To My Brother On His Wedding Day

To My Brother On His Wedding Day

I cried writing this and you know it.
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To you, my dear brother, on your wedding day,

Some people would describe their wedding day as a beautiful occasion. Many would describe it as the start of a wonderful, new chapter in their lives. I would describe your wedding day as, what I can only imagine will be, one of the most amazing days of my life.

I can see it now: the sun is shining high in the sky. The waves are crashing down on the shore. You're standing at the end of the aisle as Erin approaches you in the most extravagant, white dress I've ever seen. Mom and dad are sitting in the front row. Dad has his arm around mom's shoulder as she sobs hysterically that her baby boy is all grown up. Cory and I smile at each other across the way, knowing that you are about to do something utterly magnificent. Mom is now crying so much that the priest cannot speak over her. You're so embarrassed, but you don't even care because you know just how happy she is. You know how happy she is because you feel it, too. She's so proud of the man that you have become. We all are.

Growing up with you by my side has been quite the roller coaster, but I can honestly say that I would not want it any other way. Do you remember the weekend that I was in the hospital, Cory's school had a bomb threat, and you were on vacation and got into a car accident? Dad remained calm, but mom didn't know what to do with herself, so she just sat in the hallway and cried. That was the first time in my life that I ever realized that I couldn't imagine my life without you and Cory. When we were younger, I never had to go very far to find my best friends. I already miss holiday mornings with you and Cory at mom's house: waking up early just to creep through the house and scan for hidden Easter eggs or to see who's stocking was more full on Christmas morning. I get sad whenever we have a party and you're not there because you're with Erin's family. Then I realize that I need to learn to share the wealth, because her family deserves something as good as you, too. Who could have ever guessed that that job interview at T.G.I. Friday's would be just the beginning of one of the best things to ever happen to you?

Today, I am sad. I am sad that you are leaving me to go with her. I am sad that we don't share a kitchen table anymore. I am sad when I look outside and don't see your car in the driveway, but today I am also happy. I am happy that you got that crummy job when you were in college. I am happy that you found Erin. I am happy that you asked me to share this day with you, but most importantly, I am so happy to be your sister.

Today is huge. Today is incredible. Your time has come. Erin is going to look so beautiful and you are going to make her so happy. Mom and dad always told me that I was more like you than I would ever know. Today and everyday I really hope they are right. Thank you for being the role model that always tells me to follow my heart. Thank you for motivating me to get my act together whenever I thought a nap was a better decision than filling out a scholarship application. Thank you for continuously leading the way and protecting me. Thank you for finally giving me a sister, and one so great I could never have imagined. Thank you for being one of my best friends for the past 21 years. Thank you for loving me unconditionally.

I hope that today is the best day of your young life. I hope that you work harder at this family than you ever have at anything before. I hope that you have never been happier than you are right now. I am grateful for you and the time that we spend together, even if you don't save me from the creepy, old, mafia men who try to dance with me at charity events. I am so blessed that whoever is in charge of the wild ride that we call life has given me someone like you to struggle through it with. There is no one I would rather procrastinate with. There is no one I would rather drive nearly 3 hours to see a terrible Fetty Wap concert with. There is no one I would rather play Boopa Bellies with, or watch America's Got Talent with, or consistently show up late with. Now Let's get sloppy drunk and celebrate all that there is to celebrate.

I love you so much more than you know.

Nikki

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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An Open Letter to the Best Friend I Didn't See Coming

Some people come into your life and change you forever—thanks, bestie.
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Dear best friend,

I wasn't expecting you when God placed you in my life. I had my friends. I had my people. I wasn't exactly open to the idea of new meaningful friendships because I had the ones I needed, and it didn't seem like I really needed anybody new.

