Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 54

Sunday October 10, 2010

Today was an incredible day....full of tears....tears of happiness for my friend's joy.....tears of happiness for my son's birthday....tears of sadness for all the things Nina might miss.....and tears of sadness for all the things I will miss out on with my daughter if she has to got to Heaven now! I tried to contain myself. I even asked Dave's best man, Jay, to try to redirect me when he saw me losing it, but it was to no avail. I couldn't control it! The emotions were too heavy! Fortunately, the wedding was a sunset wedding and the Rabbi placed the best man and me in a strategic position to block the sun from Eileen and Dave's faces. From where we stood, Eileen couldn't see me sobbing throughout the ceremony. I was thankful for that! Although for the rest of their lives, my sobbing will be recorded on their wedding video :(

Me trying to convince Teddy not to chase squirrels and get dirty! If you look closely there is one in
 the foreground to my left taunting my poor boy!!

Eileen looked incredible and Dave was beyond handsome! It was evident to everyone there that they were deeply in love! The ceremony was beautiful and the Rabbi included a beautiful prayer for Nina...of course I sobbed! Luckily, Teddy was seated with Eileen's brother and fiancee Lauren (which Teddy had a mad crush on!) and preoccupied playing Club Penguin so he didn't notice my crying! I tried to control myself but it was impossible. What made it worse was that I was facing the entire audience. I am such a guarded person when it comes to my negative emotions and there I was standing in front of about 70 people crying! It was torture! The worst part was when I'd inadvertently make eye contact with someone. They would look at me with such kindness and empathy....but all I could do was cry!

After the ceremony, we had a gorgeous reception on the roof top (a gorgeous enclosed area atop of the Taj Hotel in Boston, right across from Boston Commons). As it grew closer to the time for toasts, my heart raced! I really wanted to do a great job for Eileen but I was terrified that I was going to sob the entire time. Luckily, the best man Jay had given me some material the previous night that would add some much needed humor to my speech at the beginning, hopefully helping me avert disaster. Below is the speech I wrote and said:

Good evening everyone. For those you who may not know my name is Rosy and for the past eight years I have had the privilege of calling Eileen my best of friends and sister. Eileen and Dave, thank you so much for having us be a part of this incredible day! It has been amazing and we are so happy for you both! Normally, I don't need notes to deliver speeches but it has been a long trip and I am a bit overwhelmed so I apologize...please bare with me!

So last night during the rehearsal dinner, Jay and I were teasing Eileen and Dave about our toasts and all of the material we were going to use. Dave was quintessential Dave...totally calm, laughing at how silly Jay and I were being. Eileen on the other hand was totally squirming around in her chair, trying to finagle details from me (to no avail) and what I loved most was that Dave was enjoying this scene. we sat there, Jay said that he was confident that he had the whole "best" speech of the evening thing in the bag. Now, I am fiercely competitive so I asked Jay what would give him the audacity to think this, to which he replied:

It really doesn't matter what I say....all bridesmaid's speeches are the same:
1. They talk about how the bride is their sister
2. They go on and on and on and on about how they love the bride (their sister) in an incoherent fashion
3. They blubber like a baby 

I sat there seething b/c he had pretty much nailed my speech. So...I was up all night long rewriting my speech. Thanks Jay...hope you're proud of yourself!

Okay, so now I'm going to try to deliver the latest version of my speech without being completely stereotypical. 

As I said, Eileen and I have been sisters for a very long time. As her sister, I have known that Eileen's biggest desire in life was to find her soul mate and build a family. What most of you probably don't know is that I am Portuguese. I was born in the Azores and was almost 3 years old when my parents immigrated to this country. I knew that Dave was the "one" after Eileen told me he was born in the Azores. That was it...I didn't need to know anything else about I decided it would be the perfect touch to read an Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem from her book "Sonnets From the Portuguese" as a little nod to Dave's birth place. 

The poems is titled: How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,--I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!--and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

I remember when I first read this poem. I was a freshman in college and I vividly remember thinking, "Whoa...her husband Robert must be something else!" because you can feel the magnitude of their love in her words. I remember thinking....does such love really exist?? Bottom line, at my core I am a hopeless romantic, but I have not really seen this kind of love in my life many times. After tonight we can all go home and say that we have seen this kind of love...we have seen it in Dave and Eileen!

