Saturday, January 30, 2010

Here's The Story, Of a Lovely Lady ...

This may come as a complete shock to some of you, but I am engaged to be married. Actually, it is quite a shock to me as well. I never expected or intended to even think about remarrying so soon after Holly's death, but events came together in such a way that I can't help but believe that it was not by accident. Let me explain:

While we were living in Vienna, I got a call in the middle of the night telling me that a woman (Ann) who was traveling from Utah had just lost her husband to a heart attack. Since I worked for the American Embassy, and was a member of the same church, they thought I might be able to help. There wasn't an awful lot I could do to help, but Holly went into high gear and, along with other women from our church, pitched in to help Ann in any way she could. Ann and Holly became friends and stayed in touch, exchanging Christmas cards and an occasional e-mail. When Ann learned of Holly's death, she decided to attend Holly's grave-side service in Salt Lake. Ann and I met there, and, since she and I had a common bond in that we had both lost a spouse that we loved so deeply, we kept in touch. I was hoping that she could help me navigate the rough waters that lay before me. Before long, we realized that there was much more pulling us together. We realized that we made each other very happy, and that we had a lot to offer each other.

I think what initially attracted us to each other was the fact that we both fully understood the love that we each had for the one we had lost. I could never marry a woman who didn't appreciate what a wonderful woman Holly was, and appreciate the eternal love I will always have for her. Ann felt very much the same about her beloved Scott. We realized that we could love each other fully, without threatening the love we have for those we had lost. We could love each other 100%, and still love the ones we had lost 100%

If you have read some of Holly's earlier posts, you will remember that she was very upset at the prospect of me ever remarrying. She couldn't bear the thought of another woman "replacing" her, and taking over the wonderful life that was hers. I am fully confident that she has an entirely different perspective now. Free from the anxieties, jealousies, and blinders of mortality, she now sees the bigger picture, and wants what is best for her family. She always wanted what was best for her family, but I don't think she could see how she was going to fit into that plan after she passed away. I believe she now understands much better than we can what the most important things in life really are, and what her eternal role continues to be. In fact, I am convinced that Holly is somehow behind this whole thing. She doesn't want her children to grow up with a single father struggling to keep the family afloat, and she doesn't want me to live the rest of my life in loneliness and pain. Of these things I am certain.

Ann has four children of her own, two girls and two boys, ranging in age from 27 to 19. If we add the four children I have right now, plus the four from my first marriage, plus two step-sons from Ann, that makes a grand total of 14 children! What a complicated life this has become! Complicated, but wonderful.

Our plan is to marry in the Mount Timpanogos Temple in Utah on 25 June, then Ann will move out here to Virginia. We'll probably stay in Virginia for a couple of years, at which time I will be eligible to retire. Our hope is to end up back in Utah, where we can be close to family again.

I felt like the luckiest man alive when I married Holly. I never dreamed I could be so blessed that I could find yet another wonderful woman to inspire me, and with whom I could share my life. Once again, I have living proof that God lives, and that He truly does love us!