I have written small tidbits of the most amazing love story (outside of mine and Dean’s) that has been unfolding over the last year. I have been holding on to this story for a while, allowing this beautiful couple some space and time. And like most stories there are stories within stories – I have written about these nested narratives before and how in life – they appear and need to be told to get the full breadth of the stories they reside in.
When my dad passed away my mother was riddled with grief, as we all were. She owned that brutal, devastating grief for a long long time. Until…. there was him. He was walking in his own grief after losing his beloved wife of many years to cancer. A chance meeting and some super pushing from me – and they connected. At first, I could see she was torn…. torn from 55 years of marriage vs. wanting to grab hold of something new in her redefined existence. She chose to take a leap and be ok with different. I tell her all the time that different isn’t always bad…. its just different. So after many months of fighting it she embraced that Craig was the one… And for me having my own love story I paralleled what I knew about how I was treated, loved and adored to what I saw.. and Craig absolutely adores and loves my mother. Her tears have been turned into laughter…. Laughter abounds when they are together and even when they are apart I hear her tell funny stories about him and she laughs.
What can I say about Craig. Some of you that know about me and my dads relationship might be a little shocked at my open arm willingness to welcome this man into the role that was left vacant by my dads passing. I always knew I was mature enough to want my mother to move on in her life – and I thought when she does I will be respectful of this new person in her life. What I never imagined is that GOD would fill that void so fully for me. Craig showed up and stood in the GAP for all of us and soothed our sadness. He so beautifully told my mother – that I am not trying to take T-boy’s place – I am just trying to finish where he left off. And he has – in every aspect and role of life my dad played – Husband, Father and Grandfather.
Same as my mother had loss in her story so does Craig… doubly so. He not only lost his wife of many years to cancer but he also suffered the most tragic loss a parent can… losing his only son when he was only in college. A life cut short. With Mac gone, so are the things we as parents look forward to: The marriages, The grandchildren, the great grandchildren, the family gatherings, etc. A void bigger than most of us can imagine.
When he and my mom fell in love, the rest of us fell in love with him as well. He has welcomed us into his life with open arms and taken us on as his own – kids, grandkids, animals and all. A void filled on both sides of this equation. GOD’s handywork at its finest. Ephesians 3:20 “Now all glory to GOD, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” When you step back and look at it from a 100 foot view you must cling to that scripture and know that GOD’s hand is in this and revel in the wonder of how beautiful it actually is!
Craig has a beautiful spirit and is funny as shit. He brings with him 2 beautiful sisters and an amazing circle of friends….friendships that have been forged over decades…. Mom being the social butterfly fits perfectly into that life. And together they have plans…. plans to see the country and even the world. To keep connected to the people they love and to laugh a whole lot along the way.
A wedding is forthcoming this weekend. October 8, 2021! And the planning has been a journey to say the least but has been fun for me and my sister – not many people get to say they helped their mother plan her wedding – its a beautiful role reversal.
What a beautiful and true testament this story is that GOD can turn mourning into dancing, our grief to joy. Stay tuned for wedding pics and more stories!