Category Archives: My Story

This is the story of when I fell in love for the very first time. Unfortunately, it didn’t end with “happily ever after”.

The Plans

photoFor someone who loves to makes lists and thrives on perfectionism (which I know now, is not a good thing), planning a wedding is a dream. All the details… the more, the merrier. It was not stressful, only pure fun. (To start at the beginning of this story go here.)

Just like most girls, I had dreamed of getting married for a long time. Because I was in my late twenties, I had attended more than my fair share of weddings, so I knew EXACTLY how I wanted things to go. I bought a planning notebook and started clipping pictures and ideas to include. Even thinking about it now excites me. Maybe I missed my calling.

One of the decisions I thought would be the most difficult ended up being the easiest – the dress. I went dress shopping with my sister one afternoon. I was only going to look and get ideas, but the first dress I put on I knew it was “the one”. Sure, I tried on several more just to make sure, but there wasn’t one that could match how I felt in the first dress. It was literally made for me AND it was on sale. A perfect combination. I said “yes to the dress”.

There’s something different about seeing yourself in a wedding dress that doesn’t compare to any other clothing purchase. It’s like some kind of clothing magic. It has the power to make you feel beautiful and princess-like. It really was a magical moment and I was so glad my sister was with me.

Looking back, I’m not sure why I didn’t wait and take my mom with us.  I really wish she could have shared in that moment, but I honestly didn’t think I would find a dress that day. I really was just going to look.

But one look was all it took and I walked out of that store carrying the dress I would walk down the aisle in. First big decision done and all the rest would fall in line. A few months later I had everything in place. Our day would be unique and special…a perfect way to begin a new life with the one I loved.

In hindsight, I guess I was naive. I had no idea what marriage really meant. How difficult it could be or how it could shape a personality of its own. I’m glad I didn’t know. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.

Grieving

eyeThis post is a continuation of my story. It’s a fairy tale… with a twist.

Saying “yes” to the proposal was a rush. A very good one. To get caught up go here…and then read “up”. Or just start here . Either way, thanks for stopping by. In all my “My Story” posts, names have been changed for privacy; hence, the *.

Unfortunately, *Justin’s dad passed away. Because we had been dating for years and I truly adored his dad, losing his dad was devastating.

I was not “officially” part of the family, so I was not included in some of the family gatherings. I completely understood, and still do, but it left me to grieve alone. And because he wasn’t officially my father-in-law, I could not take off work. My assistant, at the time, was so gracious. She would step in to teach, when I couldn’t. She gave me space and permission to cry. She was my rock. My safe place to land each day. Looking back on that time, I know she was God’s grace to me. A “for such a time as this” person.

Of course, all wedding planning was on hold. My mind could not even consider planning something so joyous in the midst of all the sadness. Grieving needed to happen. And it did. Lots of it. Mostly in the shadows of the night where only God knew the depths of grief. But again, his Grace was sufficient and His presence evident. I knew I was not alone.

During the months that followed, I watched a grieving family cling to each other. To support and love each other in ways that had not happened before. Grief and loss does that.  It burns away all the things that don’t matter and leaves behind what does. Family.

And this family would soon be mine, as well.

Fairy Tales?

Cinderella_PhotoSo after all the adventure… the biggest one was yet to come. (To catch up go here. The newer posts are first so you have to go to the end and read up.)

I was at Justin’s house when he got a call. One of those calls you NEVER want to get. His dad had been in an accident and was being flown via LifeFlight to the hospital. Everything stopped. Life as he knew it would never be the same. One moment. Something you cannot predict.

It was a long stay. Very emotional. Lots of ups and downs both physically and emotionally. Family and friends visited. Tears, prayers, and hugs were standard.

The night we had planned to stay overnight at the hospital, Justin asked me if I wanted to get dinner before going. We were going to celebrate Valentine’s Day early. He picked me up and we did eat dinner. Afterwards though, he took me to the Transco Tower fountain. It was a place we had visited often. It’s where we shared the deepest parts of our lives. The good and the bad. All of it. He took his guitar out and started singing. We had done this many times so it was not unusual.

I remember the weather being perfect. I felt relaxed for the first time since the accident. I was with the one I adored and he was singing. All was right in my world.

Then he said he had written a song for me. I was so flattered. No one had ever done that. I was thinking that it was the best Valentine’s gift ever. As he was singing, I realized he was proposing to me IN SONG! Seriously. It was the most romantic moment of my life. I cried until he finished the song and then he pulled a ring box out of his guitar case and asked me to marry him.

Tears. And more tears. Happy ones.

Of course I said yes. I mean, really. We had been dating for 6 years. I loved him. Adored him. Of course I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. In that moment I felt so blessed.

I was so caught off-guard because of the situation with his dad. He said he had already asked my parents and talked to his dad about it. His dad knew he was going to ask me to marry him that night and he knew his dad would want him to still ask me. He had the whole thing all planned out in advance. What girl doesn’t love that? There’s just something about being thought of that much.

SO the night was emotional. On one hand, I was THRILLED and overjoyed and every kind of GREAT feeling word a brain can imagine. On the other hand, his dad was in the hospital and it wasn’t looking good. My heart broke for his family. Watching their grief from the outside was awful. I was not a member of the family yet and so there were things I could not participate in. But my heart broke just the same.

That night as we stayed at the hospital we dreamed about our wedding. We had so many ideas. I couldn’t stop looking at my ring. It was so perfect. His family was excited. I called my family to tell them. Others in the waiting room heard the story. I was beaming.

That night I truly thought fairy tales were real. I was FINALLY getting married. Something every girl (or most anyway) dreams about. I would be Cinderella and he would be my prince. Well, except I wasn’t blonde and I wouldn’t be wearing a blue dress. 😉

But our new adventure, I just knew, would be awesome.