It’s been a minute since my last Thankful Thursday. There is one blog goal I didn’t quite keep on top of. I SWEAR I’m thankful for a lot.
This 2018 inaugural Thankful Thursday was worth the wait though, promise.
As I flew to Arizona this weekend I’m filled with so many emotions. I’m excited, happy, anxious, nervous, thrilled, and loved.
The nerves came from the flying, especially as we were hitting intense turbulence over Amarillo as I’m was typing this. Ugh, my husband’s on his way to be a pilot for the USCG and I hate flying… hmmm. I do have to be honest though, the nerves also come from this giant life change that my entire family is about to experience this weekend. Those nerves are happy nerves though. Those nerves are oh god Mackenzie, please don’t get overly emotional this weekend nerves.
You see, my Arizona trip ultimately was prompted by my Dad and Val. They will be getting married in Sedona on Saturday. It’s just a small ceremony; Dad + Val, Nathan, Josh + myself, Aaron + Elliott. The wedding will overlook the beautiful red rock mountains. It’s sure to be breathtaking, in more ways than one.
I’m all about that honesty you know, so I’m honestly saying that while I’m nervous and anxious about what this all means, I’m also extremely excited to welcome Val and her son Aaron into our family.
As most of you know, we lost my mother 3.5 years ago to her 5 year battle with triple negative breast cancer. That day changed my world, it changed my family. We grieved together and we grew together. It wasn’t easy, but we are that much closer because of it. My husband, Josh and I lived with my Dad for 8 months after my Mother passed. We moved to Philly and now Pensacola. In those first 2 years I cannot express the pain I felt, the anxiety I had, the guilt I brought on myself when we left Dad in Ohio.
It was a few years of ups and downs. The sadness was unbearable at times. He was alone, constantly. Then he met Val.
At this point in my grieving timeline I wasn’t ready to hear my Dad call someone his girlfriend, nonetheless fiance. The beginning of their engagement was a struggle for my Dad and I, but we worked through it.
Now a year later from when I found out they’d been engaged I’ve flown to Sedona to celebrate them. To welcome Val with open arms. If you’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Val you know it was nearly impossible to not love her. She has such a caring demeanor, her aura is so peaceful, and she is just a shining light in the room. I know exactly why my Dad fell in love with her and I remember the moment I saw it happen. Standing in her booth at The All American Quarter Horse Congress, admiring her astounding artwork.
They both share a common life experience when they lost their previous life partners a few years back and it’s clear that they celebrate and mourn for them still. However their tenacity for life and desire to keep living and exploring brought them together.
I don’t think that my Dad ever thought he’d end up married again, as a matter of fact I remember him saying he never would. That used to comfort me, I now realize how childish that was. Now, I can’t imagine him back in that house, alone and depressed. I don’t want that for him. I know Mom would not want that for him. My Mother loved my Dad with everything she had, and he her. I also know that if my Mom had ever met Val that she’d have loved her too. Like I said, it’s just impossible not to.
So here we all come, from all over the US; Josh and I from Florida, Nathan from Columbus, Aaron + Elliott from Colorado, and Dad + Val from HOME. We are creating a new home, a new family, and a new chapter… a happier one that the last. Some might say a sunnier one.
i hear it’s sunnier…
…when you keep on living + loving!