Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Presence of Grace

It's been an eventful first week of marriage.  To those of you expecting Ireland honeymoon photos, please be patient.  That honeymoon got postponed until later this year.  But let me start at the beginning.

I married my amazing husband 11 days ago, and every day since then has been utterly blessed.  The Tridentine Rite wedding ceremony is simply beautiful and filled with prayers and preparation for married life.  Followed by a Sung High Mass, everything was absolutely perfect.  The entire day went smoothly, and I know God's grace was helping in that area.

The day after the wedding, my husband and I were packing for our honeymoon to Ireland when I received a phone call from my father.  My paternal grandfather had just passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack.  I fully believe it was God's grace that let me know before I was halfway around the world.  And it was God's grace that revived my grandfather after he was declared dead so that he could say goodbye to my grandmother.

Needless to say, I was in shock.  He was the first grandparent I lost, and I didn't quite know what to do.  Part of me felt we should dutifully go on the honeymoon we had booked, but my amazing husband took one look at me and said "We're cancelling the honeymoon."  In a matter of minutes, he had called the airline, explained the circumstances, and got them to allow us to reschedule our flight for later in the year.  Shortly thereafter, I had cancelled all of the reservations and rentals (and received full refunds, even from the people who wouldn't normally give out a refund).  I was truly touched at how kind and understanding the people I worked with were.

Since we already had the week off from work, we took a roundabout drive to get to the funeral - including a few awesome stops along the way.  I got to meet my friends' new baby (born on my wedding day), show my husband Christendom College (where I went to undergrad), and visit his hometown.  And throughout it all, he was kind, warm, and supportive.  And again, God's grace allowed us the exact time we needed to visit all of the places and meet all the people - it was an incredible trip to take with my husband as we jaunted back into our individual histories.

When we finally arrived at the funeral, I was ready to grieve.  And I'm so grateful that my husband encouraged and supported me to go to the funeral instead of Ireland.  I gained such closure and comfort from actually being there.  And more stories of grace - cousins making flights they should have missed; siblings surviving missing school; family coming together in love and support.  Seeing all of my dad's family together was a moving and wonderful sight.

After the funeral, we celebrated my grandfather's life in true family fashion - a loud, wonderful, crazy get-together at his old camp.  My husband soared far above my expectations and fit right in with my family.  We taught him to shoot a bow and arrow and how to play cards with my great uncles, and he filled our hearts and ears with joy from his fiddle.  My grandmother kept saying over and over how blessed she felt to have that music and how lucky I was to have found such a wonderful and good husband.  And she's right.

Our journey home was relatively uneventful, and we even got to stop and visit with his parents as well.  And, due to our early arrival, God gave me enough time to get our house in order before going back to work.  

I'll miss my grandfather, but I know it was God's timing and God's grace that planned out the events of the last weeks.  

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