To my dearest cousin Rachel,
How I wish I could be with you today. To see your glorious smile in person as you walk down the aisle and start the next chapter in your life. Fondly, I remember the many days and nights we spent together at Grandma and Grandpa’s, spying on our relatives, giggling until tears fell, and performing three-act plays in the living room for innocent bystanders.
I hope your future husband knows how lucky he is. You’re a catch, to say the least. You’re beautiful, intelligent, funny, and have a heart big enough to accommodate countless friends and our entire amazing family. I’ve always admired how you’ve lived life to the fullest, dancing with your head in the clouds while keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground.
Having forged the path of marriage several years before you, I only have a few words of wisdom. Marriage, as wonderful and glorious as it looks in the movies, isn’t always a picnic (this message goes along with the gift I got you). Here in a couple of months, or a couple of years if you’re fortunate, his jokes will start to be less funny. You’ll know all of his “back in the day” stories by memory (and correct him when he starts telling them wrong). His underwear left in the middle of the bathroom floor will no longer be mildly annoying, but will send you into hysterics. “Doesn’t he love me? Why can’t he just do this one simple thing?!” Then, if you decide to have babies someday (gorgeous babies from the looks of both of you), you’ll see a whole new side of him, one that will make you fall in love all over again. He’ll tenderly hold your newborn, and look at you with awe and complete respect. And as much as your hearts are forged together even more than you thought possible, a whole new set of challenges will arise.
You’ll both be exhausted. Babies will do that, you know. Between feeding, changing, bathing, cooking, cleaning, and all of other responsibilities, you may feel like you’re growing apart. But eventually, that baby will begin sleeping through (most of) the night. You’ll get a night away, and then a weekend away. You’ll reconnect, and be stronger than ever. Then you just might decide you’re crazy enough about each other to do it all over again.
When the times are hard, and they will be, hang in there. Lord knows you’ve seen your parents go through hell and back after losing your sister, but they stayed together. That’s no small miracle. Marriage isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it, so worth it. I’ve seen my husband grow and change over the years, and our bond has been made stronger.
It’s obvious that you and Kurtis are head over heels for each other. The way it should be. Enjoy this day. Savor this moment. Remember the rush. I love you, and I miss you.