(My toast at Nuts’ communion reception on the 3rd of January, 2016 … posted for posterity)
Good Evening to all you warm folks …
and a Happy New Year!
That gorgeous girl (sorry not this one – that one) over there is my wife of four years :)
She is Natanya’s much, older cousin :)
Which is how I met Natanya four years ago.
I wanted her to be my flower girl, but when I saw her, it was love at first sight and I asked her to marry me instead!
She very wisely, and very selflessly, asked me to marry Abby and walked us down the aisle along with her handsome brother, Joshua.
She was 4, turning 5 then.
At age 6, she saw her favorite uncle (that’s me), getting fat and so she volunteered to teach me Yoga.
She has helped me stay in shape ever since :)
At age 7, she taught me how to sing my heart out, because she thought I had a nice voice!
So now, nobody beats me at singing “Beautiful Sunday” on karaoke, other than the equally talented Tanya
When Natanya was 8, last October, her Abbygail Aunty fell really, really sick.
I had to take her to a big old hospital in Mangalore for a big operation.
And it was big.
And it was long.
And it took 7 whole hours.
And then, after all that, the doctor said, it was going to take a long, long while before she got well again.
There I was alone, nervous, scared and praying really hard.
And then Natanya (through her daddy) sends me letters.
One, for every day we were there.
- How is Abbygail Aunty?
- I really miss you.
- I really, really, really, really, love you.
- And just to make sure, that her dumb uncle understood, she drew a heart and explained that, that was the symbol of love; she drew a small sad face crying, and said that that was the symbol of missing some one.
Comforting messages, letters of hope, written by a child who did not ostensibly know any better.
Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have ordained strength …
goes Psalm 8:2
And that was when I knew, all would be well.
That was how Jesus comforted us, and took care of both of us, and got us here today.
So you see Natanya, Jesus has always been there inside you, guiding you.
And today is when He makes His presence felt, to you and all of us,through the Eucharist that you received this morning.
So, on this special day, I have no special advice; just a small reminder.
To do for everybody, what you have always done for me.
To do what Jesus says with his commandment.
Love one another, as I have loved you.
To love, like you always have.
Everytime we meet, you make me a better person.
- Through your kind words,
- through your concern,
- through your little pieces of advice,
- and through your big, big, smile!
So with Jesus’ help, leave every one you meet everyday, a little better than you found them.