My brother-who was my Man of Honor (instead of a maid or matron of honor) at our wedding-did such a great toast/speech at the reception that I thought I'd share it...for those who missed it and those who have been asking to read it again...
You know you only have a few more hours for the Man of Honor jokes…Hello Family, Friends and other guests joining us this evening to celebrate Gabe and Rachel’s marriage,
For those of you who don’t know me I am Rachel’s little brother. Very brief background about me, I was born and raised around here, and have never left it yet. I am in school right now getting my doctorate in pharmacy to be the legal drug dealer. We are four years apart although one lady actually was convinced we were twins.
I want to start off with a little story of my first experience with Gabe as some of you may know quite well and how first impressions can sometimes be a little off. It started off as a beautiful, warm afternoon. My sister was out in the backyard lying on a raft in the pool with Gabe. Gabe was skimming the leaves off the pool probably trying to kiss up to my dad. I was in the kitchen glancing out the window when right away I spotted what looked like a barb wire tattoo around his arm. I looked at my mom and was like “mom, this guy has a tattoo, he’s trouble, and I don’t like him too much.” Obviously I have nothing against tattoos, but I didn’t think what appeared to be an ex-con with tattoos and a shaved head should be dating my sister. Now, I am not really a very judgmental person at all for those of you that know me but she’s my only sister so I want it to be someone special and was just being the overprotective little brother.
Well since that time I can sum up my thoughts about Gabe very simply, “I was DEAD wrong.” Gabe has been a great addition to my family. I mean how can I complain about a guy who after all these years still kisses up to my dad by cutting our lawn for a couple months straight this summer? But in all seriousness I was way off, the early judgments could not be more wrong. First, the tattoo’s are actually religious tattoo that is not barbed wire, but a cross and thorns. Secondly, he is a very intelligent, thoughtful person. He is the type of guy who opens the door when my sister gets in the car, a true gentleman. He is ambitious, motivated, and someone I truly admire as an overall person. I put him up in my personal hall of fame with some of the greats such as my father…he’s just on a little lower shelf. I am glad to have him now as a brother and a good friend.
Now, my sister is not your typical 25 year old. She has endured almost a lifetime of experiences in these 25 years. She has been on trips around the world, been published in many articles in print and online, as well as been featured in the local news and even a nationwide documentary and a new addition to her resume is high school graduation commencement speaker. She has unbelievable talent in the arts. For example she made this tremendous art piece for my birthday of a very detailed charcoal artwork of a football player diving into the end zone…and it was started and finished in one evening.
I will not get deep into her experiences with cancer since this is a joyous experience this evening, but what I wanted to mention is her spirit through it all. I may be a little biased being her brother, but even outsiders, and nurses who saw her all the time, can’t speak enough of her positive attitude. She always takes the best out of anything that crosses her path-no matter how bad it is, which is good news for Gabe.
I wanted to just mention also that I think my parents are a big part of that and I think they have done a wonderful -if not phenomenal-job of raising us. One strong characteristic my sister has is her motherly attitude toward me ever since she was little. A hallmark sign that I know my sister is in the room is hearing her bust out lines that a mom would say such as “matt, your room still isn’t clean” or “how many times do I have to tell you to empty the trash?” Although, I always find it funny how “interested” she is in my life and cleanliness when her room looks like a tornado just went through there. The other thing I always enjoy is she loves to pick and nag at me somewhat jokingly but as soon as I make a clever remark *of course* back at her she goes running to mom like she was five years old tattle-taling on me. Despite her occasional outbursts, if you will, which everyone does, she is one amazing person for not only her accomplishments and battles but also the way she has done it with such joy and hope. I am so glad and so proud to be your brother and your man of honor.So I want to finish things off with a toast to Gabe and Rachel that both live a long, happy, prosperous, and memorable life together, Cheers!
Matty-I love you so much. Thank you for EVERYTHING. You're the best brother a person could ever have!
Today, I am grateful for surviving the first day at my new college-albeit exhausting, for family, friends and God.