Eileen and Dave, the love that you two share for each other is breathtaking. Dave, when you look at Eileen you look at her as though she is your queen and it visible that Eileen feels like a queen. When you look at Eileen, you lock eyes with her and don't let go...neither does she. It is intimidating and unbelievably beautiful! 

What is especially amazing about you two is that not only do you love each other fiercely but you love your friends and family with the same magnitude and sincerity. That much was completely evident when you two completely changed your wedding plans and flew out to Santa Barbara last weekend so that my family, my Nina could be a part of your most sacred day! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! For the rest of my life....thank you!

Ladies and gentlemen, can you please raise your glasses for one more toast to Dave and Eileen. 

Dave and Eileen....may you spend the rest of your lives counting the ways that you love one another. God has blessed you profoundly and we pray for a lifetime of happiness and joy!

To Dave and Eileen!


I delivered the speech without having to read it from notes (except for reading the poem) and hit it out of the home run! At one point, the best man Jay stood up and said he conceded and that I won!! Laughter erupted! I was so thankful for being able to do a good job! I wanted Eileen and Dave to know how much I loved them and I wanted to make Eileen proud! I think I accomplished both!

Shortly thereafter, a birthday cake arrived for Teddy! We all sang him Happy Birthday but he refused to blow out the candles, asking me to do it boy does not like lots of attention and 70 people singing was quite a bit :) Later on he told me he was thankful and that it was very special :) During the remainder of the wedding we visited with Eileen and Dave's wonderful family and friends. Intermittently, I would burst into tears, madly wiping them away so no one (especially Teddy) would see. The worst part was during the father-and-daughter dance. When Eileen and her dad started to dance it was too much to bare....the pain was too severe! I asked Jay and his wife Jen to watch Teddy while I rushed to the cry! I cried and cried! Dave's sister Erika and Eileen's Aunt Donna found me and gave me great big hugs! The kindness and compassion of strangers is astounding! Every single person there at that wedding knew of our pain and they each made sure we were well taken care of. Thank you Kleins & Feldmans!!!!!

After I recovered from my breakdown, I invited Teddy for a night-hike through the Public Gardens as a birthday celebration. He immediately jumped at the opportunity for adventure and we were off. We meandered through the park with Teddy telling me stories about each and every squirrel he had chased earlier in the day (Eileen's brother, fiancee, and father had taken Teddy to the Commons while Eileen and I got ready. Teddy had an absolute blast!) I love listening to Teddy's stories. They are incredible and I can listen to them for hours! I pray that he never stops being a story teller!

After our stroll through the park, we said goodbye to Eileen and Dave and their families and friends! I hugged my beautiful friend one more time before her father walked us to our hotel! Once in our room, Teddy was eager to break into his chocolate birthday cake. So we opened the box ready to devour the cake when we realized we didn't have forks. I put my heels on and off we went to get utensils. What happened next will remain one of my favorite memories for the rest of my life. There we were in the Plaza Hotel at 11:30pm running through the hallways, my blue chiffon dress gliding through the wind and Teddy's giggles permeating the air. Teddy beat me to the elevator both times....completely delighted with himself! On our way back up, Teddy pounced onto the railing inside the elevator and swung his arms up and around in a grand gestures. He then looked at me and said, "Mom you look gorgeous!" He then leaned in and gave me the biggest kiss right on the lips. He simply took my breath away! We raced back to the room...he won again....and then he climbed into bed where he munched on chocolate cake and watched the Pirates of the Caribbean. I took the opportunity to take a long hot shower! I let the steaming water pour over my body and....I cried....I just cried and cried! I cried for longing that I feared with Nina and I cried for happiness over my little man! After I cried, I crawled into bed with Teddy and feasted on chocolate cake. We took a few more bites then put the cake away and turned off the television. Teddy wrapped himself around me and whispered that he loved me! I was in heaven! We fell asleep!

Happy 8th Birthday Teddy!

1 comment:

  1. i LOVED this recounting of such a beautiful and momentous occasion. what a perfect speech for eileen and her husband dave. and what a treat it continues to be to see how God is infusing such faith and hope in your perspective on all of what is happening in your family. you are a blessing to us, rosy!