Now that my obligatory family rant is out of the way, I guess I should actually do this whole retrospective thing, since your only sister only gets married once (knock on wood).
As someone who fancies himself a writer, I look for stories pretty much everywhere. I can finagle one about the little girl bowing bubbles in the park, or the knee I blew out in high school, or the northern lights over the lake. Whether those stories are worth reading/hearing/writing is entirely different matter—point is they’re there. And like I said in the speech that made my sister cry, I have a lot of stories about my sister. Twenty three years, five months and (now) thirteen days.
There’s the time she drove through a door and got me grounded. The time we were playing baseball in the front yard and she rang the titanium bat off my forehead. And when she came up to visit me for Thanksgiving and we rowed out to the middle of Auke Lake to watch the lights dance. Then there’s the handful from right before the wedding, like when she tossed me a grapefruit and I tried to cut it in half before it hit the ground, and forty five seconds later she was yelling at me for something neither one of us remembers.
At her wedding I said the hardest thing about being a writer was admitting when the story wasn’t yours anymore. Recognizing when it’s time to take on a supporting role and hand someone else the reigns (or pen, whatever). I officially handed took on a supporting role and gave Zach the reigns. And it’s official because there was a mic involved. I also put my speech down on paper, so it’s uber official.
I’ve never understood why people cry at weddings—particularly the kind of crying which sounds exactly like the dry heaving that comes right before my cat coughs up a hairball. Unless the newlyweds are moving to Singapore with no intention of ever seeing anyone again, I’ve never seen any reason to be anything but various amounts of happy, especially if there’s an open bar and free food.
There was a weird feeling in my gut when I got to the end of my speech though. Not that I broke down into fountains of mournful tears—that would defy all masculine stereotypes, and as we all know, I’m nothing if not the foundation on which masculinity stands.
It was weird. Kinda like watching Ray Bourque retire after he finally won the cup back in 2000. Everyone was glad it happened and he was going out on a high note and on his own terms and all that, but you’d be hard pressed to see find someone who wasn’t sad to see him go. Not that my sister is anywhere near the level of Ray Bourque aesome—that would just be silly talk. But there was that weird mix of glad she finally (can I say “finally” if she’s only 25?) found what she was looking for and sorry that our era had officially come to an end. I’m not sure yet how much of an exaggeration that is.
I find Zach to be acceptable, but I’ll still miss the days when sibling and I would hop around and cause mayhem and destruction, or hit up every fast food place in Silicon Valley because she was having some weird ass cravings, and I’m not gonna get to tell anymore stories of the time she cut off an old lady in traffic and spent the next half an hour wondering if senior citizens carry guns in their glove compartments, and if cutting them off was a valid enough reason to get shot.