My feelings about Dad getting married.

July 20, 2011 AT 11:09 pm 116 Comments

Gosh.  This is the hard part…trying to put into words all the emotions I have felt about my dad getting remarried.

I don’t really even know where to begin.

In many ways, I am still dealing with the emotions of losing Mom.  She will have been gone 2 years this coming September.  I still miss her terribly.

She was my very best friend.

Her influence on my life is everlasting.

But the hard truth is…my mom is gone.  I will not ever see her again on this earth.  And that hurts.

Bad.

But I have the promise that I will see her again in heaven, and I am so very thankful.

And so life must move on.  Slowly at times.  Painfully at times.  But it moves on.

My boys are growing.

My niece got married and is expecting her first child.

I’ve moved into a new home.

Seasons have passed.

Holidays have been celebrated.

Mom’s still gone.

One of the hardest parts of loosing Mom has been watching my dad live without her.

When Mom passed away, he moved in my with sister and her husband.  He never spent a single night in his old home without mom.

There is no way he could have.  Her fingerprints were on every inch of that house.  The curtains she had made.  The pictures she had hung. The dishes she had washed.  The furniture she had moved around a million times. :)

Living there without her would have been impossible for Dad.

When Dad first moved in with my sister, he was surrounded with so much love and support.  Meals were brought to him, cards were sent to him, everyone was spending time with him.

But then something happens.

Life moves on.  The cards stop.  The visits stop.  The meals stop.

The day to day life without Mom had begun for my dad.  And he was lonely.

One thing you need to know about my dad is he is a big, loveable teddy bear!

He loves BIG!  He loves to love and loves to be loved.  His family is everything to him.

Nothing makes him more happy than spending time with his family.

Whenever we were together, you would almost always hear Dad say at some point, “Life doesn’t get any better than this.”

Dad never needed the riches of this world to make him happy.  His wealth was found in the loved ones around him.

Dad lived a year and a half without Mom before meeting Janet.  To some that may seem like a short amount of time.  Dad was married to my Mom for 44 wonderful years, so I cannot help but think that a year and a half without her must have felt like an eternity to him.

This past winter, my sister and I were really worried about him.  He wasn’t himself anymore.  He seemed so depressed.

We wanted our dad back.

And then gratefully, Dad met Janet…

 

There were many circumstances around Dad and Janet meeting that made me realize that God was up to something.

My sister, Cyndi, actually called me a few weeks before Dad met Janet to tell me that she had met the sweetest lady at her dentist’s office.  She even said, “She reminded me so much of Mom.”  (Yep.  She was talking about Janet.)  :)

A couple of weeks later, a church golfin’ buddy of Dad’s mentioned that he should ask his sister-in-law out.  (Yep.  He was talking about Janet.) ;)

Dad called Janet that week, and they went out for the first time on a blind date.

There was a instant connection, and they were inseparable from that point on.  And I know why.  Janet is so much like my mom it is unbelievable!

To find out Dad was dating someone was hard.  But when I saw how happy my dad was, it made it easier.

And then when I met Janet, I knew.  Again, I knew that God was up to something.

Ya’ll, I cannot even begin to express what an amazing woman Janet is.  You only have to spend a couple minutes with her before you fall in love with her.

She is warm, gracious, loveable, classy, fun, sensitive, compassionate, and loves Jesus with all her heart.

But she knows great loss too.

Janet  was blessed with two sons.  However, her youngest son was killed in a car accident on his 16th birthday.  I cannot even imagine the depth of grief she has endured.  And I know that her life experiences have brought her to a place where she can love and support my dad in his grief.

Dad told me about a time when they were dating that they went to get something from the storage shed where he was storing some of his belongings.  Dad found an anniversary card from my mom and showed it to Janet.  He began weeping.  The pain was still there.   Dad said Janet put her arms around him and began weeping with him.

She knows and understands loss.

How great is our God?!  To put two such people together to share in life’s journey.

I have to tell you honestly, that I have never felt more loved by God than I have  during this time.  Dad could have lived his remaining years on this earth sad, lonely, and incomplete.  Or he could have married someone out of despair, someone that wasn’t right for him or our family.  I have heard stories of a parent remarrying to someone who splits the whole family apart.  That would have been devastating.

But God in His goodness does not just give my dad just anyone, or someone “good enough”.  He gave my dad (and my family) His very BEST when He gave us Janet.

She loves my dad so much.  She loves me so much.  She loves my boys so much.

She has filled up a hole in our family.

Don’t get me wrong.  She has not replaced my mom.  Not ever.  And Janet doesn’t want to.  She wants to honor my mom by loving on her family.

She told me she wants to talk about my mom often so that my boys have many memories of her.

The other night, Adam and Eli spent the night at Dad and Janet’s.   Before the boys went to bed, Janet read some books to them.

Eli, my 4 year old (whom I am afraid will not remember my mom), said, “Miss Janet, my nana used to read me books!”

To which Janet replied, “I know she did, Eli.  And you know why?  Because your Nana loved you sooooooo much!”

When I heard that, I cried.

How good it felt to know that Janet was reminding my son of my precious mother who loved him sooooooo much.

See why I feel so loved by God?

So how did I feel when Dad got married?

Well, that day before the wedding, I felt fine.  I was busy getting me and the boys ready for the wedding.  When I arrived at Janet’s home, I was able to meet Janet’s side of the family, who are so kind and loving as well.

