I thought the ‘David & Viola’ story would have been announcement enough, but for the many people who didn’t read it, I proposed to Marilyn May 2nd, and we got hitched on June 14. I feel like a guy that never played the lotto, and mistakenly bought a ticket along with his groceries one day, and hit the biggest power ball winner in history!!!! She is incredible! She’s funny, smart, good looking, mature, she’s fit, fun loving, and loves my kids already, SHE LOVES JESUS!, she’s organized, and messy at the same time, she’s entertaining, engaging, and ready to take on life together with me, it is an incredibly wonderful feeling, something I never ever thought possible, nor did I realize how much I had to unravel from Lynn’s memory for it to be possible. But here I am, as happy as I’ve ever been, I’m once again looking forward to each day and laughter, silly, bubbly laughter, has invaded my life like smelling salts awakening a fallen athlete. It all started in the middle of February,…well, really it all started twenty years ago!
I met Marilyn on a teen missions trip to Africa when I was 16 and through mutual friends we were made aware of the challenges that we both faced as we walked with our spouses through cancer. We exchanged a few encouraging emails while both our spouses were still with us, but never really talked again until the middle of February when I heard of the terrible news that Marilyn’s husband Andrew had died three and a half months prior. I literally cried as I remembered how dark and terrible it was as I tried to pick up the pieces of my life and continue on without Lynn. I asked for her address and sent her a card to express my sympathy and hopes that God would use her experience for His glory.
After a couple polite emails, much to my relief, Marilyn poured her heart out to me, and so doing, gave me the go-ahead to do the same to her. This started two months of daily emails between us, there wasn’t much we left unsaid, and there weren’t many emails without tears. It was so relieving to talk to someone that had lost their best friend in the whole world, someone who wanted to die, someone who just wanted their friend back. To hear someone reciprocate all of the hurt, all of the despair, all of the lost hopes, broken dreams, and tomorrows that will never be, was absolutely relieving.
You can imagine the emotional ties that we built as we grieved together, and shared our inner hurts. You’d get a lot of this in the ‘David and Viola’ story but really had a hard time picturing life without Lynn, I wanted Marilyn to live with me in my sorrow, I thought we’d be crying together for a long time, but that wasn’t something that Marilyn could do, she looked at life with a glint of hope, and in the end she passed that on to me, and I couldn’t be more thankful. She is literally the most fabulous woman alive.
Much like me she’s been broken by cancer and loss, she’s leaned on Christ through the storms, and she loved her husband passionately. Like me, she was married for 14 years, most of which was spent under the dark cloud of cancer, she provided for her family when her husband couldn’t and she walked him to death’s doorstep with much love and grace. We’re excited about our new family, not only does everyone share deep feelings of loss but we can all move forward with excitement about our unknown future together. We both had great marriages before and are excited to build another one together. So without boring you to tears with my excitement, and how absolutely beautiful she is here’s some pictures…