Saturday, June 14, 2014

To Toddy, on your big day.

Dear Toddy, Pooks, Dewty, Uncle Dewteroo,

Wow, Can You believe it’s here? The day you’ll wait down that aisle and when Kris and I walk towards you this time we won’t be in white and those treasured friends and brothers standing beside you are this time standing with you and for you and not you next to them in a supporting role. And when we finally all meet you up there, you’ll have Dad and Ryan by your side and Mom looking on with tears in her eyes and there she’ll be…You’re girl. The one you’ve fought for. And She’ll walk towards you in white and you’ll become man and wife. And you’ll take on your most important role yet. Husband.

It’s hard for me, your little sister, to imagine a more important role in your life than big brother because you’ve been the best one I could have ever dreamed of or hoped for.  Having had the opportunity to walk alongside of you for all of our lives and because of your amazing qualities as a big brother, I’m confidant that you’ll make one heck of a husband. And while at weddings it’s customary for the bride’s parents to give away their daughter to her groom…at this rehearsal dinner, in this moment, this little sister is giving her big brother away to his bride.

In complete and utter honesty, I’m not sure I’d be here without you Toddy. And I know a lot of people toss around that phrase, but if you know me, and you know my brother, this isn’t something I say lightly. There has been many a ledge this brother of mine has talked me down from or offered me hand and helped me off of, many a times where he was the one that showed up on that white horse and rescued me when no one else was around. I’ll never forget the summer where you spent a month sleeping on my floor because I was deeply struggling and there you were. You just showed up. Night after night, you’d make your bed on the floor next to my bed just to make sure I wasn’t alone.  Then there have been the encouraging letters you’ve left me that somehow appear just when I need them and the countless times you’ve answered the phone at any hour of the night. Sometimes, when I’m having a hard time, the best suggestion Nate has is “Should we call Toddy?”

You’ve taught me so much in life. Maybe most important being all the lyrics to Regulate by Warren G in the summer of  ’94. I’d rap the Nate Dogg part and you’d be Warren G. I don’t think any other 5th Grader that September had memorized that over the summer. You’ve helped me keep an open mind about a lot of things I might not have otherwise- in regards to politics and the world as a whole. I heard my first cuss words from your friends and cussed for the first time in front of you. You made sure I ushered in my 21st birthday properly and would show up at college or grad school when I couldn’t go home for a holiday so just you and I could celebrate it together. I’ll never forget when you threw me a surprise birthday party my freshman year at college and made me my favorite cake from scratch because the past year I’d spent my birthday at Remuda. You even went out of your way to invite my crush.

While our younger years were spent with you having a desire to torture me and a daily mission of yours was to make me cry, even after we got in trouble and were sent to our rooms, you’d creatively make amends with me by asking to color with me from our doorways. As we would slide our favorite Mr. Sketch markers back and forth, from doorway to doorway, up and down the hallway, you’d draw pictures of Dad passing gas because we were mad at him for making us stay in our rooms, and all would be okay between us again.  12 years down the road you’d use those same markers to draw me pictures of the sun and flowers while you were a senior in college and I a senior in high school, and you sent them to me in hopes of cheering me up as I fought for my life in a treatment center for anorexia.

I blame you and Ryno for the fact that I don’t laugh easily at other people’s lame jokes or attempts at being funny. You two have had me cracking up forever. I am never sillier than when I am with both of you. You are beyond funny. The three of us are so odd and Kris is so lucky to have us. How can we forget the day we pretended we were announcing the Kentucky Derby. That poor, poor horse. We’ll never know what happened but what a moment that was. Constant comedy in the fact that we’ve all become pros at sharing one bathroom between the four of us growing up and to this day when I’m visiting we get right back into our rhythm. Our bathroom conversations are always hysterical.

Katy, I’m excited to welcome you into this family. As you know we are a wild and crazy bunch and we love big and hard. I’m looking forward to getting to know you more. Things you may already know but must make a point of while being married to my brother: always hop on board if he’s making a sandwich- he has a gift. Let him make forts. He’s the king of cozy and can make any spot on the floor feel sweeter than a pillow top mattress. Buy a big refrigerator. Half of it will be 
consumed by condiments. Or at least ingredients he’ll use to concoct his own. Two words: Preventative Medicine- He’s horrible when he’s sick. He’s great at cleaning just ask my mom she’ll go on and on for hours about how he’s better at most things domestic than Kristi or I ever will be- more proof he’s her favorite. And as much as I’m sure you’re dreading this---you’ve signed up for a life of weekends that revolve around sports seasons and the foods we eat during them. That’s life as a Scudder, Gill, Miksch, or Bruce.

Toddy, I’m sad to say goodbye to the end of an era with you. To the days at 968, to us all getting ready for bed together, to pillow talk, to you coming in to say good night, to family trips where it’s Kristi and her fam in one room and me and my brothers in another, to me being your number one girl (even though I relinquished that position long ago when you and Katy got much more serious), and to most of all our childhood. Looks like you’re really growing up, huh? But, I’m so excited to watch you be a husband and then a father because I know you will be great at it.

You, my big brother, are loyal, hospitable, kind, compassionate, caring, family-oriented, generous witty, intelligent, big-hearted, humorous, worthy, deeply loved, and becoming more and more like Dad everyday. You understand me in a way that no one else can. And vice versa. I hope it’s a special connection we will always have. But now you have Katy and the two of you will take part in one of the most important and intimate relationships two people can venture on together. It will require patience, trust, and the act of living out love. There is no better time than now for this next adventure to begin. June 14, 2014: She will approach you in white and you’ll take her as your wife, and just as you’ve protected me, cherished me, cared for me as my older brother and best friend you will do the 
same for her and much, much more, but as her husband, confidant, love, and life partner. I love you, Dewty. Thank you for loving me like you have and looking out for me like you did. I’m so proud of you and who you are. I’m here cheering you and Katy on. Do me a favor and keep your phone on, K? You never know if I still might need a late night phone call once in awhile.