A Wedding Toast

8/16/09

Welcome to everyone. Its wonderful that you are here today to help us celebrate Carly and Keith’s life together. Speaking for Aleta and for myself, there is nothing better in life than to be with the people who are dearest to us, friends and family, at a moment such as this.

Carly is, of course, our second child and had a tough act to follow in her sister. When you have a wonderful daughter like Jorie, its hard to imagine that any other little person might come along and steal your heart a second time. But then Carly was born and that’s exactly what happened.

When Carly was quite small, she said, occasionally, “People are looking at me!” Now I’m a clinical psychologist, so I took this very seriously. Like, yikes, my child is psychotic!

But then Aleta and I noticed something interesting: people were looking at her. Even when she was little, Carly had a radiance, an animation, and a shining presence that drew the eye of strangers.

My mother knew from the start that Carly would be something special. She said that Carly would give us life and, if fact, it is Carly’s embrace of life, her warmth and enthusiasm, that anyone who meets her soon discovers.

Carly looks for the best in people and touches the heart. Indeed, Carly’s art is to touch people, whether it be through her kindness or through her singing voice. But even before we ever knew that she would become a musician, even before we ever heard her sing a note, Carly made our hearts sing. Aleta and I could not be more proud of her or love her more.

Aleta and I are grateful to Keith’s parents for the lovely rehearsal dinner that they hosted Friday evening. They have raised an extraordinary young man, Keith Hebert, who is now Carly’s husband. They have much of which to be proud.

That, of course, brings me to Keith, but before I say a word about him, I should say that the job of being a father to two beautiful daughters is not an easy one. You spend a lot of time thinking unkind thoughts about little boys, wondering what plots they might be hatching to ensnare your female children!

And so, perhaps naturally, when Carly told us that she was in love, I wondered and worried about whom she had chosen. Would she be safe with this man? Would he care for her? Would he make her happy?

I needn’t have worried. Keith is the kind of man a father can only dream of for his daughter. He is smart, funny, talented, and hard working, but most of all, dedicated to Carly in a way that allows a parent to sleep easily at night knowing that words like romance, chivalry, and devotion are not dead, but live in him. I am delighted to call him my son-in-law.

Please join me in a toast to Carly and Keith. As I’ve said at least once before in my life, although I’m not Irish, I believe that the Irish have most of the good toasts. And to give this one some context, my oldest friends and I have been known to make plans far into the future. With that in mind:

Carly and Keith,

May your home always be too small to hold all of your friends,

and may all of us here today meet again to see you both gray and combing your grandchildrens’ hair.

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