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My brother gets married today. That’s him over there with the apple in his mouth. Lest you think pictures like that might dissuade his fiance from going through with the ceremony, it was the bride who sent that picture to anyone and everyone proud that this is the man she was to marry.

It’s only a little weird to me that starting tomorrow I’ll have a new sister-in-law. The good news is that she is a beautiful woman with a heart as big as anyone I’ve ever met. It didn’t take me long to figure out that sbo¬†Meghan was going to be a part of the family. My brother likes to hide things, but it’s hard for him to hide anything from me.

In a few hours, I’ll stand and give a toast to the new couple, and I figure it will go a little something like this… (although I’m likely to write a lot more than I’ll say!)

I’ve known Joe longer than anyone, which is kind of easy to figure out since we spent 9 months in the womb together. And since the day we were born, he’s been on an eternal quest for the perfect sidekick.

I obviously didn’t fit the bill, but for years, I was all he had. There was the time he convinced me to help him hook up the vacuum hose to the faucet so we could play fireman. I guess it’s my parent’s fault for taking us to the fire station. Then there was the time we managed to cover our bathroom entirely in that green Comet cleanser powder. My mother’s clue that we were up to no good was the green cloud through the doorway. Needless to say, I got in trouble an awful lot as Joe’s sidekick.

When high school rolled around, Joe finally found an adequate replacement. Nate took my spot and the two of them became the closest thing our high school had to Laurel and Hardy. Their widely acclaimed “Nate and Joe show” was replete with some of the worst jokes you’ve ever heard… maybe Joe will recount them for you if you ask.

When it came time for college, Joe was on another search. That’s where Mike came into the picture. It takes a unique personality to handle and appreciate Joe’s sense of humor. Mike not only appreciated it, but he complimented it well. Their summer of Gettysburg trolly shows sealed their friendship. They were only almost arrested once.

Then Joe wound up in Chicago, and I was a little worried about him. Then he started talking about this girl. She was beautiful. She was fun. She laughed at his jokes. And most of all, she actively participated in his bizarre sense of humor. Perhaps they’d go into a convienence store and pretend that Meghan had a intense fear of sugar… so when they reached the sugar aisle, Joe could apologize to the rest of the shoppers.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that Meghan was much, much more than a sidekick. Meghan was the love of his life. When they weren’t together, he talked about her. When they were together, it was hard to get his attention. You could see it in their eyes, you could hear it in their words.

It was only a matter of time until this day came. I love my brother, and wanted to make sure I could proudly stand up for him on this day. Thankfully he fell in love with an amazing woman and I can stand here today and say, “Congratulations, may your marriage be a long and happy one. I’m sure it will be.”

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