Thursday, September 02, 2010

A Toast

For my little sister on her wedding day:

'A' has many roles in our family: The ray of sunshine, the glue, the leftover crap.

I was not too pleased when you came along. When it became clear mom was not going to return you to sender as I had requested, I agreed to tolerate you. The truth of it is that I was jealous. You were the one who was happy despite anything. You were loving, creative, funny, generous, and saw the good in everyone and I desperately wanted to be like you.

As we’ve grown, you’ve taught me about courage, diplomacy, how to step outside my own perspective, and how to organize a mean closet. I am so glad mom wasn’t able to return you.

Wanting nothing for Christmas but Bride magazines at 5 years old, you planned your wedding so many times who can say if this looks anything like what you had in your minds’ eye. The most important ingredient, however, is here: a man who adores you and loves you and promises his life to you. With his kindness, warmth and playful spirit, 'M' is the best gift I could have wished for you.

Likewise, M, you are getting an extraordinary soul. She lights up any room she’s in. She makes everyone feel valued and honored for who they are. She’s always looking within herself, checking her perspective against that of others’ and putting herself in their shoes to be sure she understands both sides. She would give a stranger the shirt off her back. Gentle and kind, and tough as the cliffs of Moher, anyone lucky enough to find themselves in her heart knows that her friendship is a treasured gift. She will weather any storm with you and be there to make sure you have a warm, dry place to sleep even if it means giving you her pillow. As you know, M, your challenge is to push her to put herself first. This way you will have a wife who is fulfilled and enriched and able to fulfill and enrich your life with her love. Welcome to the family.

A, thank you for always being there for me and listening to me. Thank you for making me laugh and comforting me when I cry. Thank you for being my cheerleader and my partner in crime. Thank you for having the courage to stand up to me and for pushing me to be my best self. If I am any good at all, it’s because for you I needed to try to be the person you think I am; the big sister worthy of your love and respect. Thank you for being my best friend. I can’t imagine being on this road without you. I’m so proud of you, so happy for you, so honored to have you as my sister.

To A and M: May you both always find in each other a shoulder to lean on in tough times, an ear to listen to both your troubles and your dreams, a hand to help through your day to day, a smile to share your joy and laughter, and arms to welcome your heart home for the rest of your lives.

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