This is the speech and song dedication I did at my birthday party. I think Sue would have loved it!
I want to thank Frank and Kate, for putting the party together, and Uncle Pete, for being our DJ. I love you guys and this is the coolest party!
I also want to thank you all so much for being here. As you all know, this has been a really hard year for me, and for my family. Life without my sister Sue has been so much harder than I ever imagined, and I've struggled with how to celebrate my birthday with it being the one year anniversary of losing her. I didn't know if I even should celebrate. But I know my sister, and know that she would be pissed if I didn't find a way to have fun on my 40th birthday. So we are going to party!
But first I want to tell you a Sue story. When I was 14 and Sue was 22 we decided, just for fun and to be “cool”, to make up a synchronized dance to a super hot song at the time, Paradise City, by Guns and Roses. As I recall, we spent probably a few weeks perfecting our routine in her bedroom at my dad's house.
A few months later we found ourselves at our mother's wedding. We were out on the dance floor, having a good time, when the first few notes of Paradise City rang out. We made eye contact with each other. We each gave a knowing nod. And that's all it took for us both to know what to do. Without any real forethought or effort, we were performing our routine just as we had so many nights in her bedroom.
As it often happens in these situations, there began to open up a circle of onlookers. We hadn't really prepared for this, as we had never actually imagined performing our dance in public.
We had no time to really feel self-conscious, though, because we were concentrating so much on our “moves”.
As soon as the song was over, we triumphantly strutted our awesome selves off the dance floor. Someone stopped us and said, “That was the cutest thing I've ever seen! I'm so glad we got it all on video! Hilarious!”
It suddenly dawned on us that everybody had been watching us. Somebody had videotaped us. The dance had not been meant for the public. What had we done!?!?!?!
We quickly made it our mission to never let anyone ever see that video, ever.
I spent the next five years hiding the video and then re-hiding it every time my mom would say, “what's my wedding video doing under this pile of old towels in the back of the closet?” I have no idea what became of the video. It may still be out there somewhere.
If I could remember the moves to the dance, I would surely teach you them tonight. But, sadly, I can only remember that we would go, 'take me down” (squat down) to paradise city, where the grass is green (hands out) and the girls are pretty, (point to self). I'm pretty sure there was also a lot of head-banging and air guitar involved.
So tonight, in loving memory of Sue, my super cool sister, my weird dance partner, and the one who would come up with these 'great ideas' that I would always later regret,, I would like to play Paradise City. I would love it if you would join me, and dance like you're a dorky 14 year old, or a dorky 22 year old who really should know better! I promise nobody will videotape you!