When the ceremony began, I felt a little nervous for Dad.  I could tell he was nervous (even though he said he wasn’t). :)

Then it came to the part of the ceremony where they exchanged their vows, and I began to cry.

I began to hurt deeply. 

Happy for my dad and Janet, yet angry that my mom was gone.

It should have been MY MOM up on that deck renewing her wedding vows with my dad in front of her children and grandchildren!!!

I could just see Mom on that deck, and her sweet face looking over her shoulder at all of us and smiling.  SHE LOVED HER FAMILY MORE THAN ANYTHING!!!

I must have swallowed a million times, desperately trying to swallow down the tears.  I didn’t want to lose it in front of Janet’s family, or Janet, or Dad.

I wiped the tears away as quickly as I could, and pulled myself together.

After the ceremony, I went onto the deck to hug Janet and Dad.  My heart was truly rejoicing for them.

Then I slipped into the house and headed to the bathroom to get some tissues.  On my way down hallway, I saw my sister.  Our eyes caught each other, and without saying a word, we knew.  We knew what the other was feeling.

She followed me into the bathroom, and we began sobbing.  Sobbing out loud.  We missed our mom.

Then I told Cyndi we needed to get it together!  We were hurting, but we had to stop!  We had to go back out and celebrate.  Mom would have wanted us to.

We freshened up our makeup so it wouldn’t look like we had been crying and went outside to take some wedding pictures with the rest of the family.  I was able to keep it together the rest of the time.  It was such an honor to spend time with Janet’s family.  She has 3 grandchildren of her own who are the light of her life!  Janet’s mom is still living, and she is the cutest thing ever.  (See her in the pink blouse in the middle of the picture?  Precious!)  I loved being able to get to know her better too.

It was a beautiful day and a beautiful ceremony.

 

Before Dad and Janet left, Janet handed me a hand-written card.  She actually handed one to me, my husband, my brother, his wife, my sister, and her husband…one for each of us.

If you have followed my blog since Mom’s passing, and have read my Wednesdays with Wanda posts, then you know what a beautiful writer my mom was.  And you know that my mom wrote me many, many letters from when I was a child until I was an adult.  And you know how much my mom’s hand-written notes have blessed my life since she has passed.  They are treasures to me.

For Janet to give me a hand-written note on HER wedding day reminded me of Mom.  She would have done the same thing.  And it was just another reminder of how much God loves me.  He has placed someone in my life who loves to write me notes. :)

I asked her if it was okay for me to share it with you and she said, “yes.”

I wanted to share it with you so you could see Janet’s beautiful heart.

How could I ask for more?

Thank you, Jesus, for caring about every little detail of my life and loving me so much!

Thank you, Jesus, for Janet.

 

 


 






Comments

  1. Jen Lowman says:

    Here I go again with the water works!

    What a beautiful moment in your family. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. You may not realize how much of a blessing it will be to me and many of your other readers.

    Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

  2. Wow. What an amazing God we serve! Only through HIm could this have happened. I’ve never met you or your family, yet I am rejoicing through tears of joy with you. Praise God! :)

  3. What a sweet, honest post. My dad passed away and my mom has been alone for 6 years. It is so hard to see her going through so many things on her own. She is still young and it’s so hard to come to terms with why did my dad have to die at such a young age and leave my mom on her own.

    I wish my mom would find someone to be with. She is so lonely and it’s so hard to see her going through everything that she has. I am sure if she ever did get married I would feel the same way that you did. No one can take the place of a parent, but I can see how much you love your dad and how happy you are to see that he has found companionship. And Janet sounds like a wonderful person.

    xoxoxox
    Jen
    jen @ tatertots and jello recently posted.."Summer Social" Guest Project — Make a Mod Podge Silhouette Canvas!!

  4. Traci, I am bawling like a baby. What a beautiful post. Your mom is so proud of you!
    Meghan recently posted..Where is DHS when you need them?

  5. Oh, Traci. What a wonderful, wonderful post.

    Thank you for your honesty in admitting that this was very hard for you. I think you honor your Mom’s memory and you honor Janet in talking honestly about how difficult the wedding day was.

    But I’m so glad that you’re able to see just how blessed your family is in gaining Janet. How kind of God to provide a new companion for your dad who is so much like your mother! For him to have someone to share life’s joys and sorrows is wonderful. And for her to be so secure that she is able to allow you to speak freely of your mom is magnificent. My guess is that you’ll be able to talk about your mom MORE now than when your dad was alone. A double blessing!

    I know that the pain of missing your mom is overwhelming at times. I’m so sorry for you to have to endure it. But I’m not sorry for the reason it’s painful. I think it’s painful because your mom was so very special. She was an amazing lady. I’m glad, though, that she was so amazing–otherwise I wouldn’t have two such wonderful women as you and Cyndi for friends!

    Love you!
    Richella at Imparting Grace recently posted..Time for a small transformation

  6. TEARS of joy and of compassion for you and your family. How good God is to care for your daddy. I rejoice with you, too, and how perfect that God made this for you and your family.
    Suzanne
    suzanne recently posted..terrific Tuesday!!

