For the month of May, I am choosing to take part in a project called “May We All Heal.” This project is a way to share your grief through sharing your story. For more information visit:


That is today’s prompt. The word beginning. I’ve been ruminating on it all day, wondering what it means to me. What does it mean in regards to grief and sharing my story? This blog may be very stream of consciousness. Since it’s just for me, I’m gonna roll with it.

1. the point in time or space at which something starts.

1. new or inexperienced.

Those were the first definitions that popped up in my Google search bar. Hmm.

The point in time at which something starts.
“Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start…” and with those few words, a very famous song from a very famous movie begins. Do-Re-Me from The Sound of Music. It always feels to me like Winnie-the-Pooh should go lumbering through the movie at times. Do-Re-Me feels very Poohish. I digress. Yet again.

Where to start, where to start? Ron and I went to junior high together for one year. There is an epic picture of us circa 1992. I’ve got big hair, he’s got a bowl cut and we’ve got a future together no one would have seen coming at that point. Fast forward about 10 years later and this long-haired guy walks into the church where I’m interning on a Wednesday night. I honestly don”t remember much about him other than he was the older brother of one of my youth group kids. That kid, (my future brother-in-love) was a handful. So he didn’t make a mark other than, “Huh, Zach’s got an older brother. God bless their mama.” (Sorry Zach).

Fast forward another 10 years, this time he’s great friends with my sister and one of my dearest friends. He’s a worship leader at a local church, does graphic design, helped my mama with Campus Life at the high school, and helped my sister get through college. But for some reason, somewhere along the line, I had developed a less than favorable opinion of him – and I got the impression that he was quite a jerk. (It’s probably all Sarah and Angela’s fault).

So one night, my girlfriend, the above mentioned Angela, asked me to hang out. I ended up at Ron’s house with a bunch of their friends and pure insanity ensued for the entire evening. I was at a pretty low place and was in desperate need some laughter and camaraderie. I got it in spades. The whole night was hilarious. I left with new friends and a realization that maybe Ron wasn’t as big of a jerk as I had thought he was. Maybe I had misjudged him, but then again, maybe not.

A month or so later, my sister was home for Christmas from Australia. When she was home, we always tried to make sure to pack in as much as possible. Christmas fell on a Sunday that year. I distinctly remember this for two reasons. One, we only had one service at church that Sunday and lady came to it with her slippers on. She was so embarrassed; I remember thinking it was brilliant. The second reason was that I was off the next day, Monday, due to the holiday falling on a weekend. This is where our story really starts to get moving.

Sarah: “Sooooo, Ron has a park hopper ticket for me to go to Disney tomorrow. But I’ll need a ride there. Wanna go?”
Me: “Does Ron have a park hopper ticket for me to go to Disney tomorrow?”
Sarah: “No.”
Me: “So, I have to buy a park hopper ticket to Disney, drive you there and then drive home and go to work the next day?”
Sarah: “Yes.”

Let me tell you how much I really love my sister.

The next morning, we got up early. I drove an hour and a half, paid an exorbitant amount of money on a ONE DAY PARK HOPPER pass and had the greatest day ever. A few years prior, Ron’s family had started the tradition of spending Christmas at Disney. Unbeknownst to me, on that day I met my future father-in-love and spent the whole day with a crazy crew that I now proudly call my family (even Zach).

We hit every single big ride at three out of the four parks. We rode the Mountains, met Belle in the blue dress, watched tons of Christmas shows. Had the greatest conversations, rode buses, ate way too much and wound up in the Epcot parking lot around 2 am. My sister and Zach raced wheelchairs through the empty parking lot while Ron and I talked about life. Standing under the monorail track, he asked for my phone number. I gave it to him without a second thought. Just not THAT thought.

…it was all started by a mouse. –Walt Disney

Over the next few weeks, we all hung out quite a bit. I never felt the least bit uncomfortable, nor did I realize that I was falling in love with this guy whom I formerly described as quite the jerk. We shared our hopes, our fears, our pasts, and our God with one another. He is the best thing I never saw coming.

I had been in a few long-term relationships prior and I had always been the pursuer. After my last break up, I decided I was tired of having a broken heart. I told God that He was going to have to drop my future husband in my lap because I was done looking. Ron was safe; there was no pretense. I didn’t think I was looking for anything nor did I feel that awkwardness that sometimes precedes a romantic relationship. I remember the night it hit me that I was in love with him. We had been texting quite a bit, as I was sick and had no voice. I was laying on my couch, kleenex everywhere and I realized, “I love this man, oh my goodness, I’m in love with Ron. I am so screwed.”

I was unaware, he was having the same internal dialogue. We both thought we were in the other person’s “friend zone.” One night, we went out for a walk. We were talking about the future and he said something about having to check up on any future men who may enter my life. I was crushed. He didn’t even remotely feel about me the way I felt about him. I knew in that moment that our relationship would change in the morning. I could no longer invest my heart into this man, my heart would never survive. We walked back to the house and continued to nonchalantly chat about something inconsequential.

I ended up staying later than I planned and fell asleep on the couch. I woke up to him quietly asking me, “What are we doing here?” Even in my sleepy state, it dawned on me that he was asking me more than just why was I still there. Guard down, heart abandoned, I answered, “I don’t know, but I really like you.” And the rest, as they say, is history.

Four days later, we shared our first kiss and our first I love you. We talked about how we would be engaged within 6 months or wouldn’t be together at all. We didn’t want to drag things out, our hearts had found their homes. We got together in February, engaged in April and married in November. It was a whirlwind of the best kind.

So what does all this have to do with grief? I’ve read that grief is love with nowhere to go. Ron and I passionately love each other. Out of that love, we created the most beautiful, perfectly, imperfect little girl, London Joy. We made a commitment to one another at the beginning of our relationship to be “all in for always.” It’s the same thing with grief, we are all in for always. We will always love her, we will always miss her. We will always wonder who she would be, what her giggle would sound like. Would she laugh like me or big laugh like her daddy? All this love, all these unfulfilled dreams. I wouldn’t change the time we had with her for the world. But I would extend it forever if I could.

All because two people fell in love.

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One Comment

  1. With every story…I love you(& Ron) more, dear April ! ❤️

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