Sunday, July 31, 2016

To my sis on her wedding day

Daddy's little girl
Laura and Jamie at the altar
Laura makes a promise to her stepdaughter Zoë. Laura told Zoë that Zoë made her a mother, and while
she is not replacing anyone in Zoë's life, Laura loves her. Though Laura wasn't there for some of Zoë's
firsts as a baby, she promises not to miss any other firsts.
Laura and Jamie give Zoë a family necklace with three hearts
July 23, 2016
Photo credit: Cesare Berti

“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, a silver sixpence  for her shoe,” is an old English rhyme giving tradition to weddings. Today, it provides a framework for my speech.

“Something old” symbolizes continuity. Laura is carrying a handkerchief that was gifted by one of our aunts on the Christmas of her birth year. It was gifted a baby bonnet and with one snip became a handkerchief for her wedding day. As it is difficult to fit 30 years of sisterhood into a few minutes, “something old” bears the most weight of my time with you.

If we went back in time 25 years ago today, our family might be seen waiting in line at Christie’s Dairy for ice cream. I remember on one occasion Laura changing her order to match mine. I had wanted Tiger Stripe and so did Laura. I changed my order to Bubble Gum to be different. So did Laura. The game continued until it became bickering. I am sure my annoyance and her tactic to be like her big sister (or annoy her big sister) almost ruined the outing. I don’t even remember the flavour we each landed in the end.

My mother told us that day it was okay to make similar choices. Laura and I have chosen many similar flavours in life. This is because we are sisters and share a continuity, a heritage. We both worked for the Town of Grimsby as teenagers, myself as a lifeguard and Laura as a camp counsellor. We shared in a undergraduate education in science at Brock University and a career of teaching. We even shared in pinning the same eye make-up image on Pinterest in preparation for the wedding.

While we have similarities, if you know both of us, you also know how different we are. Laura has the voice of the angel and spent many Sundays serenading the congregation of Fifty United Church in her youth. Her former vocal teachers have seen her love for singing pursued in many fashions, including a Glee club where she teaches.

Laura was nicknamed, “Scooter” by my father, because she was always quick. This made her a natural soccer player and runner. Her art of being quick made her the queen of multi-tasking. I still can’t count the number of jobs she held while attending university full-time, but if you came to Canadian Tire Customer Service with a return she would send you out the door a happy customer before you finished your complaint. Her enthusiasm and motivation for life opens doors for new adventures, like the one she is starting today.

“Something new” represents optimism for the future. Laura is wearing a new pearl necklace. She purchased a pearl necklace because her grandmother, Gloria, had a pearl necklace she loved. The new person in her life is Jamie. The first time I met Jamie had nothing to do with Laura. Our family of 4, at the time, shared swimming lessons with him and his daughter, Zoë. She was wearing a Little Mermaid swimsuit. I don’t remember any other parents or children from the session, the pair had stood out to me. God prepared my heart to love my new family members before I even knew them. A natural pearl can take up to 20 years to form inside an oyster. Laura, you waited to find love. You found Jamie.

“Something borrowed” symbolizes support for the new life ahead. Laura has borrowed diamond earrings from another aunt. Laura and Jamie, your family and friends are here for you in times of celebration and need. My only advice is allow yourself to be vulnerable with those you trust. Receiving their help when it is needed, will make your life richer and take pressure off of your marriage. Diamonds withstand the tests of heat and pressure. While I wish only celebration, no hardship, may your marriage be withstanding no matter what comes your way.

“Something blue” represents love and fidelity. Laura is wearing my mother’s blue garter from her wedding day. The early life of a teacher usually involves changing schools each year. Before Laura and Jamie became a couple, the two of them followed one another from school to school, until finally finding love at Gatestone. As you grow in your marriage may you continue to pursue one another to keep your love fresh.

Finally, “A silver sixpence for her shoe” is a blessing of prosperity. I end with a blessing and a toast to my new brother, Jamie. May you grow old with Laura and your love remain new; may it be as precious as pearls, as strong as diamonds and your lives filled with laughter and prosperity.

Symbolism from rhyme cited from:

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