First one to launch | Mark’s Remarks

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As I write this, we are days away from our oldest son’s wedding. When I began writing this column, he was still in middle school, and my column topics centered around the boys being told to use soap when they bathed and all the hijinks in our household with growing kids.  

Now he’s getting married.

It was a whirlwind courtship. After he told us he and our new daughter-in-law-to-be had sat and talked at a Sadie Hawkins dance (they weren’t there together) for many hours, we thought there might be something sparking. Later when we asked about her, he said “She’s pretty great.”  

Upon his arrival home for Thanksgiving break that year, there was a lot of time spent out in the garage, sitting in a cold car, talking to this new girl.  

Something was definitely up.

Being Bible college students, they did a lot of old-fashioned dating with a good lot of talking involved and got to know one another rather quickly. It did not surprise us a bit when he came home less than a year after meeting her and said he was making plans to pop the question around Christmas time.

He did, and here we are.

I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to instantly love your future daughter-in-law, but we do. She is a gem, beautiful inside and out. Even if our culture believed in arranged marriages and we could have picked a spouse for him, we would not have been able to do a better job.  

Many parents look at this time with much emotion, but I can’t tell you I am feeling any sort of heavy, emotional feels. It’s much like when my kids went away to college; I knew this was a new chapter for them. I knew that we wouldn’t see them as much, but I also knew that a wonderful and exciting time was about to begin for them.

I think that excitement supersedes any of the heavy stuff.

Sure, there might be a tear or two shed at this wedding. It’s a natural thing, of course. You think of how you brought him home from the hospital just a short time ago and how you watched him grow and change as time seemed to fly by at warp speed. It’s true what they say; it all goes by very fast.

Thank the Lord we’ve enjoyed every minute. We love you very much, Riley.

There is so much to be thankful for and as I said, we look forward to this exciting time in their lives.  

We can no longer say “his.” We now say “them.”  Because, they are a wonderful package deal now.  

As my son said, “pretty great.”

I have joked quite often since the engagement was announced that Riley will soon be “off the payroll.”  Indeed, as this wedding takes place, it coincides with graduation from college. They are both now ready to go out into the world, pay their own bills, make their own decisions, and spread their wings.

It all sounds rather scary, and I think I remember what it feels like. But all joking aside, I hope they know, and I think they do, that their parents are always here.

We are here for any help we are able to give and I hope they know that nothing is off limits if we are able to help. Although I know that God’s going to take good care of these two, I also know that He has equipped us to be parents for the rest of their lives.

We will continue to do the best that we can.

Riley and KiLee (they rhyme! How do you like that?), God bless you both and we wish you all the joy and fabulousness available as you start your lives together.  We look forward to your life together. We are so very proud of you both.

Love, your family.

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