My mom and dad have been married 24 years today! That makes me quite young, eh?! LOL If you don't know or haven't guessed by now, my "mom" is actually my stepmom. My dad met her several months after my mother passed away in 1981. They had really met years before, when they were in high school. Patty was friends with my dad's sister back then, and Daddy and she had met in passing, but both had gone their separate ways. Daddy married my mother and they had me, and Patty married Wayne and had Benji and Robyn. Wayne died in an accident several years later, when Benji and Robyn were pre-schoolers. Patty, Benji, and Robyn lived next to her parents for the next 9 years or so, and after my mother passed away from complications of diabetes, my aunt remembered that Patty had been widowed years before, and she mentioned her to Daddy. And the rest, as they say, is history!
I remember when Daddy called her the first time. He was just going to introduce himself, but they talked for 3 hours! Wes and I were dating at the time, and he was at our house that night. We were all going to play a game when Daddy got off the phone, but it ended up that Wes and I played the game out in the den while Daddy talked! By the end of the year, Daddy and Patty were engaged, planning a February wedding. Robyn and I were bridesmaids, and Benji was groomsman. During the ceremony, the pastor had us all put our hands together and he reminded us that we would no longer be two separate families, but one in God's sight. Yes, we're humans, and as such we had our ups and downs as all families do, but after 24 years, we're all still together as a family. Our parents are Mother and Daddy, and we kids are brothers and sisters. Two more children were added to the family - Jason the first year and Rebekah the third year. As a young girl, I was an only child and wanted brothers and sisters so much! Look at us now! I'm the oldest of five children!
Today, after spending about 10 years as missionaries to Mexico (yes, my parents moved to a foreign country and learned a new language in their 50's!), my dad pastors a new Spanish work at his home church in Landrum, SC. They still have two children at home; Ben and Rebekah.I'm married to a pastor living in Canada, my sister Robyn is married to a missionary pastor and lives in Mexico, and my younger brother Jason is a pastor in North Carolina. My parents have 13 grandchildren, ranging in age from 17 down to 1, with another grandbaby on the way. Both Daddy and Mother experienced heartache in the deaths of their first spouses, but God in His gracious will allowed them to meet and love each other, and they continue to live a full, active life for Him, 24 years later. In this picture, they are at their church's Valentine's Banquet just a couple of weeks ago.
Happy Anniversary, Mother and Daddy! We all love you, and we're very proud of you!