Wednesday, November 3, 2010
On October 23, 2010, I was witness to a marvelous event...the marriage of Melissa Boyd and Stephen Webb. Melissa is a college friend of my daughter, Maggie, and I met Stephen several years later when the two started dating. These two young people have been through alot in their lives, individually and separately. There have been tragedies, disappointments, surprises and triumphs for both of them. However, no matter what has happened to them, they have retained their joyous and hopeful outlook on life. They are parents to a marvelous 2 year old named Cooper and they have taken the duties of parenthood in stride with confidence and great maturity. The wedding was so "them"! It was casual, warm, loving and happy. I was expecting to feel very emotional during the ceremony, remembering Steve and all of the emotional trauma that I have been through in the last 5 years, but I was not expecting such a joyous emtional high. It has been a little over 3 years since Steve died and I have been through some very low periods during that time. Going to his 40th high school reunion last summer and listening to his high school friends talk about him with love and admiration really took me to a deep valley of sadness. GW's college graduation was very painful because Steve would have been so proud to see that both of his children earned the college degree that he never did. Just going to the Colquitt County football games on Friday nights brings me down. Remembering how much he loved playing football and being in a huge crowd of people who all seem to be in "couples" has a devasting effect on my psyche. So attending the wedding of two people who are like my children...well, I was expecting the worst...a depression that would send me to that black hole of a feeling from which it is very hard to escape by yourself. As I walked the length of the pier to the dock where the ceremony would take place, I had a long time to think about what was going to happen. I could feel my heart in my throat and was afraid that I might break down right in the middle of the ceremony. But to my surprise, something wonderful happened. When I saw the joy and love on the faces of Melissa and Stephen and heard the excitement in their voices at the prospect of sharing a deep committment for the rest of their lives, I could only think about all of the happiness that Steve and I had shared in our lifetime together. I realized that we had promised to love, honor and cherish each other until "death do us part"...not until we were both 90 years old. Our life together had been cut short and for the past 3 years I have felt cheated because Steve died before I was ready for him to die. We had so much more that we wanted to do together...plans that we had dreamed of for 29 years of marriage. But we had 29 glorious years as man and wife, lovers and best friends and we loved each other more on the day he died than we did when we said our vows on May 20, 1978. I realized what a wonderful gift we had been given and happiness flooded my soul instead of depression and anger. I guess that means that I am making progress, at least, I hope it does. And to Melissa and Stephen, I can only say "Thank You" for including me in such a momentous moment and showing me what true happiness means. I wish you all the best that life has to offer. I hope that life still has good things for me to experience also, not the least of which is true love.