Marriage and Uncle Robert


 My brother André got married on Friday, June 26th. This was the toast I gave:

I received a text message last week from Andre:

"Just to let you know, the best man is to give a toast at the reception. That's you, so make it clever like The Franklin Chronicles."


This is exactly what I DIDN'T want to do.

The Franklin Chronicles is a blog that I write, wherein I try to explore universal truths. Coincidently it is also the place where I make a lot of stuff up.

My original plan for this speech went something like this:

Step 1: Search internets for deep and profound quote about love and marriage

Step 2: Recite deep and profound quote during toast

Step 3: End toast with, "I wish you peace on your journey."

Step 4: Sign autographs. (This should not be surprising, all of my to-do lists end with "sign autographs")

My plan was derailed by Andre's text message. I would now have to think about marriage and love. This was extremely inconvenient since I had specifically made plans to NOT think about love and marriage.

"How about if I talk about short-pants instead?" I said to my wife.

"No.", she said. "Nobody comes to a wedding reception wanting to hear about short-pants."

"I would.", I mumbled.

"Why don't just you tell me what it is you actually think about marriage." she said. I told her in a way that involved, 20 minutes of interpretive dance and 15 minutes of sock puppets.

"Oh she said, you mean like Uncle Robert." "Yes! Exactly like Uncle Robert!", I said.

Uncle Robert was my wife's Uncle. He grew up in Mississippi and even though he had experienced his share of harshness, he was a calm, gentle soul, who had a way with words.

People most folks would call "jerks", Uncle Robert would just laugh and say, "Oh he's just a little bit primitive."

Uncle Robert married Tricia's Aunt Gert long before Trish was even born. When she was young, she spent a summer with them in Columbus Mississippi. One day, Aunt Gert was in the kitchen talking to a friend of hers on the telephone. During the conversation, she mentioned that she really had a taste for some peaches. Trish had been sitting at the kitchen table, coloring when Uncle Robert tapped her and said, "Hey! Why don't you put on your shoes on and come run an errand with me."

A little while later, Uncle Robert and Trish returned with a bag of peaches.

Aunt Gert beamed.

There are two noteworthy things about marriage in this story. The first is that only through years spent together, can a story involving sock puppets be properly interpreted.

Also from what I can tell, love is seldom found in the very grand gestures that we make. While those things are very nice, for the most part love is found in the very small efforts that we make on a daily basis. In the rear view mirror that is our memory, large things become small and the small often become large. So much so, that a simple errand for peaches is remembered and told in a story during a wedding reception toast some, 30 years later.

So to Andre and Katie, I wish you peace on your journey.


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