Yesterday’s post was about the first fear of my dual anxiety attack for the last 25 years. If you didn’t read it you should…there is a fun entertainment ‘snack’ that you don’t want to miss. Today I am completing the confession of my quarter century fear. The speech.
Looking back on it, I’m not sure why I allowed myself to get so worked up over a simple toast but I did. Seriously, I’m not joking when I say that I had been dreading that mic in hand, palms sweating, white dress affair, glasses raised moment for a veeeery long time. Extra ‘e’s for emphasis. There may have been multiple nightmares leading up to it that included frantic frenzies because for some unknown reason, I had forgotten to plan it out. Yes, I’m a planner. You could put a mic in my hand and tell me to public speak any day of the week and I’d be fine as long as it was a. not sentimental b. I had time to plan. Well, the first stipulation was an automatic negative. 25ish years with your best friend summed up into one five minute speech is pretty difficult to describe as anything but sentimental. The latter was something I could control however, no matter how contrary to my nightmares. There was still one small problem though, even with my preparation. You see, when I first found out from David that he was proposing I was in the parking lot at Home Depot. Of course the FIRST thing I thought of was my speech. Duh. And OF COURSE the first thing I did was sit in the HD parking lot and practice what I would say. Double Duh. And OF COURSE the first thing I did when I starting practicing was to cry. No not cry. More like sob. Weep.
So I said to myself, “Shoot. This is not good.”
It wasn’t that I cared if I cried in front of everyone, that was excusable. It was more that I didn’t want to go hysterical on them. You know, the kind of tears that surpass sweet and head into something more like….embarassing. Yeah, I wanted to avoid that if I could. So I wrote it out and I may have practiced it a couple times…the planner that I am. And then, I gave it. I stood up in front of 500 people, with my sweaty palms and I turned to my best friend from life and I told her how special she was to me. She stood next to the man of her dreams, her husband of about an hour, and I in turn relinquished my role as best friend. I sprinkled in just the right amount of humor (mostly to keep me from losing it) as I accounted for all the life stages we had experienced together and gave David just the right advice he needed on the woman I know so well. Though I thankfully managed to not cross over into ugly tears, my eyes were moist and a few may have ran down my cheek as I said,
“Beth, to say you are my best friend is a severe understatement and so I will just say, in the words of Anne Shirley, that you are my kindred spirit. It has and continues to be a great privilege to have shared a womb, a face and a life with you.”
Then I turned to my new brother-in-law, the man that had won her heart, and I said with great sincerity,
“David, it is hard for me to relinquish the role of best friend but I couldn’t think of anyone I’d rather pass the baton to. And even though I will ALWAYS have known her longer…my hope and my prayer is that you will know her best.”
With glasses raised, we toasted to the newlyweds and drank in the moment. The weather was perfect, the fellowship was sweet and the occasion was joyful. I believe in that moment, God was smiling in great favor. Now, with my quarter century fears completed, I am happy to say that I did not embarrass myself, I did not crumble and I did not faint. It was a perfect moment, a sweet memory and a lasting impression to be able to hand off my best friend….since the beginning of life…and to watch her join her beloved in life’s journey!
Check in tomorrow to see more of her beautiful wedding!!!
(Also, if you want to see something really sweet…check out my grandparents dancing at the wedding. Should I ever say “I Do,” I hope my hubby and I are still dancing after 60 years of marriage!)