Somewhere in Seattle tonight, one of my favorite couples in the whole wide world are sipping champagne, gazing into each other's eyes, and thinking back to that magical evening exactly one year ago when they said "I do" under the limbs of the big oak tree at Barr Mansion.
It's hard for me to believe my son and his bride are already celebrating their first anniversary ... until I think of all that has happened in those 365 days since The. Most. Beautiful. Wedding. Ever.
If you look to the left of the preacher in the photo above, you'll see my mom in red and Daddy beside her. I'm so grateful they were able to share in the joy of that evening.
"Do not be afraid.
Do not be satisfied with mediocrity.
Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch."
~St. John Paul II
That is such a great quote for marriage, isn't it? Or really anything we feel called to do that requires a leap of faith.
I'm adopting it as a daily inspiration for my real estate career, where I have to overcome my natural shyness and remind myself that by helping others I'm helping my family.
Speaking of Saint Pope John Paul II....besides being my son and daughter-in-law's anniversary, today is also his canonization day, along with that of Pope John XXIII. I'm happy about that because each of them deserves some credit for my conversion to Catholicism. And I think everyone who has known me since at least my junior high days will know that my conversion might just qualify as a miracle.
Saint Pope John XXIII was responsible for Vatican II, which among other things, allowed Mass to be said in a country's native language, instead of Latin. He was Pope in 1959, when I was born, but since I was born into a Baptist family, that didn't mean a thing to me.
I really didn't pay any attention to Popes or Catholicism until 1978, when John Paul II became Pope. I was working shiftwork at a chemical plant, and one slow night, I discovered a Time magazine stashed in the boiler lab with a feature article about the new Pope. He fascinated me, and I read everything I could about him and the Catholic church.
I met Tom in 1981 and we married in the Catholic church, but I didn't officially join the church for another thirteen years. Once I did, I could see how my path to Catholicism began all those years ago on a slow night in the boiler lab.
Or maybe on the day I was born. Maybe before that. Who knows?
Whenever it was, I'm grateful to these two for the example they've given on how to live a life of faith and love.
"The future starts today, not tomorrow."
~Pope St. John Paul II