I was just thinking this morning about a love story. I hope my friends don’t mind my sharing theirs, though I will stick to first names only.
George and Ellen were friends in college. They knew each other for some time but didn’t date, which was fine with her. One day, George decided it would be fun to take Ellen on a bike ride; it was to be their first date. What the heck? She decided to go.
Ellen had prayed from the time that she was in middle school that the Lord would show her the man she was supposed to marry by having him suggest a Bible study on their first date. When they had been riding for some time, George suggested that they take a little break. As they pulled their bikes over, he pulled out a Bible and suggested they have a Bible study.
Ellen told me that she looked heavenward and asked, “Really, God? Him????” They dated for a while when she realized that, yes, she was to marry George, and so she did.
Four children and thirteen grandchildren added to their love story. Every picture I have seen of them together shows them beaming at one another. Forty-seven years of marriage brightened their smile and deepened their love. The best gift a father can give his children is to love their mother, and their children had that gift, full and overflowing.
One night after Christmas, when the kids and grands had headed home after a week of activities, Ellen admitted that she was very tired. She lay down on the couch and then realized she couldn’t breath. George called 911. Tests at the hospital revealed stage four ovarian cancer.
Although Ellen fought a very hard fight, the cancer took her life six months later. It seemed like George’s love story was at an end, but it wasn’t. Ellen had encouraged him to remarry.
A few months later, he reconnected with his college sweetheart over Facebook. Based on the look on his face over the next few months, it was love at first re-sight. Fifty-four years and marriages for both of them (they were both widowed now) had divided George and Margie, but they were finally back together.
It was hard, at first, for their family and friends to accept this new woman in George’s life, especially because Ellen was so universally loved. But then I, like others perhaps, came to realize that Ellen’s love was continued through Margie and that Ellen’s legacy was continued by George’s desire for remarriage. What a tribute it was to Ellen that George would want to remarry so quickly. What a tribute to Margie that she was able to love and accept his family and friends, taking them to her heart as her own.
Perhaps remarriage is in your future. Or not. In either case, I hope you will embrace where you are in life right now. Enjoy it. Cherish it. Live it.