Friday, December 13, 2013

Exceeding Our Reach

I never, never thought I'd be facing my 30 year anniversary alone. Jay and I had talked about how we wanted to celebrate; after all this was a big one. We thought we could renew our vows, maybe go to Hawaii, try to get the kids on board for a family trip... but all plans came to a halt when our daughter Danielle's boyfriend Adam hit us with a big surprise. He sat across from us over sushi one night almost a year ago and I'll never forget the words he spoke; "I love your daughter and I want to spend the rest of my life with her".

My face immediately dropped into my hands as uncontrollable [happy] tears flowed from my eyes, and Jay just sat silent. I wasn't sure what he was thinking, nor did I care much since I was too busy dialing Adams mom so we could scream together with excitement over the phone. When things calmed down--meaning when I calmed down--we began to discuss what the next few days would look like as Adam laid out his plans for the proposal and the future he envisioned with our "little girl".

On our way home that night--after saying goodbye to our future son in law, Jay played the song What a Wonderful World [this was the song chosen by Danielle since Jr. High to be hers and his dance at her wedding], and suddenly this poised and well reserved daddy came crashing down. He cried the whole way home. Jay had always been kind of shotgun father who never fully trusted anyone to be good enough for his daughters, but Adam got to him. As much as he didn't want to see his little girl grow up, he knew Adam was "the one" and suddenly our focus gladly went from planning our 30 year anniversary to planning a wedding instead.

But now here we are, and so much has changed since that night and I find myself marking 30 years of mine and Jay's marriage without him by my side. It's hard, and inside I'm sad, but what a legacy we've left for our children. Danielle and Adam are standing at the threshold of the marriage journey and it won't be long before the rest of my kids are there as well. Together me and Jay have shown them that marriage has a bigger purpose than what could ever possibly be known without the power of the Holy Spirit. We taught them that faith is necessary on this journey, and that hope is given to those who trust Him.  We showed them that marriage is sacred and that if they entrust it to God, He will use it to teach them the ways of agape love. They saw two souls-their parents- who knew how to fight a good fight for their faith and for each other, and a God who was and is and always will be faithful and true. This is the legacy that we as man and wife, mother and father, leave to our children, and I think it's a great way to celebrate 30 years.

A quote from Robert Browning, a well known poet says, "Ah but that a man's grasp should exceed his reach or what's heaven for". I just want to say, "Thank you Jay for taking my hand and reaching with me. We exceeded our reach and God smiled on us. I'd do it all over again, and yet we don't have too. I can't wait to see you again my precious love".

A gift from my son Ryan. God is good... :)