Like all fairy tales, this one begins with a beauty queen, an engineering geek, and a happily ever after which included 5 beautiful children. See the darling little boy on the left, with the mischievous twinkle in his eye? That's John. Isn't he cute?
Here's another picture just to prove my point and to show the children that he did have hair at one point. Back to "happily-ever-after" because this post isn't really about John.
Like all fairy tales there are beautiful meadows of flowers, singing, and perhaps even some dancing. There is also always a trial to overcome, a dragon to fight, or a villain to vanquish. The lives of my darling in-laws have been such a fairy tale.
I love to sit and hear about their lives before I became part of their family. A life that shaped the good man who became my husband. There is a depth of character that was challenged, faith tested, testimonies strengthened in the memories they share. The laughter often fills the room and sometimes I catch a knowing glance as they look at one another. With love shining in their eyes, I can tell there is more to the story that is tucked away in their hearts. A special moment that only they share and I smile to myself, thankful that two such loving people openly accepted me into their lives.
They are strong defenders and loving advocates. They champion the cause and fill the world with beauty all at the same time. They make you feel loved and accepted. They are tender and compassionate. I have seen their hearts break, forgiveness given, and love offered on countless occasions. I am so blessed to have their examples in my life.
Mutti and Oopa, thank you for enduring the madness and mess when we come to visit. Thank you for the phone calls, emails, and letters. Thank you for the small things as well as the big ones that bless our lives. Thank you for showing us that there can be a happily ever after. We all need to know that fairy tales do come true.
I love you.