I am jittery with excitement to go to OKC next week! We get to spend time with lots of family, eat at some of my favorite restaurants, take the kids to the waterpark, spend time with old friends, have a girl's day out and, oh yes....watch my baby brother get married!!! heehee
I laugh because my "little" brother is a foot taller than I am. And he is 13 years my junior, but that hasn't stopped us from being close over the years. Tomy is a special guy. He has a great big heart...great big talent...a great big calling...and a great big sense of humor. He makes me laugh more than anyone I know!
I always joke that Tomy turned out way better than the rest of us (there's three more of us) because there are 17 years between the first and last child in our family. After that many years, you tend to figure some things out. Parenting included.
But the truth is, Tomy is just special. That boy is smart! Plus, he's been blessed with raw, God-given talent. Anything Tomy attempts, he can do...and he does it well. That includes playing the guitar, piano and trumpet. Snowboarding. Wakeboarding. Playing games, pool and doing magic tricks. Taking pictures, making videos and creating graphic designs.
I've got lots of fun and special memories of Tomy growing up. When he was about 7, I took him roller blading on my college campus and he taught me how to use my brake properly. (See, he really is smart! And he mastered roller blading before his 20 year old sister did.) When he was 3, I took him to the park in the middle of winter and we skated on the ice pond in our tennis shoes. When he was 14, I drove him and his buddy to dinner and the school dance in our '57 Chevy. There were middle school band concerts, high school football games, and college visits. Days on the lake. Days on the mountain. Camping trips. Holiday meals. Guitar Hero. Games, games and more games.
But one of my most profound memories of Tomy is when he was 5. I was a sophomore in college, and there was a rumor that a certain gang was targeting girls in red cars. I had expressed my fears to my Mom and Dad, and apparantly Tomy had overheard. That night I was telling him a bedtime story, and when we started to say our prayers, Tomy asked me about it. I tried to be discrete about the details, but his reponse was so profound and a sign of the call that God would later place on his life. Tomy said, "You don't need to be afraid. God is always with you and will protect you. Nothing bad will happen to you." I've never forgotten those words from a 5 year old whose faith has only grown and inspired me over the years.
I always knew the girl who stole Tomy's heart would have to be special, too. His female equal if you will. God blessed Tomy with a wonderful, precious, lovely girl named Melinda. She is every bit as smart and talented and gifted and called as Tomy.
I can't wait to see Tomy and Mendy join hearts and hands in what I believe will be one of the most special weddings I've ever attended. I can't wait to call Mendy sister. I can't wait to see a young man named Tomy receive the greatest blessing of his life - his bride Melinda.
Tomy, I want you to know how proud I am of you. You chose the path for your life's journey very early, and I've never seen you waiver from it. Your faith is strong and solid and inspiring. You are so blessed! Despite what people say, the honeymoon does not have to end. Marriage is the most wonderful thing when you are married to the person God created for you. And there's no doubt in my mind that Mendy is that person. I am proud to call you brother. I love you.