The Bright Side: Stay gold

Published 8:41 pm Wednesday, August 9, 2023

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We are back on the beach, all settled in. The wedding could not have been more beautiful. It was a bright, warm, sunshine-filled Saturday in Charleston, South Carolina when I woke up on our wedding day. A day Eric and I had both anticipated for a long time – and it was perfect.

Weddings are all about love. The love of two people that decide to dedicate their lives to one another; the love of family and friends that gather to support the couple; the love that goes into bringing a wedding day to life, from florists to photographers to cookie-makers and beyond; and the love that I believe shines down from the skies well above it all, the love that started it all.

In our vows, Eric and I both made mention to the gold that we have found in one another – a priceless, selfless, pure piece of us that brings out the best in the other person. I’ve always treasured Eric for his heart of gold, one that will do anything for anyone at any time without even thinking twice. We’ve both chosen to hang onto this gold, this belief that although the world can be cruel, and time can harden us, we choose to seek the little moments in life that reflect love and give that back to others.

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My favorite book, The Outsiders, makes mention to this type of gold in a poem by Robert Frost: “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” The poem suggests that “gold,” or the innocence that a young child possesses prior to being exposed to the harsh realities of life, cannot stay. In The Outsiders, there are two main characters that witness life’s toughest realities and in the end, still choose to appreciate the priceless pieces of life: companionship, family, nature and love.

I could see that gold all throughout the wedding day. Nerves got the best of me in the morning – my stomach was an absolute mess. However, my best friend/mentor spent two hours on the phone with me to help calm my nerves. My sister sat with me for a long while just to keep me company; my parents both made sure everything was taken care of prior to heading over to the venue so I didn’t need to worry about anything; my mother- and father-in-law were already there, reassuring me that it was all going to go perfectly; my bridesmaids helped in every possible way they could to pull everything together, not to mention all of my vendors who had taken our vision and worked their magic to bring it to life and then some.

And then there was my husband, who despite his own nerves and to-do’s that day, took the time to send over a gift for me: a pair of custom sneakers he had designed for me to wear at our reception. And as I opened the box and saw these shoes, it hit me that gold really can stay. Life doesn’t have to turn us sour, leave us self-concerned and wither our souls. Love can break through it all and remind us even in our pit of despair that there is so much good to be found out there.

On our honeymoon, I read a little book my mom had gifted me called “Holy Moments” by Matthew Kelly. Kelly writes that, “A Holy Moment is a single moment in which you open yourself to God. You make yourself available to Him. You set aside personal preference and self-interest, and for one moment you do what you prayerfully believe God is calling you to do.” I believe these holy moments all contain the gold that Frost wrote about in his poem, and the love that shines forth on a wedding day. We don’t have to attend a wedding to see it. We can choose to capture it every day, one little moment at a time. So, I implore you to stay gold. Keep that love for life that is so easily seen in a child’s eyes close to your heart. Help others, learn to love again. The world is so much brighter in these moments of pure gold.

Danielle Puleo is a staff writer for The Coastland Times. Reach her at