Wednesday, May 06, 2009
From Big Brother to Best Man...
This is an article I wrote, that appears in the May edition of Big Brothers and Big Sisters Canada's Alumni e-bulletin
"The steady breeze off the Caribbean Sea and the late afternoon sun were making picture-taking a bit tricky, but absolutely nothing will convince me that the conditions on that Jamaican beach were anything less than perfect.
Who would have thought, almost 16 years ago, that I would be on that beach in Ocho Rios, standing as Best Man for my Little Brother, as he married the love of his life. When Dan asked me to be his Best Man just over a year earlier, I quickly accepted, but told him that if he would rather have one of his buddies or cousins standing for him, it was fine with me, because I would be at the wedding anyway. "I asked you," he replied, "because I want you." Case closed.
Dan and I were matched on July 14, 1993 by Porcupine Big Brothers Big Sisters in Timmins, Ontario. We quickly hit it off, effortlessly fitting into each others lives, routines and families. Very early in the match, we knew that it was much more, and that we would be a big part of each others lives forever.
Solid proof of that comes from that beach wedding on April 15, 2009, when 26-year-old Dan took Christine (I call her "The Pretty One") to be his wife. I had the honour of being Best Man, while Dan's only sister, Chantal, was Maid of Honour.
Our match is legendary at Porcupine Big Brothers Big Sisters, but when I hear that, I feel that it's only fair to point out that you can't compare any two matches. Each one is special in its own way.
Back to the wedding: The ceremony took less than ten minutes, and the emotions of the 21 people there - including the bride, the groom, their families, friends, and the minister - added to the atmosphere that will live on as special memories for as long as the Big Brother-Little Brother match will. Dan and I have often discussed how we're both strong believers in fate. It was fate that brought us together. I was actually his third Big Brother. The first two had to leave Timmins for employment reasons, and Dan's Mom had to coax him into trying it one more time.
As a lifelong bachelor with no kids of my own, being Dan's Big has filled a void that I didn't even realize existed. I wouldn't change a second of the past 16 years, as I look forward to the future, and being "Big Uncle" to the children that my Little Brother Dan and Little Sister-in-Law Christine are anxious to start having."