Thank God that was false. Sometimes you meet people and you just know that you're going to be good friends with. Sometimes you meet people and you realize that there is no such thing as chance. I think God has a funny way of making it seem as if the things that happen to us are by chance, but honestly, that’s a load of crap. If the biggest moments of our lives were left up to chance, then I believe that would make God out to seem as if he didn’t care. It would make it seem as if He was truly abandoning me and making me face some of my most important seasons fully isolated. But you, best friend, are a true testament to the fact that God doesn’t just leave such important aspects up to chance. Thank you for taking a chance on our friendship, and thank you for allowing me to take a chance on what I didn’t realize would be the most impactful friendship in my entire life.

Thank you for being real with me. Thank you for not sugar coating things. Thank you for telling me when I have a bad attitude. Thank you for loving me through my mistakes. Thank you for supporting me in my decisions, even if it isn’t always the decision you would make. Thank you for wanting the best for me, and for making that your true intent behind the words that you say to me, whether they be constructive criticism or encouragement.

Thank you for being a goof with me. Thank you for putting me first. Thank you for seeing the importance of our friendship. Thank you for making time in your schedule for us to just sit and do homework, eat Mexican food, or sit on the porch and listen to music that emotionally wrecks you.

You’re one of a kind. You’re a shoulder to lean on. You’re a safe place. You’re a free spirit. You’re rough and tough, but your heart melts for the people you love and it’s obvious. You’re more than meets the eye. You are worth getting to know. You are worth loving. You pursue people. You are passionate about your future. You are everything that a person needs, and I really thank God that for some reason you continue to choose to be in my life. Thank you for literally dragging me up my mountains of fear when I want to stay exactly where I am at and wallow in the sadness. You bring joy—true joy—wherever you go. You are my best friend, confidant, and biggest fan. You will be the Maid of Honor, Godmother, and fun Aunt.

I used to think lifelong friendships weren’t really a thing. It just seemed like people always grew apart and forever was never a point that was attainable. Best friends forever is a cliché phrase that is continuously overused nowadays (sometimes, I even used to make light of it), but thanks for making that a reality. You are truly the best friend I could have asked for. So thank you for it all. You make life more fun, and I couldn’t thank God more for making an incredible human, friends with me.

I love you, pal!

JQ

Cover Image Credit: Julia Dee Qualls

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Being No One's First Option To Hang Is Chill Because I Am My First Option

You are not the 1st person someone calls to hang out. You may be on the call list, but you're not number one. But that can be oK

Kate
Kate
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No one calls me first. I sometimes think about how it would feel for someone to think, "I really want to go here...Let me call Kate!" I mean, it could be happening and I just don't read minds properly. But, I pick up on energy and vibes even over the phone sometimes, and I know it doesn't happen.

Sometimes, when people ask me to do something, I wonder how many people said "No" before they got to me.

Sadly, this thought is normal in the world that we live in today. Most people don't care about strong interpersonal relationships. They care more about their image and what others think about them.

It is so disappointing the number of people who consider themselves "friends" with someone if that someone provides something for them. This can be either something tangible or something that makes them feel higher on their personal social ladder or ego.

I have literally made a cycle that I am 95% sure occurs once someone asks me to hang out:

1. Usually, they start with their boyfriend.

He says no...most men don't want to go shopping or be your personal photographer.

2. In comes Mrs. Popularity

Who makes them feel super duper awesome that they hung out with this person.

3. Then, they ask the person who they can receive the most out of

The one who will most likely drive...or the one who might pay for their meal.

4. Oh hey! Then there's me

The not-so-exciting one yet will totally have a great time with.

Usually, this would absolutely tear me up. I would feel worthless, less than, and question what was wrong with me. But I have grown to realize that this is not a reflection of me. This is a reflection of the other person and how disorganized their brain is.

Be your own first option. When making plans, think to yourself first. "Do I have to invite someone or can this be done by myself?" Start making sure that you are good and everything you need to get done first, is done.

Who cares if no one makes you their first choice, because you have YOU!

(DUH)

Cover Image Credit:

Kate Moore

Kate
Kate

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