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I hope I don't embarrass you this weekend, Sweetheart.
Hi everyone. Heather’s dad couldn’t make it today, so I’m filling in.
Looks at Heather: “I hope I’m doing okay”
On her big day
My oldest daughter gets married this weekend, and I couldn’t be more proud—or more frightened.
Worried I’ll embarrass her in front of her friends. Worried I won’t meet her new in-laws’ standards or expectations. And I’m worried I haven’t done enough to contribute to it all.
As it is, my jobs are simple enough. Simple, but not easy.
I’ll walk my daughter down the aisle, lift her veil, kiss her cheek, and then hand her over to the man who’ll take her as his wife.
After the ceremony and requisite photographs, we’ll all reconvene for dinner and drinks.
There’ll be dancing, of course, where it will be my great honor to dance with my oldest daughter to a song that is sure to make me weep uncontrollably.
After the puddle I’ve become is mopped off the dance floor, I’ll need to pull myself together again to make a speech.
This is all new to me, this Father of the Bride stuff, and I’m dreadfully afraid of screwing up.
Dancing and weeping, I can do.
But a speech?
How will I ever keep it together for that?
I just keep reminding myself that this isn’t about me.
This is your day, Sweetheart.
So, I will officially welcome the guests to this celebration on behalf of Heather and Nicolas Clark.
I will do my best. Try not to tell corny jokes. Try to keep it together.
I’ll focus on you and your friends.
It will be so good to see familiar faces—so many dear friends from your childhood. Some I’ve known since birth (Sam), some from high school (Lindsey). And your work friends—the other labor and delivery nurses you’ve come to know and love.
And there will be others, like Nik’s friends, whom I’ll meet for the first time.
That should be interesting…and telling
Our friendships say a lot about us, don’t they?
Who we show up for…Who shows up for us?
One of the unique joys and troublesome worries of parenthood is watching your child venture out into the world and make friends.
As parents, we pray the other children will be nice to our child. We hope our child finds their way and fits in. We hope they meet good kids from good families.
And we pray our children and their new friends do safe, innocent, harmless things together, like following butterflies and chasing rainbows.
But that never happens.
Casual acquaintances are one thing. But our friends—I mean our true friends?
Our true friends become co-conspirators and co-defendants, our trusted confidants. The keepers of our secrets.
Our true friends become our cheerleaders. They champion our dreams—even when those dreams include you, Lindsey, and your little brother Sean piling into a rusted old jalopy with a quarter tank of gas and driving across the country to attend Mardi Gras during your senior year of high school.
And even when those dreams include running through the wintery streets of downtown Detroit at 5:00 a.m. in the middle of October with your coworkers for no other reason than to Just Do It.
In many ways, our friendships define us.
The quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our friendships.
Our friends support us when we try. Comfort us when we cry. Call us on our shit when we’re full of it.
But at the end of the day, our friends are the family we choose, aren’t they?
So, as I look around the beautiful venue on the night of my daughter’s wedding, I’ll see family, of course.
But I’ll also see the beautiful, beautiful friends Heather and Nik have gathered through the years.
These friendships have endured good times and bad. Happy and sad. And now, they’re all here to support you both in this new and very special friendship that’s just beginning.
Heather and Nicolas,
As you begin this journey together—this new beginning,
Be friends above all else.
Be the type of friend to each other that will make your friends here tonight proud.
Be the type of friend to each other that you want for your children.
Be kind but honest with one another. Speak the truth, but be gentle.
And above all, be there for one another, as your friends and family are here for you tonight.
Just be there for one another.
Show up. Over and over again. Just. Show. Up.
“When you love someone, you have to offer that person the best you have.
And the best thing we can offer another person is our true presence.”
—Thich Nhat Hanh
Be good to one another.
Forever and ever, amen.
I love you guys ☺️