What do you say about one of the people you love the most in this world? I could tell you how wonderful she is, how caring and thoughtful she is to her family and how loyal she is to her friends and those dearest to her; that her sense of self is more solid than anyone I’ve ever met– that her abilities are endless. But that wouldn’t be a fun speech. It would be a nice speech but not a fun one.
So let’s start from the beginning. Growing up with Liz was pretty unmemorable I have to say. She always kept to herself and minded her own business- so much so that Helen and I didn’t even really notice her until we were about 4 and 6 years of age. Me 4, Helen 6 that is. Liz was always a quiet and patient child. She was carefree and simple-natured. If she ever thought something was unfair or felt an injustice inflicted upon her she would make her feelings quietly known but then quickly move on. That’s the thing about Liz– she has a unique resilience and a quiet strength about her.
Which is the exact opposite of who I know her to be today.
For those of you who know her well too, you’ll often recognize her singular brand of tough-love. A barrier that is extremely difficult to puncture. She doesn’t allow others to feel sorry for themselves which is very difficult for me, as I often feel very sorry for myself. She finds ways to remind you how short life is, how privileged we are but sometimes her words are a little harsher than she intends them to be. Here are some examples of our past exchanges on every day subject matters:
Me: I don’t want to eat that.
Liz: That’s all we have you little Baluga.
Me: It’s freezing out! I’m so cold.
Liz: That’s because you have no soul.
Me: He doesn’t like me.
Liz: Who cares, nobody does. Move on.
Me: I didn’t get the job.
Liz: You’ll get another one. Stop being a cry baby.
Me: I’ve been sick for over a week…
Liz: That’s because you’re a diseased weakling.
As harsh as her words are sometimes, you can almost, almost (sometimes you have to try real, real hard) to see the nugget of compassion in her words. She really just wants you to stand up to life and stare fear in the eyes and let the chips fall where they may. And just accept it like a champ.
And thus, my ability to function as a human being on as high a level as I do today, is fully credited to her. She is not only my little sister- she is my caregiver, my reality check, my rock and clearly, as per the examples above- my bully. And so, I thank her- for if there was no her, there would be less of me.
I’d now like to take this opportunity, on behalf of Liz and Adam, to thank two very important people. For without these two people, there would be no union to celebrate. And these two people are: myself and Camille. You see, Liz met Adam through Mike who was at the time dating Nikki (now married) who was introduced by Rita who is our friend and also Mike’s brother Mat’s wife. So you see, if not for Cam and I, none of you would be here on this day, drinking unlimited free booze. You’re all very welcome.
Until Liz met Adam, there was only one person in Liz’s life that was as obsessed with her as he is today. That person is me. So Adam, I hope you can forgive me for how protective I was of Liz when you both first started dating. Not so much protective of her heart, but more so protective of our time together. I am not certain of much- but I do know this – two people as in love as you two are, should never be separated, not even by me, not even for a minute. You are the mate to her soul.
And finally, I’d like to officially welcome Adam into our family. Not only have you always been there for Liz, but you have always been a strong member of this family, even from the beginning. It has been a pleasure getting to know you. Heck, you blend in so well sometimes I forget you’re white and we’re Asian.
So, what do you say about one of the people you simply cannot live without? You say that she is simply the best person you know.
A toast- may you both always remember this day and remember how well I spoke of you two but most of all, how much love is in this room. To love, laughter and happily ever after. To Liz and Adam!