Michael Jackson, Staff Writer

Weddings are always a huge ordeal and for good reason. From the planning of the largest details like choice of venue to the smallest details like how the bridesmaids and groomsmen should be angled during the ceremony. As a groomsman at my older sister’s wedding this past weekend I experienced the ins and outs of being not only a witness to an amazing union but also being directed as though cast in the next blockbuster film. Yet throughout the whole experience, I held the sentiment that no amount of planning in the world could account for every detail or possibility, especially the love between my sister and her husband. And as the weekend progressed from flights to rehearsal, from dinner to the morning of, and finally to the wedding itself, I could not help but reflect on how amazing my sister really is and how she has influenced my life.

My older sister Maureen has always been brilliant and caring. I distinctly remember her walking with me to school many days when she was a senior in high school and I was in seventh grade. Then she graduated and went off to become a fantastic math student at Lafayette College, even writing her thesis on “Set: The Family Game of Visual Perception.” That game is positively strange, and only my sister could have loved it enough to write a thesis about it. She then spent two difficult years in a Teach for America school in Connecticut without much support, and she was the veteran teacher after the first year because the others quit. She even stayed at the school past her required service period and influenced the lives of many students with her unique math teaching style. Later, she picked up the nickname “Fraction Jackson” because of her teaching style and individual care for her students, as well as her obvious love of fractions. Perhaps the best times I shared with her were before she met the luckiest guy in the world: Jon. There was of course the time I bit her when I was three, but we will not talk about that. I like to think of fonder memories like bowling together and watching “The Interpreter” when I was in Hartford for the women’s Big East basketball tournament a few years ago. And perhaps the most amazing time was hoisting her up on my shoulders after beating Utah in 2010 at Notre Dame Stadium. It was cold, rainy, and I loved every second of being with my older sister!
When 1 p.m. came on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at Christ Presbyterian Church in New Haven, Connecticut, my older sister could not have been happier! She was smiling, laughing and winking her way down the aisle toward the luckiest, let me emphasize luckiest again, man in the world. When asked if she would love and cherish this man, she responded with such a resounding “I WILL!” that everyone was taken aback (she basically screamed it), and this was before they had even made their vows. They say that girls dream of their wedding day from day one, but I think this was better than any dream. I exchanged subtle winks with my sister during the wedding and a simple look of “You got this girl!” Did she ever have it, all of it, and all of us were captivated with her beauty and conviction. Ladies and gentlemen, some think that in choosing marriage one loses freedom and independence, but I dare to say that on that day, my sister (and her husband Jon, of course) showed us that in their love for each other their freedom was not hindered but enhanced, and thus, fully human.

When she first graduated from college and started going to her friends’ weddings, she joked that everyone was getting married. Then she joked that everyone was “really” getting married after younger friends of hers began walking down the aisle. God Bless you Maureen because NOW, everyone is “really, really getting married.” Love your brother, Michael.

You can put it on the booooard, YES! Contact Michael at mjackso7@nd.edu.