  7. Tears. I pray that if my mom meets someone I will love them and be as gracious in that love as you have been. I miss my dad so horribly and can’t even imagine the Lord blessing our lives with someone else. Thanks for sharing your heart sweet Trace!
    Beth@A2Z recently posted..Inspiration File: Penny Tiled Cabinets by 320 Sycamore

  8. Traci,
    This is just wonderful!!! You are blessed with a beautiful family!
    Vicki recently posted..V: Sisterhood and Survival

  9. What an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing.

  10. Well, that is the second time you’ve had me in tears today. They look so great together.
    I wish them many, many years of happiness. Your dad so deserves to be happy. I bet your
    mom is smiling down. Much love.

    Kimberly

  11. That is beautiful and gracious… and just such a gift.

  12. Sara @ Mom Endeavors says:

    This is an absolutely beautiful post! I have tears streaming down my face. What a wonderful blessing for your family!

  13. How great is our God, indeed! Beautiful post.

    Best wishes to your entire family.
    Leen recently posted..New Customer Pics & a Winner

  14. Traci, I just want to give you such a big hug right now! This is such a touching story, so heart felt. I believe your Mom saw how lonely and in pain your dad was and sent Janet to him. To comfort him, love him and bring him the companionship he wanted. I think God and your Mom put together a plan.
    xoxo
    Jeri

  15. This is an amazing post and so wonderful of you to share. I have such a huge lump in my throat. Blessing to all of you.

  16. Oh my goodness…

    that is the most beautiful post. Truly a gift granted to you from the Lord…in Janet.

    I had to hold back the tears here , too. Thanks for sharing your heart with us…

    ~Bevy
    Bevy recently posted..the loves of my life

  17. Traci, what an amazing story! What a great testament to the wife and mother your mom was, as well as to the great blessings God is giving your dad and your family now! Tears and sniffles as I read your heartfelt words! ;)
    Mandy recently posted..Both Random and Fun

  18. This brought me to tears, as it is so similar to my story. I would love to show this to my dad and his fiance, and let them know that this is exactly how I feel about everything going on in our world. So similar, it’s scary. So happy that you are so loved! It’s such a good feeling!
    sarah @ a drop of golden sun recently posted..Let’s Go Camping!

  19. Oh, sweet little Traci, what a touching post! I serve that wonderful marvelous God that you do and you can see His hand all in this. I’m happy for your Dad and Janet and thank you, sweet one, for sharing this. I do remember when your lovely mom went to heaven and she would be so very proud of you today!
    Blessings,
    Shelia ;)
    shelia recently posted..Still Red, White & Blueing

  20. Wow, very emotional for you & your family! God bless you all as you begin a new chapter in your lives.
    Sarah recently posted..summer suppers~

  21. Oh Traci this brought tears to my eyes and I could just feel all your emotions. It was beautiful and through it all, you see that Janet was put in all your lives for a reason. I know your Mom is watching down on all of you and she is smiling. She would have wanted your Dad to have that next chapter of his life after she left. Bless you and all your family and I have no doubt that Janet will always be there helping everyone make new memories and also keeping your Mom’s memory alive.
    Laura recently posted..New Wedding Frame

  22. It seems to me your father has been blessed to be surrounded by wonderful and sensitive women. Thank you for sharing.

  23. Geez, I’m bawling!!!! This was soooooo beautiful Traci! I hope to meet them both someday, and so wish I could have met your Mom. I already feel like I have though, through you. :)

  24. Two words- Absolutely. Beautiful. We serve such an awesome God.

  25. Both sad and happy for you. Crying for your loss and hurt, but smiling for all the love that your family will share.

    gertie
    gertie @ The Old Block House recently posted..Wordless Wednesday – My View While Painting – Please Link Up!

  26. This is one of the best most hearfelt posts I’ve read all year. All I can say with tears of joy streaming down my face is Wanda is proud of you at this moment, to have a daughter with such amazing abilities to reflect on the joyfulness found in the cirumstances. Bless you my friend.

    xo
    Kate
    Centsational Girl recently posted..Timeless or Trendy? Sunburst Mirrors

  27. God’s unfailing love… such a beautiful story!
    Tara G. @ Mrs. Yellow Hat recently posted..Bunny Brains

  28. It is so good that you can share your heart’s feelings like this! I can totally understand why you are missing your mom so much…she sounds like a wonderful person.. .. So does your dad…and so does Janet. And so do you! I am sure that everything is going to work out beautifully because God is working it all together for good!

    You truly are blessed to have the assurance that your dad is going to be loved and taken care of…and that he doesn’t have to be lonely anymore. It will all just take some time to feel normal. The new normal that is! Life will be different…but I know it will be good.

    God bless you all!

    Linda @ Truthful Tidbits
    Linda recently posted..Please Pray For My Friend Megan… and help if the Lord leads you

  29. What a tremendous reminder that God always has a plan for us, one which becomes especially evident when we aren’t expecting it. Thank you so much for sharing this with your readers. Love to you and your family!

  30. Wow! Today marks one year of my dad passing and it’s been a hard day. I’m sobbing reading this but thank you for writing this as you are so right, God is always up to something good. Thank you for sharing your heart xo.

