There was no Hurricane Susan this time. No Sue-mommy blowing in and out of the office, causing peril to all in her wake and creating a general disturbance wherever she rolled.
Unlike the wedding of her daughter Sarah a few years ago, Susan Lyons actually played it pretty cool as the days winded down to the wedding of her youngest daughter, Emily, last weekend. We waited. We lived in fear. Some of us even wept in anticipation of what was sure to come.
But it just didn’t happen this time.
Without the drama and craziness, it was almost hard to believe the wedding was coming up soon. Every now and then it would pop up — Emily Lyons was going to marry Curtis Harne on Saturday, Oct. 11. But without the hysteria, I’m not really sure that reality set in until I was sitting in the church and saw Emily walk down the aisle.
It was a strange feeling. Over the past nine years or so, I’ve been afforded the incredible opportunity to get to know the Lyons family pretty well. Susan’s husband, Andy, is one of the men I most admire in the world. I count her son, Drew, as one of my best friends. Sarah and her husband, Bill, are also people I consider very good friends in life. And Susan? Well, we joke around that I’m her daytime husband, and she’s one of the most important people in my life.
Then there’s Emily.
I’ve known Emily since she was in high school. She’d pop into the office where Susan and I used to work, and I saw her play both basketball and softball at Indian River. She used to come in to the Coastal Point every week or so to wash my car, and I guess I just always looked at her as that little sister who you could count on to speak her mind or take on a street gang with a sharpened pencil at her side — or slip on something invisible and fall with a crash.
But there she was Saturday walking down a wedding aisle. She was a beautiful bride, and she carried herself with the dignity and grace of a woman stepping out into the world of matrimony. I turned my attention to Curtis, who was dutifully standing at the alter and smiling at Emily as she walked down the aisle with Andy. As for the dad, well, Andy was doing pretty well. I was expecting him to really struggle, as he was giving away his baby daughter, but he held it together and cut the image of a proud father who was willingly passing his daughter to the new man in her life.
In short, it was a beautiful service, and everyone quickly made their way to the reception hall to continue the celebration — and drink Andy and Susan’s booze.
And that’s when the situation changed.
As various people were toasting the happy new couple, Sarah got up to give her toast as matron of honor.
It was a great toast that Sarah prepared, and told of inside stories between the two sisters over their lives, and provided some insight to the rest of us on the mechanisms of their relationship. And then she gave the heart-wrencher ...
“When Bill and I became pregnant with our second child, I remember the first thing that came to my mind when we were told it’s a girl — Lily will have a sister,” Sarah said, while fighting back tears. “There is nothing in the world like the bond of a sister. When I watch Lily and Gracie, I see so much of Emily and I. Lily worries about Gracie, just as I did Emily. I can see the times where Gracie tries so hard to be just like her, just as Emily did.”
I’m of the opinion that every person in that room with a sibling cried a little bit at that point. Personally, I was sobbing like I just lost the presidential election (McCann-Harvey 2008!) or I found out that Mark Hardt was moving into my house for the next several months. Could you imagine that horror? Every single day having to...
But I digress.
Emily and Curtis, I wish you nothing but the best in this world. The advantage that you have going into this is that you have each found that person that makes you feel complete, and the friendship and respect you show each other is apparent to all who have had the joy of being around you.
In front of you awaits a life of trials, of tribulations and of joy. There will be bad times, good times and times that will seemingly last forever. But through it all, there will be hopes and dreams that you will have individually, as well as shared. Honor these dreams, and work to make them all come true. It’s on the two of you now.
And, as the old Irish saying goes, may the most you wish for be the least you get.