Friday, December 18, 2009

They are wed!

The wedding is done.

I'm so tired from the intense day that began at 7.15am yesterday that I am just not able to put together anything coherent about it. Briefly, it was lovely, the bride and groom were lovely, the reception was fun - for the most part - and there were no significant dramas apart from the rain. Here is the speech I gave to the newlyweds last night. I shall be back later with pictures.

You all know Greta Garbo by now – goodness knows she’s not an easy person to overlook! But I’ve known her longer than anyone else here, followed closely by her Auntie Kaye who was there the minute she came into the world. And I’d like to share a little of my impressions of Greta as she’s come to this point in her life.

Greta Garbo has always had a unique and refreshing take on the world. Taking her for a walk was always an adventure – from the names she gave objects, like calling dandelions “twinkle-stars”, to the sobs she once spent on a dead blackbird she saw on the footpath, to the way she just ran and ran from the moment we left the house to the minute we got home. And she’s been giving me a run for my money ever since!

Greta’s also always had a keen sense of fairness – TT will attest to that, as Greta Garbo was vigilant when they were growing up that her sister not get an iota more than she did! – and she had a fairly brutal way of putting it. I am sorry that my father isn’t here to laugh with us as I recall her asking him very earnestly, “Grandad, is Grandma your slave?” Well, maybe he wouldn’t laugh because he certainly didn’t then.

She’s also always been extremely creative and intelligent, and sociable. She walked very early, and then ran as soon as she could. She was speaking in sentences well before her first birthday, and was insistent on engaging anyone she saw. Her artwork has frequently overawed her family, and most of us have something painted by her hanging on our walls at home that wouldn’t look out of place in a gallery.

What I didn’t realise until perhaps the last few years is just what a tough cookie GG can be under that effusive exterior. For instance, despite a terrible case of glandular fever and some other life complications, she soldiered through her VCE exams and scored in the top 4% of the state. (Sorry, GG, couldn’t resist a little brag, since we all know where you got your brains from.)

GG’s life hasn’t always been easy, and she and TT had a fairly turbulent beginning. Her confidence has sometimes been shaken, and she hasn’t always seen the beautiful, talented person in the mirror that we know her to be.

I can’t tell you how wonderful it is for me, as a mother, to see that she has someone else in her life now, who clearly sees that same beautiful young woman. In SonInLaw she has found a decent, caring, compassionate, spiritual, funny young man. A young man who has survived many meal times in our house, which is no small feat and a testament to his character! A young man that we are proud and happy to have as a part of our family, and who we are happy to see be part of a new family with GG.

GG and SonInLaw – you are both so young. This is typically where I would offer you advice, and so because clearly it is too late to say, “No don’t do it!!!” (just kidding, I promise!) I will tell you what has worked for me.

Think of the reading from Corinthians you heard today. Be patient. Be aware that you will not be the same people in ten years time that you are now, and be prepared to love and respect the people that you become.

Understand that you will grow and change, but that growth and change is not a threat or a problem to be overcome, but an opportunity to embrace an even richer relationship.

Be kind to one another. Be generous in allowing each other to have flaws, be prepared to put the other first as often as you can, and remember that God has brought you together in a wonderful relationship that is greater than the sum of its parts. When you run into difficulties – and you will run into difficulties – remember this day and the things that brought you to it, and reflect on your shared memories from this day forward.

Finally, I’d like to remind you, GG, of your grandmother. I’m so sad that she can’t be here to share your special day, you know how much she loved you and would have wanted to be here. Her rule in life, what she would have said to you is: start as you mean to go on. And be true to yourself. I can’t think of much better advice.
So I’d like to make a toast to GG, to my new son in law, and to a long and happy marriage.

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