Wedding Toast for my Brother:
I’ve always had an unusually close relationship with my brother.
Well, not always.
We had a period of pretty nasty fights when I was around 11. Me pinning Jimmy down with my knees on his shoulders…tormenting and tickling and laughing at him as he struggled to escape. Basic Big Brother power trip stuff.
But then one day, while he were chasing me around after I mercifully let him up…
I splashed dirty dishwater in his face.
Turkey Dinner Pan soaking in greasy bubbles.
You turned the cutest color of pink….then
You began throwing steak knives at me in a homicidal rage.
And that was the last time we ever really fought.
We crossed the line…and learned we were done with that game.
Then we had a period where we became unusually lovey-dovey.
In fact, I remember Dad being concerned about the frequency of our hugging.
I enjoyed having him at the same school. We were nothing like the brothers in the afterschool specials.
We eventually even joined the same fraternity.
(I could tell you more about that…but Jim would be forced to make me face the sword.)
But sometime between the time that I left Redlands and Jim left Redlands…something happened.
While I wasn’t looking…something amazing had happened. Maybe it was college that did it. The old Redlands Och-Tamale Magic.”
But my “little brother” had grown up.
He was no longer “Jimmy good at playing sports”
He became “Jim good at living life.”
He went from studying the back of baseball cards, to spending time with the words of the Dahli Lama.
My little brother has become my most profound teacher.
And not just for me.
His honest seeking rubs off on anyone he contacts with.
I really believe My brother is a great man.
So you can understand why I am a little protective of him.
So when I first heard Jim talk about this “special girl” Jen, I was apprehensive.
This woman better understand the magnitude of her good fortune! I thought.
Then through some odd circumstances I was given an amazing gift…
Because not long after they became engaged…
We all moved in together! The THREE of us!
Woo-hoo! Isn’t that every couple’s romantic dream! Move in with the pink-haired older brother with the Peter Pan syndrome. Sounds like domestic bliss.
But I will always be grateful for the experience of being able to live with Jim and Jen.
Because I learned that Jen is really good at living life, too.
I gained a deep respect and awe of the way Jen crafts her days. SO impressed with her dedication to her daily practice of living. The loving attention she gives to everything in her life…Yoga, food preparation, business duties, friends, Jim. It is inspiring.
And I realized…Wow. This woman is a seeker the way that Jim is a seeker!!!
NO WONDER they want to get married!!! OH, man! This is GREAT!
And then I was lucky enough to watch the two of them together. It is so magical. They interact Truly as Partners.
Seeing them cook and eat and learn together. Seeing them coach and counsel and help each other.
And seeing them PLAY with each other! Wrestling, singing, and sooo much laughing.
It was really inspiring.
THIS is what it can be like!
I’m gonna be that crazy old man.”NO I seen it! It’s real! The villagers stories are true!
So I say, Thank you Jim and Jen for finding each other, helping each other to be better at living and for spreading love on us all.