Below is the toast that Andrea made at our reception tonight. Thanks, Andrea.... you moved us all with your words. Love you!
"Indulge me, please. Thank you all for coming. Most weeks I run this place, so, if you’re enjoying yourselves, you’re welcome. And thank you. This is going to be very “Michael & Andrea”, so bear with me. Again, indulge me, please.
First, I’d like to say, Michael, we are your family. And that’s all I have to say about that.
As some of you know, everything important in this place happens right there at table 14. There’s a select group who claim it, many of whom have become very close to my heart. Michael & Brian are two of those people. They met there, they got engaged by the bar right over there, and you’ll find out when I really start where they had their first date.
I’ve written at the top here, “maybe they just got lost”, for whatever reason, but it leads into what I have to say. So, here goes.
What are we here for? We have jobs, daily duties, deadlines, obligations. Those things have their place, as I’m well aware, but, basically, they’re all crap. Well, maybe not crap, but perhaps guideposts on our road, instead of the obstacles we tend to see. It sounds hoaky to say we’re on a road, but that is what I believe. My road with Michael has been interesting indeed. I passed some sort of test, I’m sure. I got “fast-tracked”, and I consider myself privileged.
There are those with fairly strong opinions of Mr. Michael Hill. I’m one of them, but my opinion is overwhelmingly warm. I don’t know, maybe Michael got lost along his road, but don’t we all?
As for Brian, while my road with him isn’t as long, it’s one filled with generosity of spirit, dedication and one of the most sincere smiles I’ve ever seen. There’s an honesty about him that is incredibly refreshing.
One night, Michael’s road included an obligation he chose to make to me. Sorely needing a night out of the house, Michael agreed to babysit for my precocious Sophie. In conversations I wasn’t privy to, I think it was a conspiracy between Sophie and Syd, arrangements were made for Brian to come to the house as well. I think this was their first date, and if there’s ever a time to see a glimpse of someone’s true self, its in their interaction with a child – especially mine. I’d have to ask Soph, but I believe that first date was a success.
They took each other in. They gave each other shelter. They unselfishly gave each other a safe place to rest their heads and their hearts. They chose to start walking their road together.
To see the smile on my friend’s face that has lasted almost a year is overwhelming. To see Brian love Michael so entirely – there just aren’t words.
We all get lost. Some of us are lucky enough to be found. To find each other. If we listen to the world around us, see guideposts instead of obstacles. Follow our hearts and the signs God leaves for us. If we do all this, maybe we’ll all be lucky enough to find ourselves home.
I know my friend has. And I thank them both for showing me that possibility."