Next week my family will fly down to Adelaide for the wedding of one my best childhood friends.
Milly is like the last man standing in our friendship group. She is the last of our high school friends to get married, and to be quite honest, neither of us thought she would ever see this day. But here we are a week out from her big day and I am overfilled with excitement, love and good memories of my beautiful friend.
Out of all of my friends, I have never seen such an amazing personal transformation. She rolled up to our Year eight Indonesian lesson with fire engine red hair, an Adidas Tracksuit (which was not even remotely similar our school uniform) and a bad attitude. I still have images of her swearing and flipping the bird at our teacher as she was kicked out of her first ever class. Ours was the third high school she had attended in as many terms. Kicked out of all of them for truancy and bad behaviour. After attending a well-known private school, it always surprised me that it was at our dodgy state high school that Milly found her way, and took her first steps in becoming the fabulous woman she is today.
After a terrible start to her high school years, and a topsy turvy home life living between 4 different houses at any one time, Milly seemed to find a home and some sense of belonging at Parafield Gardens. She made good friends and encountered some amazing teachers who were able to support her for the remainder of her high school years. It was in Year 12 that our Science teacher paid for Milly to submit a late application for university. Milly still believes it was the kind actions of this teacher that changed her future. To this day, it is stories like these that make me proud to be a teacher.
She went on to become an amazing, compassionate and skilled Primary School Educator. The best laugh was when in her first year of university she was paired for an assignment with the daughter of our old Math Teacher. On finding out his daughter was hanging out with Milly he replied ‘Stay away from her’. Needless to say that when she did turn up to his lesson, she was less than a model student.
So as my friend is an only child and I am her bridesmaid, I asked if I could speak on her behalf at the wedding.
This is what I wanted to say:
Milly I just wanted to start by saying how absolutely beautiful you look tonight, and thankyou to Domenic for allowing me to share in your special day. Milly, I have had the pleasure of having you in my life for 23 Years. During this time we have laughed together, drank together, cried together and grown together. I never once questioned if distance would be a barrier to our friendship. Some years ago, before You met Mr M, I recall a younger but sadder version of you saying ‘I’m never going to get married’, and I looked at you and said ‘yeah, you will, you just haven’t found the right man yet’. At that point in your life, you did not believe me.
After a good night out at the Casino, you told me you had met Domenic, and I could tell even over the phone that you had met your ‘Tony Soprano’. For the first time there was a respect, there was a man who loved you as you were and seemed to put up with your sometimes ‘difficult’ behaviours. Whilst I had only met Domenic once or twice, I could tell he was a good man, the one to sort you out, the one to sit beside you as you grew old. Thankyou Domenic for making her shine.
It probably isn’t tradition for the bridesmaids to speak, but then you have never been a one to follow the rules. You are technically an only child, but you have never been alone, you have always been my sister, and have always been a part of my family. As your sister, I am so proud of the woman you have become, and know that you are a better person with Domenic by your side. Be kind to each other, love each other. Remember the feelings you have today, lock them away in your pocket and hold on to them…it is these feelings that will keep you going when times get tough.
I wish you both all the love and happiness in the world. Can we now raise our glasses once again to congratulate the new Mr and Mrs M…………..
I know that Milly doesn’t read my blog, but just in case you bump into her…….sshhhhhh, don’t breathe a word, it’s a surprise.
P.s – (I am also extremely excited that my husband will for the first time take our sons on the plane by himself. After years of telling me ‘it’s easy’ I wish him well. Though he would not admit it if he had struggled anyway! Men, Pfttt… )