Hi, I’m Eli, better known as Lizzy to my family, and I am the Dama de Honor, (no Matron of Honor for me, my friends) flown in straight from Santiago, Chile. I want to thank Dreams Las Mareas for putting on such a beautiful event, and I especially want to thank all the family and loved ones who made it down to Central America for Ali’s big day.
As Maid of Honor, it is my duty to tell you some funny and memorable stories about my sister and the love she shares with Dustin. Hopefully I’ll be able to make it though the speech without crying too much. I took a speech class senior year and gave my appreciation speech to Ali. I think our speech teacher, Mrs. Wiley, had to pull my sister out of class no less than three times in order for Ali to hear the speech through my tears. Here goes…
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If this is true, than I have certainly been flattered by my sister throughout my lifetime. Growing up, Ali did basically everything that I did it, and she usually did it better than me. We played piano together, we caught softballs, we sang in the choir, and we were the twin forwards on the Cooper Dragon Soccer team. Other teams referred to me and my sister as the “Little Green Midgets.” I chose to believe the nickname referred more to the color of our jerseys, and not our height. When it came time to choose colleges, I was happy to have my sister follow me to a rival Southern California school. Now, instead of playing for the same soccer team, we were going to be enemies. In particular, I remember a very important SCC soccer game during my junior year. The Athenas were playing the Bulldogs in the league finals. After spending most of the game tied zero to zero, my coach pulled me out of the game about the same time that Ali’s put her in. The clock was winding down and Ali received the ball near the goal. She dribbled about half the field and readied herself to shoot.
“Stop her! “ I yelled. “She’s gonna score! That’s what she does… ”
And sure enough, Alison Timms, star freshman for the Redlands Bulldogs, scored an amazing shot in order to win the game. As a result, the Bulldogs went to the NCAA playoffs and we didn’t. As you can imagine, I was pretty upset after the game and, for the first time, didn’t really want to have much to do with my sister. We had planned to eat after the game and to party together afterwards. Well, I tried to ignore her and get back on the bus, but I heard this familiar voice calling out after me.
Baby Voice: “Lizzy,” she said. “I know you’re mad at me, but can we still go to dinner?” Well, what do you say to that?
In the movie, White Christmas, Irving Berlin sings about the kind of sisterhood that Ali and I share. And what would a speech be without some singing? In the movie, he croons, “Sisters, sisters, there were never more devoted sisters.” And I believe there were no more devoted sisters than Ali and I. Since we were old enough to write letters to each other, my sister and I have spent much time finding the perfect cards expressing our love devotion for one another….The cards have evolved over time. The first ones I remember were simple stories full of time spent at home, as well as a memorable pinworm infestation while I was away at Girl Scout camp. In particular, I remember receiving one of these cards on Valentines Day one year. I was in college and was particularly lonely. I hadn’t had a boyfriend for a few years so I was hoping for a surprise care package of chocolates or flowers from a secret admirer (Obviously I had very realistic ideas about the holiday). I looked around the mailroom, but there was no such package with my name on it and no secret admirers in sight. So I took the keys hanging from the lanyard around my neck and opened my mailbox. Inside there was a card with my sister’s distinctive handwriting. I opened it, and inside there was a simple saying that struck me. Inside, the card said, “A Sister is love that you never outgrow.” I felt safe because no matter what was happening in my life, I knew Ali would always be there for me. And she has been.
Most of you know that the past four and a half years have been tough on my family. Through it all Ali has always been one of my biggest supporters. She has come down to Chile many times to be there with me for whatever I’ve needed. And when she couldn’t be there she has been there in spirit through her daily “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” messages as well as organizing a Team Eli Race for the Cure event in Oregon with her Portland friends and my friends in attendance.
For fear of veering into sappy territory, I would like to specially recognize the love and devotion that Ali and Dustin have for one another, because that’s what we’re here to celebrate. For those who don’t know, this union is a long time in the making. I think about eight years, several small apartments, some Gracie-boo moments, nursing school, and purchasing a condo together. Whatever the obstacle, Ali and Dustin, have made it through together. I think what drew me to Dustin initially was that the first place he traveled to outside of the country was Cambodia. Not exactly your most gringo friendly destination. During our time there it was clear he wasn’t afraid to delve into the unique history of the country or eat new and unknown food. Also, I am very proud to welcome a certified nurse into the family. Dustin has worked hard and the two of them have formed new schedules in order for him to complete his residency, mostly through night shifts and working holidays. Because of this devotion, I know Ali and Dustin will continue the kind of love and devotion that I will always carry for Ali. Indeed, “A sister is love you never outgrow!” Please raise your glasses and give a cheer to Becoming a Timmitchell.