  31. Oh tears of Joy! God has been good to you and our family. What a beautiful blessing!

  32. ican surely relate, except I was 13 when this happened to me. my father remarried within a year after my mother died completely unexpectedly one summer night. I was lucky in that I gained two sisters and a stepmother that I adore – but I will admit to having recurrent dreams – still all these years later – almost 40 now! – of my mother returning to earth to find my father happily remarried. dreams of jealousy for a mother that I loved more than life.

    life does go on though and my father is very happy. and truthfully, that’s all that matters. I lost my mother – not their marriage.

    take care!
    Joni

  33. So sweet Traci- you made me cry!
    I wish your father and Janet many years of happiness to come. x

  34. Traci, I cannot believe how similar your story is to my own! My sweet mom went to be with the Lord four years ago and my dad has since remarried a lovely woman who was brought into his life in much the same way-a bit too soon for us kids, but perfectly timed according to God’s timetable. My sister and I experienced the same conflicting emotions of gratitude and grief. Thank you for sharing your story so profoundly!
    Lynn recently posted..Life is not Fair

  35. Oh my …..I am still crying. God truly works in amazing, mysterious ways!! When I read the bathroom part I was sobbing. God bless you and your sister for being so brave and kind. Wishing your father and janet many happy years. Wishing you and your family some comfort in the loving, wonderful memories your mother left in your hearts.
    Ashley recently posted..Total Chaos……

  36. Tears, tears and more tears. For such a beautiful story. You are so sweet and this was amazing to read.

  37. Oh my goodness, my new blogger friend! You tugged on my heart strings once again and I cried tears of sorrow and tears of joy! I honestly felt like I was crying with you and your sister in the bathroom and then I felt so amazed at the God we serve for bringing such a wonderful woman into your family’s life. Your story shows that God really does care about the big things in life, but also the little things that we think only matter to us. (like your letters. God cares!) Amazing. Beautiful. Heart felt.
    Kimberly recently posted..Inspiration

  38. Sooo very blessed indeed. To have a 2nd chance like this? I can’t even express in words what that would mean to me right about now.

    I couldn’t be happier for all of you!

    Donna
    funky junk interiors recently posted..Win a 1 year subscription to vintage styled FOLK Magazine!

  39. OK…I’m sobbing!! How awesome is our God?! Seriously, this story is pretty incredible!! For God to have found someone so much like your mom…..to love your Dad & your family….and also honor your mom’s legacy! What an awesome woman she must be!! I can totally understand why you feel so loved! I’m so happy for you Dad & for your whole family!! Thank you for writing such a beautiful post to remind me how loving & providing our God is!!
    Tonya @ Love of Family & Home recently posted..More Typography Art…Inspired by Red Letter Words

  40. Oh my goodness, she is such a BLESSING. The note she wrote really tugged at my heart, there was nothing more perfect she could have written to bring comfort.
    Tracey recently posted..Favor On Your Life

  41. Traci, my heart is overflowing for you. This is such a beautifully written post. Thank you for sharing your deepest feelings. My faith is strengthened.

  42. Darlene says:

    Traci – what a sweet, beautiful post. Isn’t it wonderful the way God works in our lives. He knows what we need even before we do. So happy that God gave your dad such a wonderful, godly woman. I was truly blessed by your post today.

  43. You should have had a warning on this one, because I am crying my makeup off! :) What a wonderful post. My husband and I have only been married 10 yeas, but I have told him a number of times that I want him to remarry if something ever happens to me. I hope it doesn’t! But I love him too much to think about him being lonely and not having someone to love him and take care of him. So glad your dad and family found Janet. She sounds like a very special person.

  44. What an absolutely beautiful post! I was getting teary eyed! It’s so wonderful how you and your family have embraced Janet and allowed your dad to be happy again. Sadly that isn’t always the case. Congrats to your dad, Janet and your family. Your Mom must be extremely proud right now. :)

  45. Oh Traci!! What a wonderful post! I was crying tears of joy throughout it for you!! What a blessing Janet is to your family! Thanks for sharing this tender moment. :)
    Amy C. recently posted..pit-tastic!

  46. Now I am at work and crying!!!! This was beyond moving. I have to go get a tissue now…..

  47. Heather B. says:

    Traci,

    I LOVE your honesty and your heart. Our friend’s father remarried 6 months ago after his mother’s passing 2 years ago and your story is so similar to his story. Janet sounds lovely and she knows her place in your family. Wishing God’s best for you and your extended family!! HUGS :)

  48. I have tears flowing down my face right now…I am SO thankful for the addition to your family. It’s obvious to see that God has truly blessed you and your family. You’re such a beautiful woman, with such a heart for God, and I KNOW that your mom is so proud of you.
    Christina @ Christina’s Adventures recently posted..Autism Series #3: I Won’t vs. I Can’t

  49. Traci,

    I love that you are so open and transparent. I had to stop reading to get a kleenex I was crying so hard. I know the pain of losing a parent as my dad died when I was 19. Last summer was the hardest summer yet as it marked the point that he had been in heaven longer than he was on earth. God has so blessed you and your family with a Godly women like Janet. Enjoy her, soak her up and let her love on your dad as I know you will. Thanks for being a Godly example yourself!

  50. I’m sitting at my desk at work sobbing. This is so beautiful. I can’t even fathom your grief but isn’t God amazing? He gives us more than we could ask or want. I’m so happy for your family and especially your dad. I’m so glad you could rejoice at what a wonderful woman your new step-mom is!
    abby recently posted..First Sleep Over

  51. Oh, Traci! What a blessing you and your family have been given. Isn’t it wonderful to look back and see God working in the lives of the people that you love so much.

    Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go check my make-up before my meeting begins! :-)

    Misty
    Misty Y recently posted..Cousins

  52. What a beautiful story !!! I had always been a Daddy’s girl…He passed away 8 years ago at the young (to me) age of 72. I was 44 at the time, but I don’t think it would or could have been any less painful at any age for me. I often wondered if my mom had passed away first, how I would have handled the situation if he were to remarry. Even though we didn’t have to cross that bridge with my Dad, I’m so glad you and your family were brought an amazing woman to have in your life. My mom is in a nursing home (dementia) and even though I haven’t actually lost her in a physical sense, I felt I lost her a long time ago. I have loved your posts about your Mom, family, new house, and remodeling. You and your family are an inspiration to so many people, I’m sure. Thank you !

  53. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    Oh Traci, what a personal and touching post! You really opened your heart with us today. Blessings to your dad, Janet and your entire family!

  54. Kirsten says:

    Traci,

    I lost both my parents 5 years ago, and it hurts each and every day. The way you describe how much you miss your Mom hits home for me. I have 3 boys that I worry won’t remember much about their grandparents.

    Anyway, I really just wanted to say your thoughts and feelings on your family is such an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing your life in your blog.

  55. I’m weeping! This is was so so good to read. It was great to see you at the movie theatre and the nail salon…it’s funny how we lived in the same town for years and I never saw you but now that I’m out of state each time I’ve come home I see you! You’re blog is wonderful!

  56. I do not know you…but I have been a silent lurker of your blog. I have tears streaming down my cheeks. It’s so wonderful to read of how GOOD GOD is in OTHERS lives. To see Him OPENLY bless those that serve Him! Happy for your family!!! God’s Rich blessing continue to be with you!

  57. Traci, what an amazing post. I am so happy for your dad and your family that someone like Janet came into your lives, and you into hers. She sounds like a great lady. I can imagine the mixed feelings you must have had and will continue to have at times, but your big heart will always win. Blessings to you and your family.
    Claudia recently posted..A wreath on my door

  58. I don’t usually post, but today I had to. I am bawling like a baby. Congratulations to your Dad and Janet. I know God will bless and keep them. God is sooo very good. Now somebody pass me a tissue please.

  59. Crying tears of both sadness and joy for you. Your mom will truly be remembered and how thankful a blessing Janet is.

  60. I read this post while nursing my newborn son this morning and tears were streaming down my face as I read. So beautifully written – God is so good! Janet seems like a woman full of grace…such a wonderful gift from God. You’re right, no one could ever replace your mom, but I wish your dad and Janet every happiness!
    Callie @ The Wannabe Athlete recently posted..A Day in the Life With a Baby: Seven Weeks

  61. Breathtaking post. What love. What devotion. What faith. What a good God we serve.

    Congratulations to your dad and Janet. May they live many, many happy years together on this earth!
    Kelley recently posted..399. First Day of Christmas (Is Coming)

  62. Traci,
    I’m so moved by your touching blog and stories. I stumbled upon your blog for DIY decorating, fell in love with Wednesdays with Wanda and now I am in tears touched by your openness, God’s goodness and just called my mom to say I love you! Thank you for sharing and touching so many others!
    Blessings,
    Shannon

  63. Aww Traci!! I too cried with your words. Beautiful words!
    The Lord oh God what would we do with out Him?
    Our all gracious Heavenly Father who is so so so good to
    us! Im a Janet too..Janets are great lol! Yup.
    Let us Always be in His house for what Glory we will behold
    one fine day! Im so happy that the Lord really Blessed your life
    and your familys life with Janet, a Godly woman! Thats right
    so many people marry and that new spouse wrecks the family.
    Ive heard of this too..devestating! Your DIY is so lovely..Ive
    been watching your Blog watching you fix up your new place!
    Just like Mom from afar..but with Love!
    xxx
    Janet recently posted..My Shabby chic Lampwork Beads (also with other Artisans) and its Table Wednesday!

  64. Oh Traci, what a sweet, sweet post of God’s blessings and grace on your family. I love this so much & you expressed your heart so perfectly. I can imagine that I would have a hard time too seeing one of my parents with another spouse, but really their happiness is everything. Your Dad and Janet can have many happy years together and love and care for each other. Your family sounds like mine, close and loving and supportive of each other. I love that big family pic up there. Girl, what a sweet time in spite of losing your sweet mama, you have gained a precious new friend in your life. Love you girl!!

  65. Pass the tissues, please! You and your family are so very blessed – thank you for sharing this heartwarming story with all of us.

  66. Pam Grieco says:

    Traci,
    What a beautiful and thought provoking post. You are indeed a lucky girl – to have been so close to your Mom and then to have been blessed with a “step-Mom” of the same caliber. My Mom was my best friend and my parents had been married for 42 years when she passed. I watched my Dad pine away for her for 10 more years. He never did get over it. I wish that he too, met a “Janet” and was able to enjoy his time left on earth – my mother would have wanted him to.
    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself on this blog – it is an honor and I so look forward to your posts.
    Enjoy watching your Dad become himself again!
    Pam

  67. Julie W. says:

    Tracy,

    What a beautiful post. I cried from the minute I read the title. I know so many of your feelings. God has blessed me first with Kristen and now with a precious baby girl, Laila. I am so very grateful for everything He has done in my life. I just miss Christy so much that my heart aches for her. Our earthly hearts will never be the same, but Praise the Lord we will all be together again.

