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For Ricca & Shane

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The speech I gave for Ricca and Shane's wedding: The women in my family love fiercely. More than what most people are used to at first. This type of extreme unconditional love requires a warm-hearted, strong, intelligent man to accept it. Shane is all of these things and more. The first time I met Shane I was immediately struck by the love that buzzed between him and Ricca. After they returned to New York, our mother and I gossiped on and on about how sweet they were together. That has been the case ever since.

There is a caring, an undying affection and a joy that shows in the home they have built, the many friends they keep and the furry critters they raise.

When they traveled off to Spain, I asked our mom if she had seen the photos from the trip and she responded, “They seem to be drinking Spain up like some huge Margarita.” I informed her that drinking up Spain like a Margarita was sort of like eating up France like a burrito.

She then said, “I’m so happy for them. She waited a long time for this, but the wait seems to have been worth it.”

Our mother set the example on how to love and how to create a marriage that fosters growth, individuality and affection. With Ricca and Shane I have seen the same support for each other’s interests, hobbies and unique sensibilities that I always saw growing up in our mother and Andy. Spending hours with Andy quietly folding origami while my mother wrote on her laptop. Andy in the garden while my mother sat in a lawn chair and read. There would be moments when my mother would be struck by some of the words on the page and read them aloud to Andy who always stopped what he was doing to listen to her passion.

Ricca has found this relationship in Shane and they have added some new incredible qualities. They travel the world together, play kickball and board games. Explore their love of fine cuisine and laugh every day.

If you take advice from me, you will always fight to prove you love each other, fart on each other under the covers speak in cute animal voices and smother each other with kisses.

But instead of me, love like our parents did; always know how to talk for hours and then enjoy the long pleasant silences that come from comfort and contentedness. Leave hearts and love notes around the house and be willing to cry in long voicemails when you are apart. Take long walks in the woods and right when the other person has had enough, hug them a little too long.

I look to your relationship for what I want in my own life. I love you both so much. Shane, you have been my brother long before today and Ricca you have been my person, my sister and my role model ever since I first stole your stuffed animals and your whole music collection. I’ll be here when you celebrate 19 years and all the way to 61 years. Here is to loving too fiercely for many years…

Grief.

Cured?