A Big Thank You!
How a father with only boys got to do a wedding speech
Having only had boys I was blessed first of all by being asked to be Kerri’s godfather quite a few years ago now. What didn’t dawn on me at the time, as far as I can remember, was that this would give me the opportunity to be blessed again by being able to follow her father in addressing the happy couple when she got married.
I should have realised that this would be the case as my wife Julie’s Godfather, Uncle Jim, did an address at our wedding in August 1990!
And so, as is the tradition in our family, I had the opportunity to speak.
I have known Kerri and Gareth since long before they became an item and so it was even more special to me that I should be allowed to speak at their wedding.
I took the responsibility of the speech very seriously and wrote it over many many months starting just after they announced their engagement!
My aim was to strike a balance between god-fatherly advice, embarrassing my goddaughter and generally having a good time! (Not sure in what proportions I achieved this mind although there was definitely quite a lot of embarrassment and I really enjoyed myself, so probably not much advice! (Oh except to Gareth, but that was an altogether different type of advice shall remain between only those present on the day!))
To My Pleasant Surprise…
I had a lovely time preparing and giving the speech and was rewarded by laughter and encouragement and positive comments later when we were enjoying coffee and even later when we were dancing the night away. (We weren’t dancing on the tables though like we were here but I am sure I burned up more energy. This time though I replaced the energy from the pick and mix sweet table that Kerri and Gareth had so kindly provided!)
One thing I did for the speech was to compose a poem based along the lines of the If poem by Rudyard Kipling, but encompassing some of the things that I have learnt about how life can be enjoyed so much more if a few simple concepts are taken to heart. Some of which have come to me during my training as a life coach. Some of them are extracts of quotes from others so I am not taking credit for them directly, I simply wished to convey the concepts to Kerri and Gareth in a loving and memorable way. I trust I achieved that. (If you search online for any of them you will find out who wrote them although several are by that well known writer ‘Anon’, I think 😉 )
Several people after the reception came up to me and asked for a copy of the poem and so here it is in full (it is based on a longer list of things I use as the basis on which to live my life on my Reflections on Peace page).
My Version of the ‘If…’ Poem…
If you always start from the perspective of unconditional love,
if you really listen when in a conversation and don’t just wait for a gap in which to speak,
if you always go to give and learn not to react on another’s behalf,
if you remember that you can only change one person, and that is yourself;
if you can remember that only you choose how you feel, so choose wisely;
and if you know that if you change the way you think about things, then the things you think about, will change;
and if you can live life without resentment, knowing that the past is the past and, apart from the lessons learnt, means nothing now,
and if you always make things right as soon as you know they are wrong,
and if you know that there is only now and that now is a gift, that is why it is called the present,
you won’t go far wrong.
Oh yes, and if you smile five times a day for no reason, just see what a difference it makes.
I finished the speech with heartfelt thanks that I had had the opportunity to be there and to share in their wonderful day and wished them a long and happy life together from the bottom of my heart.
Later that day I danced for more hours in a row, only stopping to take on water, than I had done in probably 25 years! The next day and to miss-quote Douglas Adams, my body felt like a military acadamy, parts of me kept passing out!
I trust that the poem above inspires you to know that you are more in control of your life than you were ever lead to believe.
With much love and best wishes
PS – feel free to leave comments below about how you found the day if you were there or what you thought of the poem. Personal comments will not be made public so say in your comment if it for general consumption and I will honour your request.
PPS – if you would like some help understanding more about the principles mentioned in the poem, feel free to get in touch and if life coaching is something you have never considered, maybe now is the time… email@example.com for more details.