My mom is getting re-married in February.
The end of January into February will be a rush – from a golden birthday bash, into a weekend in Vegas with my new sistahs (we’ll get into that), straight into the wedding weekend full of everything wedding, including a big brunch at my house on the wedding day.
But I’m stopping to breathe, think and write about it – my catharsis.
I found out a few months ago, so I’ve had some time to really process. I’ve processed day and night, in tears and in smiles, with friends and in solace.
Y’all know I don’t sugarcoat these things. I haven’t sugarcoated my year and the difficulties I’ve gone through while losing my dad. So I’m not going to sugarcoat this. It took me a while to understand. It took some words of wisdom from wise people, some prayer and a lot of love.
A few thoughts from the small-minded, selfish head of mine:
Why so soon? What’s the rush? What does this mean for me? Who are these new people who will be my family? How am I expected to interact with them? How long will it take until everything feels comfortable and normal? Will it ever feel comfortable and normal? Am I disrespecting my dad? How can I move on? How am I the only one who seems to still be grieving? Why can’t I move on?
But, here are a few things I’ve learned over the last few months (again, thanks to wise people, prayer and a lot of love):
Life is short. We’re meant to love. We’re not just meant to love only once in our life, but potentially more. We just have to open ourselves up to it. Why would I ever stop love and happiness in the life of one of the people I care about the most?
God knows what he’s doing. He purposefully puts people in our lives for very specific reasons. God cares for my mother and know what she needs at this time. Who am I to say that God’s timing is incorrect?
Everyone grieves differently. This one has been such a hard lesson for me to learn. If I’m still crying and upset, I don’t understand why you’re not. If I don’t see or hear you talk about it, I think you don’t care abut it. Not everyone shares their feelings publicly like I do, so I can’t then assume they don’t have feelings.
But, here’s the best news of all – my mom’s fiance and his family are the best possible people I could ever ask for to become family. Seriously. I’m not exaggerating. If I didn’t believe that, I just wouldn’t say anything about them at all. I consider myself beyond lucky – I now have 4 incredible families I get to call mine: the wonderful Appletons, who I spent the majority of my holidays with growing up and will always love dearly; the beautiful McLaughlin/Woodwards, who I’m enjoying getting to know more and more in my adult years; the fabulous Aldermans, who have openly embraced me into their family; and now the Nelsons …
Not only do I now have another great male figure in my life, who is an amazing man of God and gives terrific advice and sermons, I now have sisters – as an only child, something I only DREAMED about when I was young, but knew it could never possibly happen. I’m reminded of the Bible story of Sarah giving birth to Isaac at age 90 – when she heard this was to happen in a year, she laughed because she thought it was impossible, but the Lord said, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
So here we are, almost a month from the wedding. Our families have integrated seamlessly. We’ve had Thanksgiving together and Christmas together. We’ve gone pole dancing together and had incessant group texts together… AND we’re going to Vegas together the weekend before the wedding to celebrate (“the sistahs” – me, mom and the two sisters E + K).
As husband said as we left Christmas dinner, “If you were going to add to your family, these would be the people.”
Thank you, Lord, for providing love and happiness for my mom. Thank you for providing sisters (and their amazing families) who are thrilled to be part of mine and husband’s new life stages (babies… soon! disclaimer: not currently pregnant) to share their advice, hand-me-downs and endless love.
But most importantly, thank you, Lord, for helping me through this constantly changing thing called life.
I love you. Do you know how much I love you, day in and day out?
On our last anniversary, we spent an evening at dinner discussing what the next year would hold for us. It was such an exciting, joyous thing to dream about the future.
Well, the future came, and it wasn’t quite what we expected, in good ways and in bad. We bought a house. We lost a parent. We got promotions. We dealt with an illness of a close friend.
We couldn’t anticipate what the next year held, but I could anticipate one thing. There’s no one else I would rather go through any of it with than you.
That’s what makes a marriage. Not just enjoying the good times, loving each other and laughing with each other. But holding each other in the hurt and pain. Reassuring each other. Listening to each other. Praying for each other. Not necessarily understanding each other, but being there no matter what.
I watch our wedding video below, for surely the thousandth time, and I can remember our day so well. What I remember most is not how perfect the day was, but how excited I was to bind myself to you for life. To start our life together.
Well, we’re three years in, love, and I think we’re doing just fine.
Always and forever,