It’s hard to put into words how it feels when your twin gets married, but I attempted to do so in my speech at Kati’s wedding. Nick and I were not together when Kati got married, so he had never heard this speech. I read it to him after I found it on my external hard drive today, and was surprised at my inability to finish due to hot tears. Even though Kati has been married to a wonderful man for over six years, there is still a sense of loss at “losing my twin” to someone else.
I have to start by giving Kati ten dollars (and I actually gave her $10 cash). When Kati and I were in elementary school, I’m not sure what grade (and I’m not sure she even remembers this), I walked up to her and told her that I knew I was going to get married before her, to which she very indignantly replied, “how do you know that?” I said I just knew, and she informed me that, no, she was going to get married before me, to which I said “no you’re not” and she said “yes I am” and so on, until Kati suggested we bet on it, so we decided loser pays winner (the first one to get married) ten dollars (big money back then).
If I had known when they started dating in eighth grade that Ryan was the one, I may have tried to sabotage the relationship in order to win…but it’s a good thing that I didn’t, because I can see that Ryan makes Kati really happy.
Kati’s happiness is obviously very important to me. As twins, Kati and I have shared a womb, many milestones, and a close friendship throughout the years….but quite honestly I have found this wedding very difficult to prepare for… even though I denied it to anyone who asked, I have felt like I am being replaced, and as a result I have not been as helpful or as excited for Kati as I should have been- for that, Kate, I am sorry.
So I guess, Kati, that maybe I was afraid of losing you to Ryan, or becoming second place, but not because Ryan’s not a wonderful guy. I have never met anyone who doesn’t like Ryan, and he’s so sweet that he bought not only Kati, but also me, flowers on our birthday this year. He’s even survived years of Swenor game nights over Christmas (which believe it or not included Ryan’s participation in charades). But rather I’ve been having a difficult time because I know a marriage will change things. I’ve always tried to ‘mother’ or ‘take care of’ you, Kati, but the truth is it’s you who’s always taken care of me.
You always remind me not to sweat the small stuff, you always come around with your easy smile and positive attitude and seem to make everything okay. You’ve taught me that being tough doesn’t necessarily mean not crying, that it can mean a willingness to be vulnerable with people. Furthermore, you have a soft strength that comes through in your actions—never hesitating to stand up for yourself or others, when I would’ve backed down. You’ve also taught me how to relax and have fun every once in awhile. We have shared sleepovers with friends, dances, playing sports, running through the sprinkler in our underwear after nights waitressing at the Weathervane, weekend visits in college, late nights of karaoke with the other sisters, and skinny dipping at the cottage with our friends, we’ve laughed together, cried together, failed together and succeeded together.
But, Kati, I know now Ryan and you will be making your own family and your own memories. He will become your best friend, and most intimate partner, and first in your life. And it’s taken me a long time to come to accept it, but I know it’s okay. I’ll miss the closeness we’ve shared, Kati, but I know we’ll have a new and equally wonderful relationship when you start your new life with Ryan. And I just want to tell you both that I promise to constantly be praying for each of you and your marriage throughout the rest of your lives together. And Kati, I just want to end by reminding you that even though I know you’re so sweet and selfless that you wouldn’t mind doing all of the household chores all the time, it is okay to ask Ryan to wash the floors, or do the dishes, or fold his own laundry every once in awhile…I love you guys.