For those of you who don’t know me, I am the least crazy of the Schmansky sisters, and Danielle’s older sister, Shannon. I feel so honored to be a part of Nick and Danielle’s special day.
Things have never come easy for Danielle, even though she makes it look effortless. Just look at her sitting over there looking absolutely stunning – she woke like that!
But there is so much more to Danielle then her obvious beauty. She is the most caring and thoughtful girl I know. I have always admired her compassion for others, even at her own expense.
When Danielle first left the home we grew up in, like most of us, she was broke. Well, not completely broke, she had about $5. We sat down and created a plan. Discussed where she would work, what time she would get up to go to school, you know, grown up stuff. Real world, make a plan, see your future, straighten your life out and succeed type of talk.
It felt good to get through to her. I could tell she was getting it you know? I imagined her last $5 going to buy a dozen ramen noodles for the week or something logical.
She returned an hour later with a small box, and inside the box? A duck. Yes, a duck…the kind that quacks – a lot. Needless to say, I was flummoxed. No money left to buy a cage for the duck, no food for the duck, just this little duck, quacking away in a cardboard box. I can’t even remember what she named the stinky duck – but it lived in the back seat of her car, in a cardboard box for a month or so.
It took me a while to understand why she would spend her last dollar on a duck, and from time to time I would think about the irrationality of it all. But one day I realized that that was the core of who she was – this incredibly selfless, spontaneous girl who put her own needs aside to buy something to love and care for.
Luckily, she doesn’t need a duck in her backseat to love and care for more anymore, she has Nick – a man who gives her just as much love as she gives him. A man that puts my sister’s needs before his own, and Nick, I want to thank you for that. I want to thank you for putting up with my sister – and making her feel loved, and a little saner than I have ever seen her.
The other good news is, I got you two lovebirds a duck for your wedding gift. It’s sitting in a cardboard box in the back seat of your car, for old times’ sake. Just joking. Now please raise your glass with me in a toast to the newly weds Nick and Danielle. May you have plenty of ducks on your farm one day and live happily ever after. I love you both.