Talking comes very easily to me… in fact some may say I’m a chatterbox. The more impolite amongst my friends might say I never shut up and I would in all honesty consider myself a ‘talker’. On a one to one basis, or in a group of friends I’m fine but up front with people looking at me…. no, no, no. I’m just not going to put myself through that under any circumstances. No can do. I just won’t do it. I refuse. I get anxious about it and it’s just the sort of thing that would ruin a perfectly good day – and frankly, why do that?
So the other day at my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary it dawned on me that someone was going to have to say a few words as is customary at such gatherings. I didn’t think it would be a hard crowd to please given that the majority of the people were also celebrating such milestones this year or have already done so but nonetheless someone had to be primed to stand up and speak.
Naturally I assumed it would be my brother. Rather an old fashioned thing to admit, I grant you, but I just thought it would be him being the boy and all that. To my astonishment he assumed that the duty fell to the elder sibling. So now this left me in an emotional pickle. Of course I wanted my parents to be honoured but could I actually get up and say anything without blubbering my way through it or even worse making them cry?
I decided the best way was to make notes on my phone and then just read it. If I avoided eye contact at all costs then surely that would work? So I penned a few words and then tried to forget that I had to do this.
The time came when everyone was holding a glass of champagne for the toast and I was standing there in front of everyone and suddenly I was talking and no-one seemed to be crying, no-one had walked out of the room and there was even a little laughing at one point. But most of all I saw my Mother’s smile and her eyes light up and that was enough for me.
After all they have done for me over half a century, how could I not do this for them? I am ashamed to admit how frightened I was to do this little thing, but it has made me feel a lot more confident about facing a fear and it has also resulted in being told how proud my parents were.
That, my lovely readers, is priceless.