My brother Stephen got engaged on New Year’s Eve. He’s the one on the left. I’m sure you can see why I call him “little.” (Is that the way it is for all sisters? He passed me in height years ago but he’ll always be “little brother” to me.) The pretty girl next to him is his fiance and my future sister-in-law Amber. This photo was taken at Thanksgiving at my Grandpa Hollie’s house (the handsome guy in the middle).
Stephen has always had a knack for making people like him. When we were kids, he’d frequently get his friends to do his chores. He can also hunt and fish like nobody’s business. If we lived in pioneer days, he’d probably run the whole village because he’d have the most food and everyone would do whatever he said. Right now he’s working as welding inspector and I’m sure he does a much better job than I ever could. Amber is sweet, smiley, and seems to have a heart of gold. She’s finishing up school and volunteers at a children’s hospital. I’m happy for them and wish them the best.
Stephen and Amber’s engagement makes me think back to my own. My dear Grandma (Hollie’s wife) had unexpectedly slipped away to heaven in her sleep. I was home for Christmas break. I called Mark in tears and shared the news. When I called back about a half an hour later he said, “I’m driving to the airport to catch the next flight.” For the following week, he stood by my family and did whatever was needed. Little did I know there was a diamond ring burning a hole in his suitcase.
When we returned to my hometown and the sadness had started to settle, Mark couldn’t stand the wait any longer. He took me to my favorite place in Houston, the Water Wall, and popped the question on a park bench. We’d been talking about getting engaged for months so my first response was a lighthearted, “Stop teasing me!” When he proceeded to pull the ring from his pocket, my jaw dropped and I hollered a surprised, “Yes!”
I think my Grandma would have been glad that we got engaged at that time. She and my Grandpa had a great love, and it felt a bit as if the torch were being passed to us. I could just imagine her doing a little dance of joy in heaven that day.
These are pictures of my grandparents. The first one was taken when they were dating and the second a few weeks before she went home to heaven.
I love how the expressions on their faces and the twinkle in their eyes didn’t change much through the years.
Of course, marriage has its challenges. But somehow I’m still a sucker for a good love story. Maybe it’s because I catch a glimpse of God’s love for us in them too.
Congratulations, Stephen and Amber. May God give you a lifetime of love and laughter.