In the spirit of always sharing what's going on with me, my sister got married last weekend! And yes, I shot the wedding. And yes, I was her maid of honor (don't even try to call me the matron of honor). Since most of you didn't get to hear it, and if you did you probably won't remember it, here's the speech I gave on her wedding day. Without all the nervous laughter and crying, of course.
When I first started thinking about my speech today, I was a little overwhelmed. How do you sum up 23 years of friendship in just a few short words? But by the time I realized I’d not only have to write this speech, but deliver it in front of a hundred people, I’d already bought my dress, so it was a little too late to get out.
Since the day I was born, I have wanted to be just like Mae. When I was old enough, I wanted to dress like her, share her friends, and do everything with her – all the while pretending I didn’t really like her at all. (That’s what sisters do, right?) I looked up to her our entire childhood, much to her chagrin at times.
I particularly remember when Mae and her best friend, Christa, started a secret society against animal cruelty. I’m still not sure what the big secret was, but maybe I’ll figure that out eventually. Anyways, for a long time, they wouldn’t let me or my best friend, Christa’s younger sister, join their group. Even though we pretended that we’d never in a million years want to be a part of something SO ridiculous, we were dying to join.
Finally, Mae did what older sisters do and let me join – for a price. That’s right, we both had to pay a fee to join a secret society that my older sister and her best friend made up. We not only paid money, but had to sit for hours in training to learn what we could do to prevent animal cruelty. Then, we got to do fun things like clean Christa’s hamster cages and feed her pet snake. We felt really cool…don’t judge, you would, too!
Either way, we were actually pretty close throughout my elementary and middle school years. But then things changed, and Mae moved away and went off to college. I missed her terribly, and I remember crying myself to sleep a lot the first few months she was gone. But after a little while, we both went through different struggles, and grew apart for a time. It was in this season that I think we both figured out who we were, and how to be our own person.
The funny thing is, it turns out that being myself means being a lot like Mae. As we have grown closer and closer in the past few years, I’ve realized how much we are truly alike. Through the laughter, the tears, and the conversations that always last at least an hour (even when one of us swears we only have ten minutes) I am reminded over and over again why I wanted so badly to be like her when we were younger.
We both share so much, even though we live apart. We both have the same pet peeves (crumbs on the counter). We both find the same things funny, or inspiring, or sad. I’ve found over and over that we react the same way as each other and that, given the choice, we would make the same choices as each other, even if we have no idea we’re making decisions about the same thing. The older I get, the more I want to be just like my big sister.
Mae is beautiful. (RIGHT?!) But beyond that, Mae is one of the most caring people I’ve known. She cares deeply for her friends and her family, and constantly challenges me to do the same. She is a hard worker, not because she struggles at doing her job well, but because she is always rising above. She is compassionate, generous, loving, hilarious, and my best friend.
Cory, I’ve prayed for you more than I’ve prayed for anyone else. Mae needs someone who is equally as caring as her. She needs someone motivated and dedicated in his day to day life. She needs someone who will lead her to love God more each day. And she’s found that person in you.
Mae is the gift God gave me 23 years ago, and now, she is the gift God is giving to you, Cory. I’ll let her go only under the condition that we still get to talk whenever we want, and that you realize it will always take at LEAST an hour to catch up ;) In all seriousness, I love you both so much, and I can’t wait to see how the Lord uses this new family for so many years to come, and I’m so glad that the person I’ve called best friend my whole life now has someone so amazing to call her best friend.