My parents were married for 16 years and I believe they gave it their best, but despite their efforts they couldn't make it work. I was 11 or 12 (I can't remember which) when their divorce was final, and to say it was a hard time for all of us would be an understatement. But the years passed, and as is the case in most painful situations, we all found our own ways of healing. However, I realized once I was grown and happily married to the amazing man I'm blessed to call my husband, that my mom had never truly been happy. You see, when you're happy within your marriage something beautiful takes place; you bloom. You become more complete and therefore able to grow. It was the worst 2 years ago. Her burdens had gotten so heavy she couldn't carry them anymore and the woman I'm so blessed to call mom was long gone and someone I no longer recognized stood in her place.
Then came Bill.
I met him thinking he was just another bad choice. I remember making my disapproval of their relationship well known to my mother and keeping a good distance from him for as long as I could. Then 6 months rolled around and he was still there. I started allowing Felicity around him and she immediately became attached, which scared me because what was I going to tell her when the man she so adored was nowhere to be found? Little did I know that was something I'd never be burdened with. I got pregnant with Malakhi not long after that and Bill was genuinely excited for our sweet little family and even checked in to see how I was feeling once or twice a week. We got closer during that time so I started paying closer attention and what I found made my heart feel like it had wings. He loved my mother. He joked with her, he served her, he helped her when she needed him, and let her handle things alone when she didn't. It's a beautiful thing, love. It has a way of taking something broken and making it beautiful again. Little by little I watched my mom bloom and it's easily one of the most beautiful things I've seen in my short 30 years here on this earth. Then it got better. Last Easter I stood witness as the man I'd grown to love as one of my own family members asked my mom to marry him. She said yes, of course, and what greater day than Easter; the day of new beginnings?
A month ago I watched as they stood in front of their family, friends, and most importantly, the Lord, and vowed to love each other forever. My heart was full as I watched the broken roads they had walked alone become one blessed journey they'll take together. I had too many emotions to count that day, but what stands out in my mind the most is gratefulness. I'm so incredibly grateful for this soft-spirited, funny, kind-hearted, caring man God brought into our lives and the way he loves my mom so completely. But most of all I'm grateful to have my mom back. I'm grateful that her smiles are no longer forced and that she has someone to help her carry the load of life when it gets too heavy.
Life without you is simply unfathomable. I look forward to spending our remaining holidays, birthdays, and family dinners sitting across from you making fun of that crazy woman you married and forcing you to stop eating just to feed my kiddos. You're an amazing grandfather and even though I'm grown, I couldn't ask for a better stepfather. We love you so much man. You're truly a part of the family and I value you more than you'll ever know.
I'm so glad you found your happily ever after. If anyone deserves it, it's you. I'm so glad you let me mercilessly mock you whenever I deem fit. Thanks for folding my laundry when I don't want to and bringing me coffee when I've been up half the night. Thanks for loving my husband like he's your own son and loving my littles as much as you love me. Thanks for your unconditional love and support. Seeing you happy fills a part of my soul I never thought would be complete.
"And though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great" - Job 8:7