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This past Saturday we attended a wedding for the daughter of some dear friends. It was an absolutely beautiful wedding. Three of my daughters and one son all had parts in the bridal party and it was a fabulous day of love, prayer and gratitude.
During my prayer time that morning as I was journaling my Examen, I was overwhelmed with the thought that this was the first wedding of any of our friend's children. This was a landmark situation and I couldn't help but be saddened that Joanne wasn't with us.
The girl who got married was Nicole, and Joanne loved Nicole. She would talk about her all the time. Nicole used to babysit for us when my 3 oldest were babies. We watched her grow up and after Joanne got sick and we moved back to New Jersey after a 10 year stint in Georgia, Nicole and her parents took a big role in our lives. And today they are just as involved.
I cried harder that morning than I had in a long time. I thought about how Joanne loved weddings and would've loved being there. I thought about how much time has gone by since Joanne died. I thought about how happy she would have been seeing Nicole get married and seeing her children participate in a beautiful wedding. And I thought about the prospect, once again, of going through another "first" without her.
I texted my mom and asked her to pray for me because I was struggling with it. She replied back, "Focus on the great job you've done with them and on what you have, not what you don't have. Have a wonderful time, you deserve it." As only a mother's love can do, her comment lifted me up and made me look at the positives in my life. As a result we had the best time ever.
Even though Joanne wasn't physically there, I know she was spiritually there. And not only is she very proud of Nicole, as I am, but she's proud of me too. I pray that she stays by the new bride and groom in their life as she has stayed by us these last 7 years.
Oh, and thanks, Mom, for setting my mind on the right course once again.