Last year I was asked if I would like to make a “speech” at my older daughter’s wedding (which was a long time coming). I hadn't given it any thought, but when she asked, I happily accepted. I spent hours thinking about what I wanted to say on this special day. I researched online what should be included. It’s not every day you give your daughter away. I became a little nostalgic reliving so many sweet memories of her as a child. When it came time for me to sit down and write my thoughts, my speech was clearly too long . . . nine minutes or so long. I mentioned it to my daughter, who asked me if I could cut it down by 50%. Of course I obliged. There was a perfect division in the speech that allowed me to cut out the first half and just use the second part. By the way, the entire speech, unedited, is also a blog, in case you missed it. When everyone was seated I was called to the microphone. I was startled because I didn’t know I would have to speak so early. I had my notes and told everyone who was standing, with their drinks in hand, that they might want to sit down for this one. Then I proceeded to speak from my notes. It was a heartfelt, well thought out speech. I have no regrets. So why this blog?
Well, it seems that while most people found my speech very touching, there were some who thought it was too long (obviously they weren't listening). And since then, some have mentioned it from time to time, “teasing” me about it in a way that I didn’t appreciate. I can take a joke, but sometimes a joke doesn’t feel funny after it’s been said in a passive aggressive way and more than one time. Then it’s not a joke any more, but a ridiculing criticism. I take offense to that. I wasn’t asked to make a simple toast, I was asked to make a speech. There’s a difference. Anyone can make a toast, but only one person at that wedding could have said the things I had to say, and I did. Even my daughter, who had managed to hold back her tears all day, told me the words I had said brought her to tears. I know that years from now she and her husband will still appreciate those words even more than they did on their wedding day.
Now what wasn’t in the speech, or in the blog I wrote about it, is something no one knows. It’s about my fears and my internal dialogue. A year before the wedding I was diagnosed with a benign growth in my neck which was affecting my nerves, specifically it could affect my voice or my ability to speak, among other things. The doctor has me on a “watch and wait” plan, not wanting to do surgery until it becomes necessary. During the course of the year, between the engagement and wedding, I had been experiencing some minor symptoms. I realized one day I might not be able to tell my daughter all the things I had in my heart to say. But this wedding gave me a special moment in time to do just that and I wasn’t going to waste it. So I wrote and delivered my “speech” with all the love in a mother’s heart. To those of you who appreciated what I had to say and offered kind words, I thank you. And to anyone who didn’t like that I took five freaking minutes to tell my daughter and son in law how I feel well . . . they can kiss my ass.