First, I want to say that I am honored that my niece, Aleksandra, ask me to represent her father, my brother, here today.
My brother Tim died almost 2 years ago in November from something the doctors called Mantle Cell Lymphoma (they were never sure), but those that knew him well think that it might have been from a broken heart. Our mother Zelma, with whom he was very close had died a few years before and his best friend, our sister Jennifer, had passed away 6 months earlier.
For most of his life Tim was an outwardly happy person with lots of friends and interests. We grew up in the Los Angeles suburb of Monterey Park. Later Tim attended Washington State University where he was the manager of the school football team. From there he moved to Seattle where he lived for most of his years as an adult. During his life he held a variety of interesting jobs, from United Airlines Cabin Attendant to pizza store owner and even as a CPA tax accountant. Through it all, he always had a “I’ll do it my way” attitude.
For the last 10 years of his life he moved to San Diego, where our sister lived and where our mother had gone after our father died. In his later years Tim seemed to shut down and withdraw from old friends and activity. No one was ever sure why.
One thing that was always a bright spot for Tim was his daughter Sasha. For years every conversation with him would somehow be turned into something about her. It was the great lament of his life that she grew up so far from him.
When she was very young, he worked hard to build and maintain a relationship with her across the miles. As she got older, he arranged to bring her out to the west coast to develop connections with the rest of our family in California. Our mother had an especially close relationship with her.
As Sasha grew older, she herself initiated many of her own visits. She came to San Diego to attend significant birthdays and family events. She traveled to Michigan, sometimes with her father, to meet her Grandmother Mallon’s family there. She also visited me and her cousin Tim in Boulder, Colorado. Additionally, she, and for a while now with Alex, has gone up to Massachusetts to spend holidays and vacations with her cousins, my daughter Kerry’s family. In short, Sasha has put a great deal of effort into being an active and integrated member of the extended Mallon family. I sometimes think she has a better grasp on who is related to whom and how in the family than I do.
Now back to the present.
Welcome Alex to the Family Clan, as in marriage, “For Better or for Worse”. Having gotten to know you, I’m delighted to have you on board.
You have shared with me that you told Tim, even before you had said it to her, that you loved Sasha, and that he gave his blessing for your marriage.
I am confident in sharing with all here, that this would have been the second happiest day of my brother Tim’s life.
The happiest day was the day that his daughter, Aleksandra, was born.