Friday, November 12, 2004

A few weeks ago, I got to stand up beside Billie and Emily while they got married. This being a wedding, there were plenty of opportunities to stand up and say a few words, and I wanted to, but I couldn't quite get my thoughts and feelings to hang together enough for a speech. It's been bugging me ever since then, so I'm going to take a stab now at what I would have liked to say then.

I met Emily when I was fifteen, so she would have been about eleven. Theron was my friend, which made her my friend's little sister. TV, movies, and pop culture dictate that a friend's little sister must be, by definition, annoying, but Emily never was. Since she lived most of the year in Texas, with her mom, and only spent every other holiday in Missouri, Emily didn't have much of a social network in Kansas City, so when she was in town, she was usually tagging along with Theron and I. That was a long time ago, but I don't remember even once thinking of her as anything other than a joy to have around.

It's not a story I tell too often, but when I was eight or nine, my mom was pregnant with twin girls. I was too young at the time to know the details, but I do know that she went into labor a little early, but not so early that we expected anything other than Mom and Dad to come home with two baby girls. Instead, Dad came home alone, gray-faced, to tell us that the girls hadn't made it, and that Mom was going to be in the hospital for a while. It happened long enough ago that it's not something I think about that often, but it does pop into my head now and again to figure out how old they'd be now, and wonder what they'd be up to.

This might explain why I feel so lucky to have Emily in my life, but just about everybody that knows her seems to feel lucky, and they can't all be haunted by the ghosts of almost-sisters, so maybe it's just a coincidence.

Now what about Billie? Knowing, as you now do, how I feel about Emily, the fact I not only endorsed but actually encouraged their engagement should tell you I have a high opinion of him. But I'll go a little further and tell you that he's one of the few people out there I still enjoy debating politics with, exactly the guy you want with you on a hike, easy to work with on home improvement projects, and on my short list of people I'd call if I ever needed to bust Christie out of a Turkish prison.

That's it really. I just wanted to say that I love you both, that you both excel at finding the fun where other people only see a pain in the ass, and that I wish you both every possible good thing in your life together.

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