    I love you, sweet sister,
    Julie

  68. WOW! Thanks for sharing your heart Traci. I cried as you wrote how you felt at the ceremony, and how Janet talked to your boy about your Mom. God has definetly provided a wonderful woman to be your Dad’s partner.
    And that note!!! The love she showed to you children by what she said… I can truly read that she is a woman of God.!
    Thanks so much for sharing.

  69. jennifer says:

    You got me bawling here! Maybe I can make a better comment later!

  70. Traci,

    You are such a beautiful soul and have such a way with words. Here I sit, in my kitchen, crying over what must be (still) such an emotional time for your family; one for rejoicing, but also with remembered pain and loss. What a treasure God has given to your family in Janet. I pray continued blessings on your entire family! ((HUGS))

  71. ahhhh! Don’t ya just love God?

  72. Oh, dear sweet Traci. You are a blessed girl for sure. You wrote so beautifully, honestly, candidly about this experience, that tears are pouring down right now. I know your mother must be so proud of you, and so happy for your dad and for Janet. What a wonderful story. Your point about your dad being a loving man is so important. Having lived alone for ten years, and then re-marrying, I understand how important it is to be able to give away the love in your heart…and to receive it, too. It’s a love that friends, children or grandchildren can’t give. Thank you for sharing this with us.
    Gail Golden recently posted..Celebrating our History

  73. Traci,

    You are one of the few people who can turn me into a weeping mess.

    Your post about your mom and Janet was beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this part of our life with all of us. You are truly an inspiration to everyone to be a better person.

    Please remember, not only are you lucky to have Janet, she is lucky to have YOU.

    I’m glad your dad has found another companion to fill the void in his life. I’m sure your mom is very grateful that Janet is taking care of him and bringing joy back into his life.

    As always, love your blog and you.

    xoxo

    Allison @ House of Hepworths
    Allison @ House of Hepworths recently posted..Hookin Up with HoH #58

  74. Norma S. says:

    Such a sweet post! I cried the day I read that your dad was getting married, I knew it would bring alot of mixed emotions for you. You can tell God had His hands upon this, blessing you all with a Godly woman that will love your dad and your family. Such a wonderful way to start a new life to think of each and everyone of you with a special note….. I am happy for you and I am sure it is nice to see a smile on your dads face again. Hope your week is filled with happiness!

  75. Wow. This made me cry. I am a recent follower and had no idea of your Mom’s sudden passing or of your Dad’s impending marriage to Janet. What a true blessing Janet is to you and your family. I’m so happy that your father was able to find such a wonderful partner after your mother passed away. I can’t even begin to imagine the emotions you must have felt on that day (and everyday). I love my Mom so much and can’t imagine not having her here with me. Thanks for sharing. :)

  76. I’m bawlin my eyes out. In a crowded coffe shop. No shame. What an amazing woman He brought into your Dad’s life!

  77. All I can say is WOW!!! I know I mentioned to you that I too lost my mother 5 years ago this June 6th. It was awful!!! My dad however met a lady just 6 months after my mother passed and then wed less then a year later. We were not included in their celebration. It was horrible!!!! Devasting to say the least………..his new wife is nothing like Janet. You are one of the few lucky ones to have a positive come out of this new transition. I wish some of Janet would have been with my dad’s new wife.
    I can say after 5 years my dad and I are able to connect – but nothing like it once was. I had such a close relationship with both my dad and mom. But after my mom passed away – part of my dad died too! Unfortunately, his new wife had a hard time excepting his part of the family. Amazingly we are accepting of her – now. My sibllings and myself just know my mom was hurting too!!! Like your mom, my mom was an amazing person and she instilled SO many great things within me and my siblings that helped us get through that part of our lives – strength and religion.
    Thanks so much for sharing!!! It’s odd how people come into your life…..there is a reason why I found you on-line:)
    God Bless all of YOU!!!
    stefanie

  78. Suezi Gurzi says:

    OMHeavens!! I have tears running down my face and I am reading this at my office and hopefully no one needs help because I look like a Hot Mess! What a blessing to read about your Dad and Janet. I can only imagine all the emotions that you have experienced but I do know and have experienced God’s generous blessings and how meticulous He is in his blessings! Thank you so much for sharing and I pray that you and your family continue to see God’s blessings on your family! Your Mom must be beaming knowing that God has taken care of all of you with such great love!

  79. Sandy A says:

    You are truly blessed. You had the jnoy of a wonderful mother who lived too short–and you will never ever stop missing her. Nor will your father or any one who was so touched by your Mother’s love. But now you have the blessing of a women who will love and care for your father who surely was more lonely than you can ever imagine. And your father in return will love and care for Janet. How amazing is our God to be the guiding force in bringing all your lives together. If we are so lucky to have loved even once in our lives it is so amazing. For your dad so full of life and so giving to find it a second time is a true blessing–for all of your family. Thank you so much for sharing this part of your life with everyone. Your story may just show someone else what a miracle love is in this world…

  80. Oh bless your heart, I was nearly crying through your post, so beautifully stated – I don’t think we ever get over the loss of our mother. So thankful that Janet is an amazingly loving, sensitive, caring person – what a gift to your family. I know someone very well whose brother married again and it did, indeed, split the family apart. For the past 30 years. Hugs to you, sweetness.

