Saturday, 16 May 2015

You bet I'm a proud Dad!

(Photo swiped off Facebook)

Last weekend my Jess got married to Shal Addis, a wonderful young man who loves her like crazy. Here are some excerpts from my Father of the Bride speech at the reception.

"I’ve been preparing this speech for nearly 23 years.

For those who don’t recognise me without my camera, my name’s Duncan Brown, and I’ve known Jess all her life, so if some of my stories are a bit old I’m sure you’ll understand.

[ Welcome to special people ]

Jess, I’m proud of you in what you have planned and carried out. You had a dream and you made it happen.

[ Thankyous to special people ]

Shal, I've said it before, but welcome into our family, Daniel has always wanted a little brother. As you've discovered on Christmas Day, we’re a mad lot and we've got some weird family traditions, but I am confident that given time your true hidden crazy personality will be revealed and you’ll fit right in.

Let me tell you what I like about you. Most of all, it’s that you love my daughter. I get the impression you’re as nuts about her as I am about Linda.

I like the way you've focussed on your goals and have seen them through, even if one of them was to trip up to Hamilton and steal Jess back to the Bay.

I know I don’t have a lot of say in the matter, but really, I’m very pleased with the guy that Jess has chosen. You are a smart, talented, focussed, hard-working, and caring young man. You both suit each other very well.

(Photo swiped off Facebook)
I’ve heard it said that a man should consider his future mother-in-law when he chooses his own wife. I can only imagine then that in 30 years’ time Jess will be smart, beautiful, an incredible home-maker, an excellent cook, generous, sexy, an amazing mother, and the world’s best shopper this side of the black stump.

Let’s face it, my Jessica is beautiful. Linda and I were given a prophecy once, that we would have beautiful children – and he was right, all our kids are awesome and beautiful – and handsome.

It’s kind of funny that you hear people talking today about whether or not they should bring more children into the world, what with over-population and it being such a bad place and all, what sort of future would they have? They used to say the same thing 25 years ago, and it hasn't turned out that bad. Linda and I made a choice – that we would have kids who would help to make the world a better place – and they have.

Let me tell you about my Jess, I love her like crazy. She’s my favourite daughter – and before you go getting all PC on me, I have three favourite daughters and one favourite son.

[ At this point, our guests were quick to remind me that I now have two favourite sons J ]

There’s a reason for that part in the wedding service where the bride’s Dad gets to give her away – it’s cos really in his heart of hearts, he doesn't want to, but he knows he must.

Jessica has always been a creative child. Her passion for art and music have blown me away. Who else do you know that can get bored playing the keyboard and trumpet so buys herself, and self-teaches herself, a saxophone and a bass guitar?

She’s creative: Even as a two year old there was the time she went to bed most unhappy with me and with her limited vocabulary created a new word that told me just what she thought of me. She was of course also a smart child and when I asked her what it meant, she said it means “I love you”. Naturally, I very quickly returned the compliment.

Creative with words, like the time she told me she’d only had one or two when I picked her up from a teenage party.

But rather than me telling stories about Jess – I’ll leave that to other speakers – let me quote the girl herself:

On training (after being given a time-limit at the tea-table): "Well, the clock's faster than me!"
Smart kid: "You didn't come into my room last night. I had my eyes open all night, and I didn't see you."
Family order: "Excuse me Mum, out of my way Dad !!"
Her sense of fairness: When someone walked in and got their fish and chips before me, having made a phone order): "My Dad was first!"
On sport: "You can't play this game very well, Daddy."
Her faith: "Daddy, I would be sad if Joanna died. [What makes you think of something like that?] I've been whispering in her ear to love Jesus so she can go to heaven and be with us."
On fashion (in K mart): "That's cool... oo-oo, that's very cool... oo-oo-oo, that's very, very cool."

Our Jess has always been a social girl. When she informed us she wanted to get married, I nearly had a heart attack at the thought of the wedding. At my last count she’s got 663 friends, thank goodness they didn't all show up today, and 17, 826 followers – bunch of stalkers.

I stole this from her page:

"I've lost this game before. I'm guilty of giving up and giving in. Letting opinions, doubt and fear get the better of me. This time though, it will be different...
I persevere,
I choose my attitude,
I sacrifice,
I fight,
For I am my future, and my future begins now."

Jessica, I am proud of you. The diet, the training, and your perseverance. Your vison and your goals. Your hopes and your dreams. I am confident you will have an exciting and fulfilling future.

And no pressure, but I’m real hopeful that you'll have children, and it’s not just because I’m looking forward to playing silly kids’ games. And it’s not just because I’m looking forward to telling the same old jokes that you lot have all grown out of.

As I said before, I’ve been preparing this speech for nearly 23 years. So I hope that one day Shal you have a baby daughter because at that moment you’ll start to understand the incredibly valuable gift that I’ve given you today.

Jess and Shal, from all us to you both, congratulations, best wishes and much love as you start your life together. I am proud of you both and pray for much happiness and contentment in your years together.

In Psalm 97:23, David writes,
The steps of a good man – and his wife – are ordered by the Lord and He delights in their way. Though they fall, they shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholds them with His hand.” 

This has been the guiding verse in my life for many years. My prayer is that you will find purpose and fulfillment – and freedom – in Him, and in each other. God bless you both."

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