Saturday, May 03, 2014

Happy birthday Brian

Jilda and I went to our friend Brian's birthday party tonight. His birthday was a few months back but his party had to be rescheduled due to bad weather. I'm guessing there were 40 people there and we had a huge time with our friends, and as always we made new friends.
His wife Mary had asked me to do the toast. I'd actually never done a toast before, but I was honored and flattered she asked.
I started it off with some humor, but my toast took on a more serious tone.
Brian is a remarkable guy. He's no stranger to hard times. Mary is his second wife. His first wife died of cancer and a short time later, his young son died of cancer too. I have no point of reference for that kind of loss, but he stuck with his wife until the end.
Several years ago he met our good friend Mary and eventually they were married. Before their fifth anniversary, she too was diagnosed with cancer. 
Mary is a survivor and Brian stayed by her side. He has a gentle strength that one might miss if they'd only met him in passing. But my friend is a rock.
That's the message I tried to get across in the toast. I ended it with the old standby:
Let's raise our glasses and drink to Brian's coffin. May it be built from a hundred year-old oak that we plant tomorrow.  
Happy Birthday Brian.


  1. I'm glad that he has so many good friends to celebrate life with him. I love how you ended your speech; what a perfect wish for a good friend.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful man and a good person to have as a friend! Happy Birthday, Brian!


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