Bride and Groom, Bridesmaid and Best Man, Family Members, Friends:
I’m not really big on giving advice, but the program says I must, so I will try.
First, however, please bear with me as I ramble through a store of treasured memories. You see, being the “Father of the Bride” is not an overnight achievement. It is the end of a long and often challenging journey, and I would like to share with you some of the highlights
of my journey. I remember ...
$ I remember a tiny
baby who wouldn’t stay still, even on the first day she came from the hospital; a baby who I would cradle in my arms,
with her head touching my elbow and her feet extending not quite to the tips of my fingers.
$ I remember an infant
who walked and talked at such an early age that I have stopped telling people about it.
They just don’t believe.
$ I remember a toddler
who grew up surrounded by story books, but who still preferred the stories that Daddy would make up for her.
$ I remember an elementary
school pupil who listened and understood her parents conversations about dams and reservoirs, and then challenged her teacher
on the specifics. I was the one who had to go to school and explain that the
teacher was, in fact, wrong.
$ I remember a secondary
school student who, with her friends, decided that the Graduation Ball should be a “fathers and daughters” function. I remember telling a Client that I could not, and would not attend his meeting out
of Trinidad that week, because I would not have missed that Ball for anything.
$ I remember a university
student first giving us great cares when the first bout of homesickness hit her, and later making us very proud of her success.
Yes, the road has been long and it has been challenging, but the rewards have been fully worth the efforts.
And now on to the advice. The best I could do is select seven quotations
that have impressed me over the years, and bring my own experiences and thoughts to bear on them. Here goes ...
Quotation Number 1 is Anonymous, and it reads:
shared is twice the joy, sorrow shared is half the sorrow.”
This statement is absolutely true, and is probably as good a reason to get married as any. Share your joys, and don’t worry about having any less for yourself.
Joy expands to fill every heart into which it is poured. Miraculously,
it does not get smaller from the sharing - only larger.
Share your sorrow as well. Each time you do, your load will be
lifted and your sorrow will be lessened.
Quotation Number 2 is closely related, and comes from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians 4:26:
not the sun go down on thy wrath.”
Night is intended to end a period of life, and dawn brings a new day.
Try to leave anger and bitterness of one day behind. Don’t carry
it forward to taint a new day. People who do achieve nothing more than stomach
Quotation Number 3 is also Anonymous:
to dream big dreams”
Both Fazal and Sarojani have shown a desire to further their education in their chosen fields. Marriage should push those dreams forward, not push them aside. In
a successful marriage, each member must have their place in the sun.
In “The Pickwick Papers” by Charles Dickens, we meet a memorable
cockney character named Samuel Weller. He gives us Quotation Number 4
one of the advice gratis order” thought Sam, “or you wouldn’t be so very fond of me all at once.”
As a married couple, you will receive free advice from all quarters: parents, siblings, friends, co-workers,
etc. You need to listen carefully, but sift out what will work for you, and what
will not. It is not a crime to say, firmly but politely, that as a couple you
have considered the advice but you don’t think it will work for you.
Remember always, free advice is sometimes worth exactly what you paid for it.
Staying with Charles Dickens, but this time from “Oliver Twist”,
we get Quotation Number 5 in the form of this famous exchange:
“... the law supposes that your wife acts under your direction.'
the law supposes that,' said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, 'the law is a ass--a idiot.’
Understand the limitations of the law. Neither of you should try
to lay down the law. Instead, seek solutions in compromise.
I started with a long reminiscence about Sarojani, but now I want to devote the last two quotations to Fazal. Quotation Number 6 is from Sigmund Freud:
do not know of any need in childhood as strong as the need for the protection of a father.”
When children come, you will need to remember this statement, and make it your guiding principle. They grow up awfully fast, and you don’t get a chance to go back and fix what you miss.
Finally, Quotation Number 7 is from Oscar Wilde:
is the duty of every father to write fairy tales for his children.”
Of all the duties you will be called upon to discharge as a father, this is perhaps the happiest of them all.
In closing, I would like to wish this couple God’s richest blessings.
Be patient with each other, build your partner’s strengths, and shore up your partner’s weaknesses. Never take each other for granted. Life
can be difficult, but a little appreciation goes a long, long way.
And learn from experience - your experience and those around you. For
example, our family has just learned a most important life lesson. It is this:
“Reach early for the plane. Otherwise, they will go without