It was beyond surreal.
I watched as my Dad embraced another woman and placed a lingering kiss on her lips. What’s worse is I told him to do it. Of course, this romantic exchange occurred at the close of that breathtaking duo of words, “I do,” and the accompanying pronouncement of marriage bliss! What son, I ask you, has the distinctly grand blessing of marrying his father? I’m sure it isn’t a Guinness-like anomaly or the stuff of legends, but it did happen to me this weekend.
Dad was married to my Mom for nearly fifty years before the Lord’s angels escorted her precious soul Home almost three years ago. Anything I have learned (hopefully) about what it is to truly love a woman, I witnessed in my father during their prolonged affair. When my sisters and I left the nest, I think their real romance, as good as it may have been, really roared into flame! They were not empty-nesters; they didn’t sit around, whiling and whittling the time away and listening to the clock tick. Hardly. Travels, shared interests, forged friendships and connection to ministries together abounded and they were planning more romance and roses when the Lord held our Mom’s hand and helped her cross over to the eternal side of the Jordan in October of ’03.
Not long ago, Dad called me and told me about a woman he had met while doing some volunteer work at his church. A few weeks later, we met for lunch and he told me that they were dating. Barely a moon phase went by and I was hearing that he loved her and they were shopping for a ring. A scant rotation of the earth later, and came the coup de grace: they had set a date for their wedding and they both wanted ME to do the ceremony! I was thrilled to oblige.
To see my Dad, the most gentle soul I know, a very young seventy-six years old, standing at the altar while giving his heart to his new heart’s flame was a sight to behold. I couldn’t get through the brief service without bawling like a baby for the joy of seeing this next chapter of his life unfurl. “I will always love your Mother,” he told me unsolicitedly days ago, “but God has blessed me with new love for another.”
The “reception,” following what amounted to an elopement for this cute pair, was at a Chick-Fil-A just down the road from the church. There was no post-ceremony anxiety; we talked easily about life and marriage and Sandy and I had much to learn from this couple who had logged nearly 95 years of great marriage between them! How they chuckled as they told of going to get their wedding license and were told they could get a discount if they agreed to marital counseling!
Welcome to the family, Myra. Way to go, Dad! May the two of you enjoy a long and healthy life together and be blessed to live in the prosperity of the One who gives marriage to us as a foretaste of the eternal glories He has prepared for us. But, like I told you, if you have any spats, don’t even think of coming home! We’ve already decided to turn your room into a study.
(Next Post: Graham’s Return from Honduras….Good stuff!)