Raise your glass.
A memory made sitting in a vinyl covered booth with sticky root beer hands and a salt shaker microphone will linger a lifetime. When people say that you will look back on your life and remember the special moments that make up your days, this is what they are talking about.
My goddaughter Grace who is almost 8 was the maid of honor in her mother’s wedding over the weekend. My dear friend Amy asked if I would be willing to help Grace write a toast for the reception, so with the help of another dear friend, Nikki (who is Grace’s brother’s godmother) we set out to write a toast to wow the wedding crowd. Last week Nik and I picked Grace up then headed for Applebee’s to channel the likes of Tolstoy, Poe, Hemingway or Seuss..whoever showed up! After dinner we got down to business, our baby blue card stock spread out before us and roller gel pens jotting down Grace’s thoughts on how her life has changed since Amy’s new husband Bobby became part of her world. The answers were so genuine and honest, taking time to think about the questions she needed to reflect on, and blurting out the answers to those questions that danced right up to the tip of her tongue.
Now I could tell you a hundred stories of laughter and crazy antics we have shared over the years, Grace has a spunky fire that is hard not to fall in love with, but it is balanced by a loving, insightful and kind soul that has seen me through some dark days. Several years ago on a heartbroken Saturday morning I showed up at a football game of Grace’s brother’s because I didn’t really know where else to go, in a nauseous, lovesick fog after the break apart I quietly wept behind the safety of dark lenses most of the game. Grace tenderly slid beside me, putting her tiny hand in mine and simply held tight. She would periodically maneuver herself onto my lap, throwing her arms around my neck and planting a giant smooch on my cheek. Inhaling her fruity scented shampoo I was able to breathe for just a moment without the dull ache in my chest. From the very beginning she busted into my world with loving brilliance, and wisdom beyond her years hidden in those chocolate drop eyes. All the same traits that went into writing an amazing toast celebrating her mom and Bobby and the enormous love she has for them both.
While our very patient and friendly server kept the root beer flowing we mapped out Grace’s thoughts and with some awesome editing from Nik and a few helpful hints from yours truly what was created became a bit of a wedding toast masterpiece. Once we explained how the toast would happen and after raising our glasses many, many times , a few trips to the bathroom, along with the impromptu use of a salt shaker acting as a microphone, Grace read and re-read the toast over, and over, and over until we all ( and by ALL I am including the understanding people in the booth behind us!) felt confident in the words and in awe of the love that went into piecing them together.
Here is the toast that Grace gave to Amy and Bobby on Saturday night flawlessly, and I could not be more proud of her, of who she is, and how she walks through the world with such zest, love and kindness. Being Grace’s godmother is one of the great joys of my life, I will forever be grateful to Amy for trusting in me to be Grace’s godmother.
“Welcome Everyone…….I am really excited to be the maid of honor at my mom and Bobby’s wedding. One of the things that I am enjoying is that I have my Taekwondo teacher at home so we can all practice as a family! I like that we do fun things together like rock climbing and riding bikes. If I had to describe them both as a feeling and a color, mom would be sunny, happy, yellow and Bobby would be relaxing blue. That is perfect because yellow and blue make green and green is my mom’s favorite color! Together we are a family that will continue to make happy memories! To mom and Bobby! Cheers!