My main excuse for being to tardy with my blogging homework for the last few weeks is this – my ‘baby’ brother (he is 30 now) just got married. The wedding was last weekend and it was lovely. I am so pleased for him and his new wife and I hope they’re having a lovely honeymoon as I type.
Alongside all the bustle of preparations and plans I’ve been in a really reflective mood for the last few weeks. There’s the normal ‘only single person’ at the wedding hang ups, which are somewhat compounded by the fact that this is my younger sibling’s wedding. There’s the moment of pause/panic about where am I going with my life – look at everyone moving on around me. There was the surprisingly painful moment when I missed my Dad and felt so sad that he wasn’t able to see my brother on such an important day.
But the greatest moment turned out to be the most unexpected – the Best Man’s Speech. The Best Man has known my brother since they met at playgroup aged 3. He’s been on the edge of my life for 27 years as my brother’s mate, Monkey. Of course now he’s all grown up and stood next to my brother in a matching suit carrying two rings for the service and later at the reception during the speeches. He’d confided in me the night before that he was really struggling to think of any amusing anecdotes about my brother which left me wondering how he was going to make a speech for more than about 2 minutes; in the end he delivered a 10 minute homage to the unsung hero. He talked fondly about all the scrapes my brother’s mates have got into over the last 27 years and how my brother was always there to help them get out of trouble and pick up the pieces. My brother was the one helping them hide the evidence, getting them through their hangovers and collecting them from the side of the road. My brother was the one getting the food in, pegging out tents in a gale and fixing the DVD player. It’s not that my brother is boring – just that for every extrovert adventurer there needs to be a supporting player and he does that wonderfully – he was an unsung hero but now he’s had a little of the recognition he deserves.
I think the world keeps running because of these lesser sung heroes. They are the Nigel Slaters who provide the understated and measured cookery to keep the Nigella’s, Jamie’s and Gordon’s on an even keel. They are the admin assistants who get their bosses to meetings with the right presentation and 50 information packs for the delegates. They are the people that scan your shopping in the supermarket who know do their best despite knowing the loud and temperamental automatic check-outs are going to make them redundant. They are the people who make you a cup of tea and let you winge about your mobile phone issues for 30 minutes without complaining (I might bore you with that rant another day). They are great and they are just like my brother.