I have known Renee for as long as i’ve known my own mother. Maybe longer.

She grew up in a goofy family. Poor Renee was the subject at the end of punchlines as she was in birth order. Her sisters were already 4 and 6 years older (and more wiser to the ways of the world) than she. As she grew up though, I don’t know how it happened, at some point I realized that she was schooling all of us. She was shy, but often I thought she knew more of what was happening around us than anyone else did. I wonder if she was that way because her older sisters were always loud and obnoxious most of the time and she saw how that always made us look like idiots, and she learned from it.

Renee has a tender heart–a better writer would find a way to string together examples of all the important lessons she taught me, but me not good writer. She was, and is, the rock among us. She’s the sister on the stagecoach holding the reigns, and me and april are the stumbling horses. She’d call us out when we were being inappropriate, or rude, or just plain embarrassing. And in turn, when I least expected it, like waiting in line at the grocery store on thanksgiving morning, or on the way home from a draining day of driving somewhere, she’ll ever so quickly come up with a humorous quip that’ll send the whole car into hysterics.

She’s smarter than all of us. She was the first to get her degree even though she’s the youngest, and she always made April and I look bad when it was report card day. Worst of all she had to deal with having the same teachers that her older sisters had in school but surprised them all by being a more respectable and better person than we could ever be.

This might sound weird, but sometimes I would sit and wondering what kind of guy would be perfect for Renee. I felt protective of her, and I wanted to be the person to find someone for her, because I knew that this guy had to have specific things about him in order to live up to her standards and I couldn’t trust anyone else’s choices.

I wondered would she want to be with someone equally as goofy as the family she grew up with? or would she finally seek a normal life by marrying someone sane?

Tuna is, as I get to know him more and more, someone who I was relieved to find fits both those rare requirements in the best sense. He has a solid foundation, and a focused mind, but has that universal sense of curiosity about the world that keeps him young. It was during a historic game of Scattegories on Christmas this past year that i’ve discovered that Tuna is beyond what I could have imagined for Renee. His wit is as deadly as hers, and once you combine that…it’s a force of nature. All board games will have to be strategized beforehand from now on. He gives her the perfect balance of nature that she needs and deserves in a life.

So far, he’s been able to handle every weird thing that’s come his way, as far as the Heeringa’s are concerned, which is pretty impressive. We’ll have to see how well he does on the dance floor later tonight.

 

*Written for my sister’s wedding on 4 June 2016.

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