We’ve had the party – and eaten the cake. I have posted some photos and a copy of the speech I made on behalf of all the parents.
Andrew McCann – the name first hit my radar about a year ago.
My husband, Andrew and I had noticed Phoebe was happy, very happy. She had good friends and good fellowship. She was a Hype leader, a regular attendee of fam. dinner and was enjoying uni. She had finally settled down after her overseas exchange. There was no evidence of a boy friend but, I have to admit, I had begun to suspect there was more to her mood than simply good Christian fellowship.
Last June, Phoebe spent a week house sitting with Courtney. We missed her, terribly but had begun to brace ourselves for the inevitable – one day Phoebe would leave home.
But I must say things have happened quicker than even we could have imagined.
Phoebe and I were enjoying our morning coffee, chatting over our plans for the day, when I first heard the name Andrew McCann. Phoebe had some small errands to perform, she said. Then she was going to have lunch with Andrew.
‘Oh,’ I said. ‘Andrew who?’
Phoebe had this little smile playing about her mouth, seeing straight into my trying-not-to- appear-too-curious mind, knowing she was about to deliver a bombshell.
‘Andrew McCann, she said. ‘You know his parents. They go to Crossway.’
Well, I knew exactly who she was talking about. Peter and Cathy always sat on the left hand side, just in front of us when we went to Crossway. Cathy always helped at the Vermont Secondary College text book sales. Peter was on school council. Bec was Amy Comben’s friend. Dave used to be Seth’s Kids Church leader. Oh yes, I knew exactly who she was talking about. But unfortunately, I didn’t knew anything about Andrew McCann.’
‘Is this just a friendship,’ I asked. ‘Or something more?’
‘A bit more,’ Phoebe said, a little smile skipping across her face.
Well this was news! I was having trouble balancing my coffee. For some reason my hand was shaking.
‘What’s he studying?’ I asked, aiming for nonchalance.
‘He’s not studying, he’s working.’
‘Oh,’ I put the cup down. How old is he, then?
‘Twenty seven,’ Phoebe said, he smile breaking into a grin.
I kept my composure (until Phoebe left for lunch) then I raced out to the studio where my husband Andrew was working. ‘Phoebe’s got a boy friend,’ I said. ‘His name’s Andrew McCann, you know Peter and Cathy McCann’s son, he’s twenty seven, working, place in St Kilda – he’s got his own dog and everything.
Now I must say up front, neither Andrew nor I were worried about Andrews’s age. But its implication was not lost on us either. This was a young man from a loving family whose faith and values would match Phoebe’s, someone who would believe in marriage, someone whose younger brother and sister were, in fact, already married.
This could get serious pretty quickly.
We weren’t at all worried about a small age difference. But I did wonder how I would relate to Andrew. I mean, I work with people who are twenty seven, they are my peers, my colleagues – this wasn’t a boyfriend, Phoebe had got herself – it was a man.
She might be old enough – but I wasn’t sure if I was.
Of course, I needn’t have worried. My first thought, on meeting Andrew, was: Oh, it’s fine, he’s just like one of my sons.
From the first, Andrew felt like a good fit in our family.
This is a sentiment Peter and Cathy have both echoed. When Cathy and I were talking on the phone last week, in preparation for tonight’s party Cathy said, she felt like Phoebe had completed their family. When I chatted to Peter about the speeches, I asked if there was anything in particular he wanted me to say on their behalf, he said, only that we’re delighted – absolutely thrilled.
I think that is the main thing we want to say tonight.
We are thrilled.
In Andrew, Phoebe has found a man who is honest, sensitive and kind, someone who will walk beside her on life’s journey. In Phoebe, Andrew has a young woman who is caring, compassionate and true. They will seek God together. Take their place as a couple in the life of the church and in the wider community.
Andrew, Peter and Cathy and I, are immensely proud of them. Of the choice they have made in each other, their belief that marriage is the framework in which they want to make that commitment, and that their relationship is part of their wider faith journey.
It is everything we would have wished for them.
I would therefore like to conclude this speech, by inviting Peter McCann, Andrew’s father to lead us in prayer. On our behalf, Peter will thank God for bringing Andrew and Phoebe together, and seek God’s continued blessing for their engagement and their marriage.