In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I’d Like to Thank My Cats.”
The podium is only a few feet away, but it seems like a mile. The notes I had so carefully prepared hanging limply between fingers that only hope to remember to speak every line, mention every situation and person captured. Why wouldn’t they let me tape something ahead of time and skip ahead to some other part of this ceremony? Now I recall, they told me it would be uncomfortable for others thinking that I had considered my words for so long.
Unfolding the page, the first line says “Say something funny!” Is that really appropriate? I had a professor who once told us that doing that was more about the speaker’s level of comfort than the audience’s. Oh hell, just do what the page says. Who is going to care at this point!
“Thank you for coming today. It means a great deal to my family that you would attend this celebration. As you can see from the gathered faces, people are wondering what it is that I could say at this point. One or two people are relieved that they are not the one up here delivering this speech. But let’s get to the thanking of people…
“My parents deserve plenty of credit. Without them I quite frankly wouldn’t be here. They raised me to believe that anything was possible. Hard work, determination, and possibly a bit of luck would get things done. My cuts were bandaged, my talents were nurtured, and most importantly they offered me support even at times when they were not sure they could. Times when they needed to voice a different opinion, needed to have a different outcome; they just offered support.
“The rest of my family, you’re a mixed bag. Some are here because they truly care, but some are here for the free food and to see how they might benefit from this. Good luck with that!
“I’ve been lucky to have some wonderful friends in my life. They’ve taken good care of me over the years, sometimes making huge sacrifices in order to do so. Sitting around listening to your ideas, your concerns, just listening to how you are has made me a better person. Sometimes I incorporated your theories into my work without you even knowing how much you further a project. So consider this your citation!
“To my mutt, Wooglin. Can you possibly learn to sleep through the night? I know your world has changed, but seriously I’m not wanting to go outside at 3 a.m.
“After all of the pomp and circumstance is over, let’s go sit around and have a drink. Say a few things about life, love, the meaning of anything, everything. There’s tea and Coke Zero sitting in the reception area, a wide selection of my favorite unhealthy foods waiting to send you into a diabetic coma. Please make sure to eat what you want. As you can see, all of my running and somewhat healthy eating didn’t change a thing!
“Time for us to go play, Bug! Daddy wants to play…”
My father’s cheeks are now covered in tears as he folds up the pages and puts them back into his suit jacket. Walking down the steps towards my mother, he stops and places a hand on the urn, smiles for a second knowing that I hated all of this, but agreed to it anyway.
I hate speeches!!!