|Our first hike together|
Jim is a "retired" missionary. Him and his wife Cheryl (who, by the way, was a class mate of mine at Dordt!) were missionaries in Bolivia for 17 years. They had 4 children while in Bolivia. They lost their son Derek when he was 18 months old. The family moved back to the states about 10 years ago. Cheryl died suddenly 7 years ago. Jim's three surviving children all graduated from Whitworth College. The two oldest live in Denver - Peter is married to Katie and they have darling 5 month old Eliana. Cristi also lives in Denver, and Jonny is just finished with Whitworth and deciding where to work and settle. Jim's dad was a teacher/principle and he painted on his off seasons. After Jim graduated from WSU, he also painted with his dad. Since Jim has been back from Bolivia, he picked up the paint brushes again and is now painting. He is his own boss, I am (mostly) my own boss. If we feel like taking a day to head to the mountain, we do!! (Not often enough tho!!!)
My dad's health declined around this time; wedding plans got put on the back burner. Dad met Jim, Dad knew we were getting married and he gave us his blessing. What a gift to have that before Dad passed away!!! Meanwhile, my amazing friends have been a great help with this wedding planning business.
So, next month on April 28 we will marry again. Our children, grandchildren and immediate family will join us; our closest friends will be there with us - they have walked the road of grief with us and we want them to celebrate in this new joy with us. Our grandchildren will be our ring bearers and flower girls. How cool is that?? Pastor Mike, who took his turn once a week to put Les to bed, will marry us. Jim and I are both grateful for great families and great friends.
I will always miss Les; I will always love Les. Jim will always miss Cheryl; he will always love her. But, Les and Cheryl are with Jesus and we were left here on earth to piece together a new normal and a new life. We feel truly blessed that this relationship has blossomed into a new chance at love. God is good.
Please keep us in your prayers this next month and following our marriage. There will be many adjustments. Jim and I are both very independent individuals! Yet we have changed through our grief and loneliness. We realize how fleeting this life really is; we want to enjoy whatever time left we have on this earth. We look forward to spending many years together, all in God's perfect timing.
"I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and JOY instead of sorrow" Jeremiah 31:13
EEEEKKKKK - I'M GETTING MARRIED!!!!!