Sally’s Toast

I am Sally Donnelly – mother of Bridgit – proud mother! Mother is a word I use to describe my identity. A word I began using on October 17, 1988 when Bridgit arrived a little after midnight in Charlottesville. She arrived just 1 week after losing my father to a heart attack and I was thinking this week how my dad’s identity never got to include the word Grandfather. Yet, his outgoing personality and his risk-taking as a businessman in his career, clearly lives on in his granddaughter, Bridgit. So first, I’d like to remember him and all our loved ones who have passed already and are only here today in spirit.

Identity is a theme of mine as a Reading teacher. I have my students make identity webs and add words to describe their family, traditions, interests, educations, character traits and physical features. Then I match books to kids so they can see themselves in a book. It is important to know our identity.

I am realizing how I get to update my own identity web this weekend. I’ve been a mother of two daughters. And NOW I get to add son! Bridgit and Charlie – you get to add wife/husband/partners. Anne can add brother. Nana can add grandson. Others here can add nephew, niece, cousin, new friend.

As Bridgit and Charlie commit themselves to each other in our presence, I am grateful we can all be here together. Let’s raise a glass and commit today to being the best of our identity – partner, father, mother, husband, wife, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, grandpaprent, friend. AND thank you Bridgit and Charlie, my daughter and son, for bringing us together for this transformative weekend. I love you both.

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