I was pleased to make some remarks at Jessica and Sean’s wedding dinner. The following is the speech I put together (though a little longer than what I actually wound up saying):
I’m her uncle (pointing to Jessica) and I’m her brother-in-law (pointing to Faith). I feel very honored that Jessica asked me to make a few remarks. First of all, I’d like to thank Faith for hosting us at this wonderful wedding. I can’t imagine a more beautiful place than Yemassee Lodge, and I know that Faith put in months of effort getting ready for today.
As I considered what to say tonight, I thought a lot about Jessica’s father and my younger brother, Peter. Most of you know that we lost this wonderful man three years ago. Peter would have wanted to be here more than anything in the world. When I tried to guess what he would be likely to say, the first thing that came to mind was that Peter would be totally angry about missing Jessica’s wedding. Peter loves events of this sort, and he would love this event in particular. But his frustration would pass quickly, and Peter would be filled with joy for Jessica and Sean. He was a very loving father. We talked by phone every week for many years, and he expressed his love and pride in his kids in every conversation that we had. I remember Peter saying that when he talked on the phone with Jessica and Chris, he ended every call by saying, “I love you.”
Peter would be delighted about his family members being here, and he would be very positive about the new connection between Sean’s family and ours. He and Sean hit it off well from the start, and he would be thrilled by the love that he and Jessica expressed to one another today. I understand that Peter’s main question regarding Sean was, “When will Jessica put the bullet to him?” I don’t know exactly what this means, but I guess we’re here today because Jessica did do that.
Another person I’ve been thinking of is my dad and Jessica’s grandfather, Vic L. My parents held annual family reunions at their farm in Birch Creek, Michigan, for many years when the grandchildren were younger. Jessica started coming there as an infant. She and her cousin Abra were the youngest of the children, and they were totally adorable. Vic was tickled and delighted by the girls, and he would love to be here to share this event with Jessica. We had our most recent family reunion in Birch Creek last year, and many of us met Sean for the first time. He immediately fit in with our family group. And he proposed to Jessica at this gathering, making it a memorable and romantic event.
Many of you know that our family has experienced several tragic losses in recent years. Vic would view this realistically as a natural phenomenon and focus on the transformation from one generation to the next. We’ve had a batch of new babies in our family, and this is the first of a couple of weddings. Basically, the younger generation has reached maturity and become the core of the family. That’s one of the very significant meanings of today’s wedding. It’s a joyful sign that our family has made its way back.
-Jessica LM (7-5-11): Dave, I'm just reading this post for the first time and I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for putting all of these wonderful thoughts and memories on this blog for all of us and thank you for your wedding speach, it all means so much.