2 weekends ago, my dad got married. I know I haven’t talked about any of this on here, but I really felt like it was mostly not my story to tell.
I won’t lie…it’s a very strange place to be, finding your parent dating after the loss of your other parent, especially when they were happily married until one’s death. However, it’s also painful to think about the loneliness of a loss like that, and knowing that my dad had met someone that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with was a good thing.
My dad and Annmarie asked me and my siblings + her 2 children, Gianna and Ronnie, to be attendants in the wedding.
It was a really emotional day for me and my siblings. We were honored to be a part of their wedding, of course, but it was hard. For me, part of what made it equally hard and really special was that in addition to both of my parents’ siblings, my parents’ friends were there. These aren’t just any friends…most of the women were my mom’s friends from first grade on who went to school together through high school (some through college, too) and all moved back to Effingham and married (and were bridesmaids in each others’ weddings) and stayed friends. Isn’t that awesome? These were people that knew my mom for 47 years, and have known my dad now for like 38 years, if my math is correct. So for all of them to be there, missing my mom but happy for my dad, well, I think you can understand how we all felt.
My brothers* gave a short but impressive speech at the reception that rocked. I emailed them asking if I could use some of it, and then I asked if I could just include it all, because it was really good, and I was so proud of them. Here it is, with my comments in bold:
Jake: First of all, we’d like to thank everyone for being here with us today. You know we never thought in a million years we’d be in this position. Then again, we never thought our Dad would have an iPhone and text message as much as we do. (Jake got to be the funny guy!) But as we were thinking about this speech, we remembered a lesson we had learned growing up, which was to make the best of every situation we encounter. This was one of the lessons Dad taught us growing up.
Zach: Dad taught us the value of working hard and was an important part in raising what we would consider a pretty solid family. But the most important lesson he taught us is what puts us here today. That’s because he taught us that while we can’t control all that life throws at us, we can control how we handle those situations. And we’re glad that Dad chose happiness over any other route, and we know that Annmarie is a key to that happiness. We’d like to congratulate both of you. Annmarie, welcome to our family.
It really sums up our feelings so well!
So there you have it. A very happy day with some understandable sadness that I’m glad people didn’t try to pretend wasn’t there. Here’s a look at some pictures from the weekend!
*shout out to my sister Hayley, just for being awesome, and my sisters-in-law Michon and Dana for their awesomeness, too.