Wednesday, June 8, 2011

You Make Me Smile

One of the perks of being a big sister is getting to do things 1st…driving, going to high school, going on dates…. One of the sacrifices of being a big sister…is getting to do things 1st. A younger sibling has the opportunity to learn from what you did right, and what you did wrong, and do things differently, if need be. Some of you may recall Rachel’s mentioning in her Maid of Honor toast at my wedding, my attempted effort to include the Dr. Quinn theme song somewhere in the day’s events. That didn’t happen. Rachel got it done today, and I commend you, Rachel, for your tribute to our mutually-beloved program. Very well done.

I think it’s fair to say that, as her older sister, I played a role in influencing who Rachel is today, but it would be flattering myself to think that I was the only, or even the primary factor. Rather, this beautiful bride is the confident, capable, independent, spirited woman she is because of her relationship with Christ, the leadership of our parents, her friends, her education, and her new husband, Brice.

Brice, you are a good man. I was worried we wouldn’t get to see you again after you backed your truck into my car the week of my wedding, but after you came to the door, faced my dad and took responsibility, I knew you’d be around for good. You make my sister so very happy, and I thank you dearly for that.

When Rachel and Brice were newly engaged, the song “You Make Me Smile” by Uncle Kracker was playing frequently on the radio. Rachel gave some thought to using that song somehow in today’s festivities, and it was about at that same time that I began to think about what I might say today. I couldn’t stop thinking about the title of that song, and how Rachel has made me, has made our family, has made everyone who has the pleasure of knowing her…smile.

Her quick-wittedness, her recitation of movie quotes, the way she always knows just how to make us laugh…the memories I have of growing up with her: administrating the last of the “quinine” from an empty vanilla bottle to our imaginary patients (just like Dr. Mike), playing Power Rangers with Dad in the front yard, and swinging on the tire swing in the back. Singing at the piano together as Mom played….

So many things to smile about. Today, I smile at my little sister, who has grown into my friend, a stunning bride…a wife.

Brice, I hope you recognize, I think you do, the treasure that Rachel is. Just as she has made all who know her smile for so many years, I know the two of you will continue to bring joy and smiles to all of us as you grow in your marriage in years to come.

I don’t know that I’ve been married long enough to give many words of wisdom about marriage, but as your big sister, I must give this advice. Help each other smile, too, and keep smiling.

Rachel, you make me smile…you always have. To my sister and her new husband, Mr. and Mrs. Flynn, I love you both. Congratulations!

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