My sister is getting married this week, and it was just her birthday, and I'm missing her, wishing I could be there to celebrate with her. She will always be my little sister, the one I so fiercely want to protect from everything that could hurt her. It's an instinct that has become a source of conflict for us the past few years as she wishes I could just let go, and let her live her life and make her choices, with the same detachment that I can give to other people. She wants me to stop trying to protect her. It's really hard to do, but I've been trying to let go.
I keep thinking about what kind of things I would say to her if I were there on her wedding day. What kind of toast I would make if I got to make one? What I will say to both of them, the brother in law I barely know, and the sister I have loved my whole life? They are from such different backgrounds, cultures, and faiths. And while I can see how exciting it is for them to think about the adventure it will be to live together, my big sister heart can also see the difficulties, the possible pitfalls, beyond what couples with fewer initial difference have to deal with. I worry, because that's what big sisters do.
Yet I know this. I know he respects her enough to be honest with her. He loves her enough to stick with her when she isn't sure. He is wise enough to help her grow as a person and to be patient with her. And since these are the only things I know for sure, I am choosing hope and trust and support for the two of them as they start this life together.
So sis, if I were there with you on Saturday, this is what I would say to both of you.
I wish you joy. With my whole heart I wish you joy. With my whole heart I will be there to support you both no matter what. Even if it's from a million miles away.
I pray you have the courage to love when retreating in anger and hurt would be so much easier.
I pray you have the steadfastness to stick by your commitment to each other even when you would rather not.
I pray you have the strength to support each other with gladness.
I pray you can smile at each other at least once a day and mean it.
I pray you will be filled with the kind of love that gives sacrificially, that does not seek it's own end. I pray you will be connected to the Source of all love, and know that your true strength to love is not in each other, or yourselves, but in the source Himself.
ps. In case you didn't hear, I love you. :) And I'm sorry that instead of coming to your wedding I'm writing this lame ass post instead.