I have been signing things Caroline Kolts for the past week, not that there was a whole lot to sign on our honeymoon in Iceland (check out Patrick on instagram). I have to keep reminding myself that together we make a family, the two of us. These first days of family are like making fresh footprints in untouched winter snow - everything is sparkling with promise and waiting to be discovered, built, and dreamed. We went to church for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. Kolts yesterday and I was overwhelmed to be sitting next to my newly covenanted love and worshipping my First Love. I will spare you all of my marital bliss-speak and offer instead the sweetest words that my sister insists appear as a guest post. I am more than glad to oblige, because her guest posts always attract more attention than my regular posts and (I'll admit) I like the traffic. ;) Actually, I have read and re-read these words since she sent them earlier today and I can't figure out why I hit the jackpot with such a sister and why she thinks so highly of me. God has blessed me abundantly with her crazy love.
Caroline is the wordsmith between us. While she’s weaving words, making landscapes that you feel and experience, I’m working on writing a to-the-point-email that will inspire people to work for me for free, so there’s a difference clearly.
She’s also the cheesy one of us, the one who waxes poetic about our sisterhood. Whereas I’m the problem-solver, the send-Caroline-random-gifts-giver, the two-words-on-a-card-writer. Those two words? Love you! So, a difference there, as well.
But Caroline and Patrick’s wedding made me feel all kinds of cheesy, like there weren’t enough words in a speech to convey the joy welling within, and there wasn’t enough speech time to squeeze in the love I have for them, the slow moving sadness that comes from missing them, and the gratefulness in loving them together and separate, so much.
So, here is my guest blog post. The speech I wish I would have spoken. The official unofficial wedding speech, only 2 weeks late.
Caroline. Your soul is the most beautiful I know, you know me better than anyone and yet are my biggest cheerleader. My friendship with you makes me think marriage must be ok, that ‘someone knowing everything-ness’ and all. In a weird way, it is so not weird that you got married before me. For you have always gone first. In following Christ, in maturity, in radical hospitality. At a soul level, I think in some ways we are both the older sister, just in different ways. Someone told me the other day that they love the way I talk about you, a mixture of awe, respect, and love. And how could I not? You are exceedingly lovely, and I’ve always been baffled at the male sex due to their failure to realize this and marry you quickly. But now I realize why it took them so long. It was always Patrick, who you were meant for. And the Patrick novel needed more chapters of adventure before the marriage part. So, male gender, I’ll give you a pass this one time!
I have always been more concerned with who Caroline would marry than she found necessary. I always had this desire for her to end up with a person who would fit her, wouldn’t stifle her, wouldn’t try to get her to calm down, settle down, and stop dreaming crazy dreams. Someone who would bring out the hilarious side I see, and reassure her of its validity in the world, that her creating laughter is just as important as creating ponderous thoughts. And, selfishly, I thought her marrying someone that was ‘ok’ would make our time odd or strained, or worst case scenario, that there would be less of it.
But Patrick. Patrick who’s always been around in the best of ways, always been Caroline’s best fit, the moment just waiting to be right so all those puzzle pieces would fall into place. I told Caroline at William’s wedding, “He just needs to be in our family. Why don’t you just marry him?” The funny thing is, that premonition was so right. He fits perfectly into our family. Patrick who I have loved as a dear friend for years, who insisted I sleep on his air mattress when I slept over at the apartment he shared with his cousin (he slept on the floor). Patrick who rented a car when I visited over Thanksgiving because he knew I was getting stressed with the subway like a pansy. Patrick who along with Caroline, somehow thinks that I am both a good dancer and the life of the party, two things I have trouble seeing in myself. Patrick who is a relentless friend, visiting his tribe often and asking heart questions over skype without that hurriedness I find myself plagued with often. Dear, dear Patrick. Who, having somehow drank the Kool-aid that my family’s been drinking for years, is now fully on board with the relentless cheerleading that is the Nichols family.
I told Caroline the other day that, strange as it may be, now when I’m with her and he’s not around, I miss him. Which is strange, because I’ve been around her without him for her whole life! But there’s just something about this great pair, that’s kind of like a 2-for-1 special. Two creative people, each uniquely helping and filling in the gaps for each other, but together stretching each other to be more, do more, love more. What they both did so well separately, they are able to do increasingly well together. Like a 1+1=3 situation. Them together, they're a pretty unstoppable power couple.
Cheers to Caroline and Pat, my favorite 2-for-1.