A Toast and A Song, Neither of Which Contain The Word ASS . . .

champagne[clinks the stemware with his fork . . . slowly rises . . . ]

I’d like to propose a toast.

[glances around the room, at the tables filled with friends from around the world, then settles his gaze on the bride . . . ]

You.

[he can’t hold it . . . looks down into his champagne, searching for a place to stash the lump in his throat that is about to choke him to death . . . finds the words, slowly . . . ]

You are the best of friends.  A shoulder when life is just too pushy.  A smile, shared at just the exact moment it is needed.  A laughter that invades kindly.

A word.  The perfect word.  Always.

Amanda raised her glass earlier and said much that I can second.  Like how you were there in the beginning, lending a hand to those of us newborn, unsure.  But you never were the lording counselor, critical and so high above us.  Instead you encouraged and uplifted us.  Me, for sure.  As a peer and a friend.  One who is limping this road, slow and steady, looking for light.

Thank you.  For things only you’d understand.  For giving me a voice once, and for allowing me – granting me the honor – to return the favor.

You are gorgeous.  You are strong.  You.  Kick.  ASS!!

(I tried . . . )

So.  To the happy couple, I raise a toast.  May every day be unique, bearing equal parts levity, laughter, and love.  When there are pits, those inevitable gouges in the road that would slow your progress, may you find strength to grip the wheel tightly.  To never give up just because it’s hard.  Stop if you must.  Make adjustments.  Then muster the courage to move.

Never settle.  Always empower.

And at the end of it all, simply love.  Like breathing . . .

[Flickr photo is by  dps and is protected]