15 years + 3 months + 1 day ago. That’s exactly how long ago my sister was in my wedding. She was 19, I was 21. My groom was 24. If that seems like a lifetime ago, it’s because it was. We have two kids now – they were in my sister’s wedding this past weekend. I was in my sister’s wedding this past weekend. Time has flown by so quickly. But I have to say, I was excited to be a part of this wedding and see how beautiful getting married in a barn could really be. And it was.
In the moment where I grabbed the arm of the best man to walk down the barn aisle, with the acoustic version of “Marry Me” in the background, I looked at her groom. I saw the happiness in his face, in his eyes, in his smile. It reminded me of my own wedding day when I saw my own soon-to-be husband. Okay, where’s the Kleenex?
I’m writing this for my sister and her new husband. It’s my toast to the both of them.
To my sister and her new husband:
You are both beautiful people and so obviously meant for each other. As the Pastor described in the ceremony, there were just too many odds stacked against you both to even meet in the first place. Yet, you did. And here you are. I am so happy I was able to be a part of your wedding as Matron of Honor. Next to my own wedding, it was the most beautiful wedding I have ever been at or been a part of. So for that, I thank you for the beautiful memories and letting us (including my husband, son and daughter) be a part of it.
In 1994, I copied a poem into my spiral bound notebook from a poster in Language Arts class. I don’t know why, I just knew I liked it. I liked the simplicity of the words and how they made so much sense. I liked that life could be boiled down into what we learn we are five years old. Some people doodle in class, I guess I wrote about what I saw on the wall. When I thought about what I wanted to share with the two of you, I knew I wanted to share this poem. I know that it really just includes thoughts on how to live and treat people, but as I read through it again, I couldn’t help but think how much sense it really made for marriage too.
All I Ever Needed to Know About
Life Marriage, I Learned in Kindergarten
These are the things I learned:
1. Share everything – with each other. Stories, conversation, secrets, experiences, it all matters and brings you closer.
2. Play fair – all the time. How you spend your time, how you work through a disagreement, think about what’s fair first.
3. Don’t hit people – i.e. each other. Yeah, this better not happen!
4. Put each other’s things back where you found them. Great advice to avoid frustration!
5. Clean up your own mess. This can apply to lots of situations, but really just own up to what’s yours. Claim it, take responsibility, clean it up and move on.
6. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. (See number 1).
7. Say you’re SORRY when you HURT each other. This one speaks for itself – and will get you a loooonnnnnggggg way.
8. Wash your hands before you eat. Nobody likes dirty hands!
9. Flush. It can make a big difference!
10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Bake them for each other and eat them together.
11. Live a balanced life – learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some. There are some great date ideas in this one, use them! Plan monthly dates!
12. Take a nap every afternoon. Or at least when you can – and naps are more fun together.
13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. I love this one.
14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Wonder about the future, dream together. Life is more fun and more meaningful when it’s shared.
15. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we. Make the most of every minute.
16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – “look”. Remember to look at each other, really look at each other, every single day.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere, from the Golden Rule to love to basic sanitation.
And it is true no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
I can honestly say if you do all of these things, your days will be brighter, your smiles will be wider and your life will be happier.
The night before the wedding the pastor shared that you both said at different times to him, you didn’t know a love like this was possible. Here’s to a life full of love you never knew existed but now have…and all that comes with it.