This past weekend, I traveled home to Pittsburgh to be the best man for my brothers wedding. I will probably post more later this week, but below is a copy of the speech I gave for him. I love you Mike and Mel, and wish you all the happiness in the world. Congratulations again.
Good evening everyone. For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Josh Kearns, aka “the Little Guy” or Mike’s baby brother. First off, let me say how blessed we all are to be celebrating this most joyous day with Mike, and my new sister, Mel. Today is a day that has taken a lot of planning, and to have so many people travel in from all over is quite an amazing feat. There is no better way to show them how much they mean to us than being here on their special day. So for that, I say thank you all for journeying in to share in their wonderful day.
Some of my first memories are with Mike. We shared a room together for the first 12 years of my life. That room saw it all, from pillow fights, with the occasional stuffed animal thrown, maybe a medal, or even a trophy once in a while… To the night’s when the green lights of the PlayStation would stay on all night because we couldn’t get to a save point in a game. Those were all really great years that helped to form the brotherly bond that continues to grow through this day.
Everyone knows Mike to be a Jeep guy, but in high school, Mike would drive us to and from each day in the green Lumina. He took a piece of balsa wood from Mr. Hutzel’s class and taped a masking tape ball on one end to make the head for a stick shift. I still remember barreling down the back roads, playing country, rap, or a combination of the two. And as my fellow bridal party can back me up, it wasn’t any different in the limo. Those were some fun drives, even if we never beat Julie and Robs fastest 7 minute flat time. As most people know, Michael oft his first jeep for graduation, but like his dog Duke, I feel like a few key goals in hockey helped solidify him getting his first Wrangler.
Those were fun years. Fishing together, playing hockey in the basement with Rob or Alex stepping in for goalie, football in the front yard… I mean back yard. Yeah, Pops, I said back yard. We never played in the precious front yard! Except, well, maybe that one tree incident, but moving on…
Through all of this and more, much, much more, Mike’s best friends have stood beside him. So much so, that when Mike, Sean and Bergy all decided to go to IUP together, it seemed like the perfect fit.
My first experience at IUP was at the Pi Beta Chi house. We won’t go into details, but suffice to say just like everywhere else in his life, Mike was surrounding himself with good people, and having good fun doing so. Sometimes too much fun, but always a good time.
But something, no, someone was missing. And soon after my first visit to IUP, I got to meet Mel. Though on first glance she may seem shy and timid, I let you know here that she is anything but. Mel has a smile to light up a room, rivaled only be her now husband, especially on the ice. Once Mel and I get to talking, she opens up and lets everything out. As her father, Mr. Dodd mentioned last night, Mel has “the look” and you don’t want to be on the receiving end of that. I’ve seen her impatient, but even then it is just subtlety in her eyes, and rarely does she make a big fuss. Which is good, because I’m sure any woman with a Kearns man has to have a deep, deep, deep reservoir of patience to put up with us. Just ask any of them, they’re happy to share horror stories of “Josh does this…” “Well Rob did that…” “Michael is exactly the same!” “At least you didn’t have to live with them growing up!” “Ladies, you haven’t dealt with the worst until you deal with Bob Kearns… ‘I want Bobby to make my Pizza!'” Love you girls!
Through everything, Since day one, Mel has been extremely supportive of Mike. She’s lived in several different states to be with Mike, and has stuck by his side through it all. Marriage is about finding your soul mate, your best friend, the person that completes you. Mel, I truly hope Michael is that person for you, but I can tell you, without a doubt, that you are exactly that woman for him. You have helped to bring out the best in my brother, and I can truly say that he will love you until the day he dies. There is no person in this world that he cares about as much as he cares about you. And for that, I thank you. For taking care of him, for loving him, for supporting him, for being his everything, and for truly accepting Michael for who he really is. I hope that one day, I am lucky enough to have what the two of you share day in and day out with each other.
Michael, you need to continue to take care of Mel now, not just as your girlfriend or fiancée, but as your wife. Not just as a friend, but your best friend. You may not know, but you, Pops and Robbie are blazing the path for me as a Kearns man. Growing up, I have always looked up to you. You played hockey, so I wanted to play hockey. You fished, I fished. You wanted a Jeep, I wanted a Lamborghini. Little different, but they’re both standards! You have helped guide me through many of life’s problems, and I have looked to you for strength in times of need.
That is why it is not only a pleasure, but truly an honor, to not only call you my brother, but to honestly call you a friend, and an amazing one at that. I am happy that you found Mel, and I look forward to the years to come in celebrating your lives together.
So without further adieu, will everyone please raise their glasses for my brother and new sister. To Mike and Mel. May your new life together continue to bring the best out of both of you, and may you enjoy a long, happy and love filled life together.
– Joshua Kearns, June 15th, 2013.