My big sister Kelly got married this weekend to my brand new bro-in-law, Kris. In addition to the honor of serving as Best Sister, I got to give them a toast! Here it is:
At our grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary celebration, our grandpa Lee made a speech that had all of the waitresses and bartenders crying their eyes out. He said that he and my grandma Ivy had made it through the years by standing next to each other “shoulder to shoulder.” Then he got up on a chair and proceeded to do a striptease until Grandma pulled him back down.
I really wish he were here to see you two today.
Something stuck in the back of both mine and Kelly’s minds about the kind of love our grandparents demonstrated–the love we witnessed between them through our years growing up. I think in the end both of us are good time girls, more like our grandma. Grandpa was, in our family, one of a kind. And yet, lo these many years later, both of us have ended up with guys just like him. Steady, reliable, honest. People who know there’s a right way to do everything.
The first time Kris met our whole family was at mine and Shelly’s wedding four years ago. And my memory of that night is what makes it clear to me, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that you two have Grandpa’s blessing on this marriage. For those of you who weren’t there: Kris and our grandpa threw it all down on the dance floor in the basement of St. Mary’s in Harlem, crunk to high heaven. And if you knew my grandpa at all, you know you couldn’t ask for a clearer sign of his blessing than that.
So Kelly and Kris: here’s to your new life. Shoulder to shoulder through the hard times. Raising hell together through the good times. No matter what comes, you make sure you go all in. And you make sure you’re in it together. I love you both.