I went to a wedding last week...and the father of the bride gave one of the most loving and strong speeches I've ever heard. Made me cry. I wish we'd recorded it, but we were living the moment. So I'll share the part that started the tears.

My nephew Jim (JM grad!) was married to Kerynn in Portland, and I was proud to be the best man. I struggled over my best man speech/toast for weeks, and when it was all said and done I was happy with it, but could have said so much more. I'm glad I didn't, tho, because shorter James Speech meant we got to Kerynn's dad (Jerry) faster.

The point that's stuck with me, and started me down the third cry-fest that day (seeing Jim and Kerynn getting their pictures taken and their vows dang near ended me), was a very small part of Jerry's speech. This may not be an exact quote, but it'll be close.

"When I dropped Kerynn off for her first day of Kindergarten, she was crying and, like so many kids, not eager to be left behind. So I made a deal with the teacher; Kerynn could wave to me out of the window as I drove away...and I'd wave back. That first day I was crying as much as she was as I rolled past the window, and looked over to see her waving. I waved back.

This went on about a week and a half. Then, one day, I drive past, I look and wave...and Kerynn wasn't at the window. She'd figured things out and didn't need dad's wave anymore. She didn't need me anymore. But for the whole school year, every time I dropped her off, I still looked for that wave..."

I'm tearing up now writing this. I don't know how you parents do it. It's 100% the way it is supposed to be, your kids are supposed to become independent and strong, but the pride and the pain have to be something fierce.

I envy the hell out of you.

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