To My Little Brother on His Wedding Day

Saturday, May 19, 2012

If my brother had asked me to speak at his wedding today, this is the speech I would have given. 

Hello everyone, for those I haven't met yet, I'm David's older sister, Melanie. When friends ask me about my relationship with my brother and if we get along, I tell them we used to be the typical cat and dog cliche and fought all the time. The turning point for me came when I was about 25 and David was about 16. That's when he did something pretty cool and I started to see him differently. To tell the story I have to go back into my past and make the day a little bit about me, but I promise to turn it around and make it about David again. 

My husband and I met in high school. We dated, broke up and got back together again more than once. Our final break up was emotional and dramatic and happened right after Phil joined the military and got orders to go overseas. We kept in touch and dated other people. When Phil's time in Europe was up, he moved back to California and did the smart thing by deciding to rekindle our relationship. 

He called my mother's house to ask for my number. David answered the phone. When Phil said he wanted to get back in touch with me, David told him he didn't know my number by heart, (this was well before everyone had cell phones) and to call back later in the evening when our mom would be home. They hung up and David called me right away.

"Guess who I just talked to?"

"I don't know, who?"

"Phil, and he asked for your number."

I freaked out and made David repeat their conversation word for word. 

David told me he didn't give Phil my number because he wasn't sure I wanted him to have it, since we had broken up.

I tell people this story and say that, by far, that was the coolest thing my brother had ever done for me. Other than my closest girlfriends, most other people I knew wouldn't have had the presence of mind to not just hand over my phone number without checking with me first, let alone a teenage boy who was just starting to notice girls himself.

David made sure Phil wouldn't call until later in the evening when I wouldn't be home and Phil would get either my voicemail or speak with the guy I was living with at the time (who was only a friend, but David didn't tell Phil that). That moment was when I started to look at David more like a friend than a little brother, and to realize that he'd always have my back. 

David, I can honestly say you've grown into a fine young man. I value your friendship. I look forward to being alongside you as start this next chapter of your life as a husband. And though I will never, ever forgive you for killing off my goldfish, I will always have your back. I love you little brother. Cheers.


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