  81. What a beautiful post, Traci.
    Heathahlee recently posted..My New Craft Room! Part One

  82. Wow, this made my eyes leak again! It is a poignant and heartfelt post, Traci, and thank you for sharing your heart and mind with all of us. I know the void and huge loss of losing a parent…mine are gone. It’s so beautiful though to see God’s perfect plan in action. Their meeting was totally a God deal…as well as the attraction, friendship and marriage. I’m glad He chose Janet for your dad and your family…and vice-versa.

    Remember Jeremiah 29:11

    New International Version (NIV)

    11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

    xo
    Pat

  83. This is a truly beautiful post, Traci, and like all the posts that mention your Mom, it made me get all teary. Teary for you and your sister missing your Mom, teary for how hard it probably was for your Dad to take that first step and even call Janet, and teary for the wonderful woman Janet sounds like. I wish your whole family happiness in this new chapter of your lives.

  84. Tears…How beautiful and how Great is Our GOD!! Thank you for sharing your heart and your family with us!
    tiffani boren recently posted..Getting Away and Getting Married

  85. oh traci. I am covered with tears. covered.
    God is so GOOD!

    …. and His mercy endures forever.
    love you,

    - {dar}
    {darlene} recently posted..objects :: a Giveaway and Chandeliers

  86. Allison G. says:

    Oh Traci!
    That was a beautiful post! Thank you so being so open and sharing your heart and feelings with all of us! Janet seems like she will be a wonderful step-mom and I know God will bless you tremendously for your loving acceptance of her into your family. Your testimony of God’s grace in your life is wonderful and is an encouragement to me! God is good! “No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly!” What a God we serve!

  87. Hi Traci! I just found your blog through Denise from Denise in Bloom tweeting to you. I then read read this post. It made me cry. In sadness for your loss, but in happiness that God has placed such a wonderful person you & your families lives. It is so awesome God works! Especially when we wonder what in the world He is doing. I know it’s hard to always remember that He has our best interest at heart. I just wanted to say God Bless you & your family!

  88. Donnella says:

    Traci, what a beautiful post! As I was reading the circumstances leading up to their blind date, I was reminded of the Scripture that our steps are ordered by the Lord.

  89. You wrote that so beautifully. I was choked up the whole time. Thank you for sharing this experience with all of us!

  90. OMG! I am a hot mess right now! What an amazing story of God’s grace and mercy! I mean, really, this story is an example of Eph. 3:20 and how God is capable of far more than we can imagine or think to ask! I’m so thankful you have so openly shared this personal experience with us! I can not fathom the feelings and emotions you have been through the last few years and months. I mean, I am a complete wreck and ball of emotions just reading this. Your Mom would be so proud of you! She knew what an encouragement and blessing you would be (and are) to so many through this blog. God is using you and your amazing family for his glory!

  91. Beautiful story. Made me cry

  92. Wow, thanks so much for sharing your heart with us! That was so touching and it’s so wonderful to see how good God is! He knows exactly what we need.

    Hugs to you,
    Jeana

  93. Traci,
    Wow! This was so beautiful. I was hanging on every word. (and crying on a few as well) :) You are such an inspiration for how, even in the hardest times, we can look beyond the circumstance and see the beauty. I am so glad that not only your dad, but your whole family have been given the gift of Janet. Thank you for lifting up so many of us out here in “blog land” with such an uplifting post. Amie

  94. Our God is an awesome God, He reigns from Heaven above with wisdom power and love, Our God is an AWESOME GOD!

    Oh Traci – You have such a beautiful heart and I am glad to call you friend. May God continue to reign his blessings on you and your family.

    Hugs,

    Marilyn C.

  95. It seems quite apparent that you inherited your mom’s gift of writing. You have expressed so beautifully a myriad of emotions and thoughts in this post that have me in tears, both of sorrow with you and joy over the Lord’s goodness to your family. Thank you for once again blessing me with words of truth!
    Lauren recently posted..Pork Medallions with Cherry Sauce (BH&G)

  96. What a sweet story! It made me weep as my own mother’s death is so fresh on my mind. What a blessing when we choose to live life unselfishly thinking of others and not only to please ourselves. How blessed you are to be in that type of loving family. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story of God’s amazing love.
    Robin recently posted..Mid-July at Robin’s Nesting Place

  97. Oh my goodness – I’m crying out of sadness and joy for you and your family. What a roller coaster of emotions you’re going through – all so valid and warranted. But at the heart of it, I’m so glad that God brought Janet into your lives, and honors your family and your mother’s memory. She sounds like she was handpicked for you all, and I have experienced that same feeling in other circumstances in my life -where there has been great sadness, there can also be many blessings and great joy. Thanks so much for sharing with us.
    Jenny@EvolutionofStyle recently posted..Hot Pink

  98. This is God’s love being demonstrated ( in numerous ways)!

  99. I have followed your beautiful blog since before your mom passed and I must say, this was the most amazing, well writted blog post you have ever done. I was smiling and crying all at the same time. What an amazing work of God, and just knowing that Janet was sent by God makes it easier for you adjust to. Congratulations to your family, what a blessing.

  100. God is so good!!!

  101. Oh Traci, you are just the most sincere, wonderful person EVER. How could Janet not love you and your siblings who want what’s best for their dad vs. themselves? Reminds me of God’s love for us: selfless and unconditional. You handle yourself with incredible grace and poise.

