it's december 8th...and three weeks from today, i have the honor of marrying your son, jonathan.
what i would give to have you with us in person. you have given me a gift far beyond anything i could ever have imagine - a loving, caring, thoughtful man who puts up with the lights on all over the house. larry, i realize, it would drive you nuts too. like father, like son. thank you for the time you spent with him, one on one, as he grew up. from everything he's told me, he learned from you the value of hard work, persistence, laughter, and the importance of thanking god for all he's been given - both the good and the bad.
mary, you give me small little gifts all over the house as i clean it. of these, my favorites are the notebook journals you used to keep of daily life. through them, i get to see and experience a little of what life was like with jonathan as a wee one, a growing boy, and a young man in the time before you both passed away. one night, when jonathan was at the fire station and i was cleaning things out, i found myself laughing through tears at how jonathan tore apart your freshly cleaned house. you called him 'your little tornado'. trust me - your little tornado is now a big tornado. he still tears apart a room as fast as he enters it. :) and he does not do bathrooms.
i love that you sent christmas letters. i loved that you baked him his favorite cake (which ironically, is white with lemon filling) for birthdays. i love that you wrote everything down. i can't tell you how significant that is to me and to us - when he and i share stories of our future children's grandparents with them.
thank you both for loving him as completely as you did. you taught him to always share his feelings, and to love others even if they are - at times - unlovable. god knows i will definitely need that trait from time to time!
i pray that i can be a good wife to him. i pray that your memory stays fresh in his mind, though i know that time will slow it down. i pray that our family will find all the joy in the world as yours did - even and especially in the midst of challenges that will come our way.
please keep us in your prayers as we prepare in these final days for the wedding, and our marriage. i trust that through the intercession of the saints, you've got our back. ♥
on our wedding day, the pew where you should have been seated will be empty. we have two bouquets (that match the bouquet i will be carrying) in your place. the swags down the center aisle will be from the farm where you raised jonathan.
know that i will live my life loving and honoring your son.
you have given me an immeasurable gift.