Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Writing a speech

It is ready!

Mom’s Speech
Isabel and Matthew’s Wedding
July 8, 2017

As we all know, life on this side of paradise is a sequence of joys and sorrows. Some of us here have lived long enough to know well that we cannot avoid crosses in life—we can only make decisions about how and with Whom we can carry those crosses.

And yet, there are times when life seems to smile on us—in such a happy, blissful, blessed way as to make us wonder, “Should I pinch myself?”
“Is this for real?”

I felt that way a little over a year ago, when a handsome, eloquent, and hardworking young man, on the occasion of another blissful and blessed Catholic wedding in upstate New York: when this young man approached me and Geoff to tell us why he was asking for our beautiful Isabel’s hand to marry.

Well, after listening to him, we joyfully imparted our blessing... and our contentment then is difficult to describe even now. 
Let’s just say it was a the hottest part of a humid summer day and we had been walking and walking outside—and yet we would have kept walking however many blocks just to keep listening to Matthew’s words! 
Truly he should consider writing down that speech to sell to any young man thinking of proposing. 
Had Geoff or I any hesitation about him before that day, it vanished!
The way he spoke about Isabel made us understand that Matthew appreciated and valued our precious daughter’s many qualities: her talent for so many things, her disciplined way of life, her organizational capabilities, her hardworking, determined attitude in life, and her joyful presence everywhere she is. 
I must make a parenthesis here. Many of you have seen these qualities in our daughter—some of you here knew her in infancy—how she left babyhood behind at one year old, already an expert walker and smiling with eleven teeth, walking around and telling Gus and Thomas to clean their room. And some others of you have since exclaimed “I need a Isabel in my life!”

In fact, if there is a dark chapter in my relationship with her, it was when we moved to South Dakota in 2005, and I was asked to describe my kids during an interview for the homeschool group newsletter. I stated, very truthfully:, “Isabel is 10 years old has been cleaning and cooking for years and we will be happy to receive proposals of marriage for her very soon”. Well, she was decidedly NOT happy to read that. Moreover, let us say it very lucky for Matthew that no one took my words seriously! 
Let me return to that blissful NY afternoon. We were ecstatic that Matthew seemed to recognize and value the many qualities our daughter displays. We had prayed that one day her husband would be someone who would do just that. But during his eloquent and well-prepared speech to us, Matthew was also able to show us the wonderful young man our Isabel had fallen in love with! Matthew graduated Summa Cum Laude—and I will always think of him as a “summa cum laude” type person! He is talented, handy, hard-working, serious, but also owner of a delightful sense of humor—which is essential in every marriage—and he treats Isabel with love and respect and has a profound love for his family.

Yet, these are the things he said to us that we will cherish for the rest of our days:
“During my relationship with Isabel she has been a reflection of God’s love for me—through her example and faith, she has taught me more deeply about the love of God, and led me closer to Our Lord Jesus Christ.” 
Because as parents, for what do we pray, but that our children will not only live in the Light of Christ, but that through them others will come to live in that light as well?

So I ask that we all raise our glasses:

To this young faith-filled couple, who together will be a living reflection of the Love of God, may they always bring Light and Hope to a darkened world!

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