The trip to Austin was exactly what my bruised and mending heart needed. I had never been away from my three little boys. For the first time in over five years I wasn’t busy changing diapers, reminding my little guys to use their manners, or reading board books. I soaked up the warmth of the Texas sun, surrounded by wonderful friends, and relaxed for the first time in longer than I could remember. Each breath that I took was happy sigh after happy sigh.
My friend, Amy, had originally met her fiancé while country dancing, so the night before their wedding, they wanted to take their family and friends out to share in the fun! I have two very clumsy left feet, but this Kansas girl had a wonderful time learning how to Texas Two-step with friends, old and new!
(Psssst…can you spot my Beloved and myself on opposite sides of the photo? Want to know something funny? I didn’t get the chance to step all over his feet that night – the two of us didn’t even dance together…)
The day of the gorgeous wedding we finally had a chance to get a picture of the four of us – Amber, Joanne, Amy, and myself. Four girls that met in Moscow, Russia, all those years ago…together again for such a wonderful reunion!
In the next photo are Amber, Cathy, Amy, myself, and Regina. During the reception, I was able to spend time with these lovely girls, toast the radiant couple, and chat a bit more with Amy’s family – including her brother, Joe. As a group of us sat around a table underneath the starry Texas sky, we talked a little more about our ended marriages, his life in the Air Force, my life as mom to three busy boys, and all of the similarities between our families. Talking with him felt very comfortable for this shy and quiet Kansas girl, just as natural as it had always been to talk to my friend and the rest of her family.
At the end of the night, we found ourselves standing next to each other as the bride and groom left their reception in a shower of rose petals. Unable to see how the paths of our separate lives were slowly being knit together, we stood side by side, celebrating our friend and sister’s happiness. (Can you spot the two of us on the right?)
I blinked away a tear as I watched their car drive away, carrying my friend toward her happily ever after. My heart was welling up with joy for her, but overcome with a sadness knowing that my dream of a fairytale ending was forever broken.
Later, at the hotel, I could no longer hold in my tears. My time had passed, my dream had died. Joanne, always my rock, held me as I sobbed. Utterly broken, I mourned the happy ending that was no longer to be in my own life. She stroked my hair, comforted her hurting friend, and whispered, “You will love again, Ginger. You will. You’re going to be with someone like Amy’s brother, Joe. That’s what you need. Someone like him.”
It wasn’t until much later that Joanne confided in me that while she was saying that I would someday be with someone like him, she was really thinking in her heart that it would be him – I would find my happily ever after, and it would be with him.
I just didn’t know it yet…
~ Our Story ~
*Photo credit – Wedding photos are by Sledd Photography (#5), and Joanne Funk (#4 and #6).
Today I'm honored to be guest posting at my lovely friend Brenda's blog, Recovered Identity. I'm sharing how I came...