My friend Hannah was originally the daughter of a single mom. When she was five, her mom met and married the man who became Hannah's dad. In the months immediately after big Blake's death, Hannah and I would do coffee and talk and cry. She helped me weed through piles and piles of baby clothes, do laundry covered in spit-up, and process the flood of emotions I was experiencing with some regularity, as well as give me insight into what it could be like for little Blake, starting life without a dad. I helped her by introducing her to Scrubs, making caramel corn, and showing her the difference between the aromas of spit-up and Dreft.
Rob's and my wedding has brought a bunch of her memories back of what it was like to be five when her mother got married and she got a dad. With her permission, I want to share portions of an email she sent me a few weeks ago:
I was blow drying my hair today and thinking about you. Specifically, I had just read your post (and commented) on little Blake's calling Rob 'Dad.' My head was spinning with my own memories of the whirlwind of blessings and love that occurred right before and after my parents wedding. I remember many things vividly - some fun and some just really sweet. Dad carrying me on his shoulders on a hike before their engagement (my hair getting caught in a tree. And I'm a wuss, so I was probably crying). Looking at my flower girl dress for the first time as we walked in downtown Billings. Being REALLY mad at Mom and Dad for going on a honeymoon right over my 5th birthday, and my mom getting me CORDUROY PANTS and not a Barbie for my birthday. If they HAD to be gone, they could have at least bought me off with a Barbie.
Anyway, my hair was about half dry when I fast forwarded to those weeks you and I would grab coffee and talk about big Blake and fears and Dad's stroke. Times when I would come over to help with little Blake however I could, and I distinctly remember some caramel popcorn. I not-so-distinctly feel as though you may have introduced me to "Scrubs." That's a lesser memory. (But funny, because Adam loves Scrubs and we're watching the first 6 seasons right now.)
Then I realized that I was really glad that I was able to meet Rob before Molly and JR and their wedding. I think because I have a memory of him, I wasn't nearly as tentative about your relationship as some of your other friends might have been early on. I was surprised, but God has done that to me 3 times now with friends and their spouses, so in being surprised I just looked at God and went "Figures. You're unpredictable that way. But it always ends up phenomenally better than if I had planned it."
And so, friend, I'm just so pleased for you. I love you dearly, and I'm so glad that God has created this little Bermuda triangle of weddings for you, me, and Molly. I certainly didn't trust him with my own life, and then he did the unexpected and fabulous. I'm very glad to witness his doing the same for you.
Finally, I had to do a genogram for my counseling internship, talking about the relational and emotional affects of our family dynamics. This particular assignment also included a slide show of photos, and so my mom scanned some of me and my parents during the time of the wedding and before. I'm attaching them, to share with you. My favorite is of me and my dad. I think that was the day we got back from the adoption proceedings. I'm praying that Blake has that look on his face whenever he looks at Rob.
I love you,