The day before the day

We woke up at 530 Thursday (5.14.20) morning. I rushed around the house like I always do. I have to feed the chickens, ducks, then the outside dogs, then the inside dogs, then the reptiles and fur balls. I’m telling the kids to get ready. Pack the last of their things. Finish their chores and brush their teeth. We get on the road in not too bad of timing. We have a jam fest on the way. It was fun as we remembered songs of our younger years and the passion we felt behind them. We are both serious about our tunes! We drive 5 plus hours down to the prettiest white sand beaches of Florida.

We got there too early and our room wasn’t ready so they allowed us to use the facilities until it was. The kids played in and out of the water and under the 5 story man made water fall. The water was FREEZING so we didn’t get in. We applied then reapplied sunscreen as pasty white folks must do. Hours go by and the room is finally ready. We get our luggage up to the room and at this point, we are all starving and tetering on hangry. It’s dangerous when you’re a group of 5.

Crab. That’s all I’ve been talking about, really my whole adult life, but the last few weeks especially. We just so happen to have a crab place RIGHT BESIDE US so we walk to it. We have the most polite waiter and our children really show out by using their manners and ordering their own food. They make us so proud.

We chow down. I know I say this every time but it’s the best crab ever. He gives me my lemon slices and old bay seasoning and I’m in heaven. I look around at Jsmiff, and the kids. I’m the most blessed woman. He feels it too. It’s a sense of peace when everything is going right. Even in between moments of chaos. This. This is what I live for.

After I finish my 1.5 pounds of crab and a slice of homemade key lime pie, and everyone else cleans their plate, HE wants to go take some pictures at the beach. Should have been my first clue, but it wasn’t. We paid for our meal, our waiter mentioned how well our children behaved and thanked us.

We walked to the beach. Justin took pictures of the kids first then asked Ford to take one of us. Ok. Cool. So he does but he wants us to move over this way and look over there at the pier. Still so clueless. He says ok take our picture and this fool is down on his knee. WITH A RING. I’ve never been in this situation before but I can tell you, wow. Everything is slow motion but fast and so blurry but the most memorable. I think I said yes. I had to ask him, before bed, in a panic, OMG did I ever say yes. Yes. The answer is yes.

I apologized for being a turd. I can be a bit of a smart mouth at times and hugged him like it was my first hug of forever. I kissed him. I’m not sure I have stopped smiling since.

See. This is bittersweet. He wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for his tradegy and I wouldn’t be here today if I knew my own worth long ago. But what a beautiful way to start our new life.

The best part about this is that he had the children in on it the whole time. How special is it that they can forever say they did this part and that part and so on. They were all so happy. My 2 seem genuinely happy for this decision. I love them and I love this life that they will have from here on out.

I was slightly teary when he proposed but it wasn’t until I hugged his son that I cried. That little boy loves me. And I love him. My biggest promise isn’t just to God that I’m a Proverbs 31 wife. It’s that I’m that boys love and comfort for the rest of his life. His mommy left this Earth way too soon and now I have the responsibility to make sure he knows Christ and that he is loved.

With the biggest goofy smiles on both our faces, we walked back to the hotel, told the family, put it on social media and we went to bed as soon to be married, us. What a beautiful feeling.

I COULD NOT sleep. The bed we have was not like our King at home. He has sleeping troubles so I always worry my moving will wake him up and in a smaller bed, that left a lot of uncomfortable hours. I finally got up about 4 and decided I was done sleeping. Or trying to. I went onto the balcony. I watched the waves cap as that was really all I could see. I had such a strong praying time with God. I prayed that He guide our future marriage in the way that He wants and I prayed that we follow His teachings. I prayed that I would be a good mother to all 3 of my children. I also prayed for his late wife. I let her know I would never remove her from our home and that I had Smiff from here on out. I had told Landon the night before that I wanted him to know his mommy would always be a part of our family and I showed him an idea for the wedding. He hugged me so tight. I told all the children I loved them and I prayed hard for them this morning. I prayed that God show him the way to be the best most respectful step father and I, a step mother. We got this.

I feel such good things to come.

Thank you all for taking the time to read my thoughts and for your support.

Who I get to be is because of who they were.

I breathe in. I breathe out.

Air. Oxygen.

Life.

A gift.

I look over and see a man. A strong man. A sexy man. A broken man. A recovering man. His chest rises, then falls. His nose flares. I notice the stuble on his cheek. (I imagine when he wakes up, asking him to pluck the good ones. He tells me no. I pucker up. He allows me a few in exchange for my happiness.)

God has shown me in ways I don’t have time to tell, how to love better; how to manage my anger; how to show true love and kindness. I’m able to work this out with him. I fail but I give it my all. I love because God loves me.

God is allowing me to love this man through the hardest time of his life. I am showing him love that isn’t always reciprocated right now because I believe in God’s promises and I believe in this man.

I am grateful to his late wife. I appreciate her giving me the gift of raising her son in her honor. I did not know her but I have learned from her son and husband and other family members, who she was. I make sure to talk with his son about his mother often. I listen to stories of her life before Heaven.

Loving a widower can be confusing and painful. There are feelings of never being able to fill the shoes of a Saint, knowing if the wife didn’t die, your relationship wouldn’t exist. The contradiction your heart feels between jealous moments and heartbreak for the survivors can be a lonely place at times. I could live in those moments and be unhappy but I choose to focus on the gift of knowing my man does not know the bitterness of divorce and the complicated ongoing frustrations of raising children in separate homes. He had an in tact marriage that wasn’t perfect but that ended as God intended, till death do us part. It was way too early and painful beyond my imagination but she and he were blessed to have had the marriage they did.

I am where I am today because of their life together. Thank you, B.