moment, through to their ceremony and reception at The Italian Center the two were aglow with love. I am so blessed to have been there for that special celebration, and blessed to continue to call these two my friends.