  102. Traci, what a blessing your post is. I totally understand your heartache. My parents had the same blessed relationship like your parents, they loved God and served Him, separately and together, they were in love with each other and they loved their children and grandchildren, who were the light of their eyes……………then one day, a drunk driver changed that for the rest of our days on this earth.

    Mom went to be with the Lord, What a blessing that is to know, she is with God!!! Dad was extremely lonely without Mom, he was half a person, the other half is in Heaven.

    What a blessing you have that Janet loves the Lord, your dad and his family and wants to draw you all together. We didn’t get that blessing when Dad married. He is not lonely and I am happy for that. You blessed me when you shared your story about Janet. What a wonderful lady she must be.

    Praise God for her and you and all your family.

    He is worthy to be praised!

    deb

  103. Janet Lawson says:

    What a remarkable lady..You are truly blessed and your father is blessed to have two women love him so much..
    Janet

  104. Traci,
    You continue to inspire me. Thanks for sharing your heart … although I look like a dork at my work desk now because I’m sobbing and my makeup’s all jacked up! — Susan

  105. Wow, what a special post, and a special lady, you and your family have been truely blessed! Sue

  106. Hi, I’m a new follower to your blog & was just reading your post from today (9/2) & now this post. So many tears down my face reading this beautiful post. I’m sorry to hear about your moms passing ~ that ‘s a beautiful picture & tribute you have to her on your page. Wishing you peaceful thoughts. Jessica

  107. Oh my squishy heart! This is so like God!
    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story of His love and care.
    You are so blessed!

  108. I stumbled across this post today after reading about your celebrating your dad’s 70th birthday. Wow…you have no idea how bad I needed to read this! I lost my husband in the line of duty 2 1/2 years ago. He was a police officer and was hit by a drunk driver while responding to a call of a fight in progress. I am 32 years old with 2 boys to raise…I can only hope to find love like this! I just ended a relationship with someone that I have been with for a year and it hurts. I love how you wrote about finding someone just for the sack of not being lonely and it tearing families apart. I feel like that was the path I was going down and now I know I made the right decision about ending the relationship I was in.

    You have opened my eyes to so much and I thank God for you. I know we don’t know each other but I feel like God has placed you in my life for a reason. I found you when searching for DIY decorating but have found so much more then that! Thank you for being so honest with your followers…you never know who’s life you touch with your sincerity! I pray that God will give me the strength and a heart like yours! You are a blessing to many!

  109. So close to home for me… Thanks for sharing this…

  110. Thanks you, Traci, for sharing your heart. It has meant so very much more to me than I am able to comment on today. Blessings on you and your family!!

  111. What a beautiful post. I followed something over from Pinterest and saw this post. You are very blessed to be so loved by both beautiful women. The part about the 16 year old made me so sad. I am happy for your dad though.

  112. I just ran across the story of your dad’s remarriage tonight. What a blessing Janet is in your family’s life. I was just a few weeks from my 33rd birthday when my mother died of ALS. Within a few months Dad was dating someone he had very casually known in the past. In fact, my mother had also very casually known her. They were married about 18 months later. That was 18 years ago. Immediately Nancy began to divide and destroy our family. Sadly, Dad has allowed it. I think his fear of being alone was stronger than his desire to stand up to her. She is the complete opposite of my mother in every way. Your family is very fortunate. Thanks for sharing your story.

  113. Hi Tracey,

    Thankyou for this post. I am in the difficult stage of losing my Mum just 14 months ago and now my Dad started dating a lady from our church a few weeks ago and now they are engaged already and getting married in 3 months! I was excited at first, but now I”m very very hurt – so hurt I have been crying since last Thursday. I can”t stand the thought of my Mum’s house being changed, and it happeneding already before my eyes as my Dad seels and moves furniture. I can”t stand the thought that my only sibling, my brother, (who tolerates me just barely and never comes here to help look after Dad), is the best man and I have not been included, and to top it all off, the only bridesmaid, the brides daughter, is an ex-model and I’m anything but. I’m hurt on so many levels.

    Yes, i can see God may have a hand in this, but why does it have to hurt me so badly. I”m struggling so much, I cant even talk to my kids, or work or do anything….. I have a constant ache in my chest and wander around all day feeling upset and hurt. I hope there is a happy ending to my story too, but at the moment, I can”t see anything else happening other than me moving away (we live just 100m from my Dad) and faking a sickie on the Wedding day. I just can’t cope with this – its tearing me apart.

    • Nerrida,
      I am so very sorry that you are hurting so badly. I can completely understand your pain, especially since you are still grieving the loss of your mother.
      My only thought is to try and be happy for your dad. I know you are hurt for not being included in the wedding and I would have been too. I am so, so sorry.
      I honestly would try to pray and ask God to give you a peace and heal your heart. Try to find the good in the situation and focus on that. Life is so short, as we both have learned, and I wouldn’t waste any time on being hurt. Try to think of how you would want others to act if you were in your father’s shoes. I know that is easier said than done.
      I will pray for you tonight.
      God bless you.
      Traci

  114. Chrismagness says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this story. I googled some phrases while hurting over the loss of my mother in law and my father in laws recent new friend. Though I want only the best for him I am struggling and not exactly sure why. Thank you for your candid and sweet message. I cried all the way through it and maybe that is what I needed. Another good cry and to know others are dealing with the same thing….and making it. :-)

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