So I was going to write my annual Christmas letter for family and friends here, but there are other more important things to say and a limit on time right now. Thanks for understanding 🙂
“God is never late, He’s never early, He’s always right on on time.” A friend of mine used to tell me that, and I am now more fully grasping the meaning. At 34-years-old, God has now sent me the incredible man that I am to share the rest of my life with! On Christmas day, Mike Martinez asked me to marry him, as my Mom sat near me “bawling like a baby.”
A lot of people get engaged on or around Christmas though, so what makes this so special? Well, for those of you who may not know, my Mom is suffering with Terminal Bone Cancer. Diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer about four years ago, they did a Lumpectomy and a lot of treatment at that time. Seemingly doing so well, we were all devastated to suddenly learn this past May that she had Stage 4 Bone Cancer, already in 6 places.
Mom is so strong in her faith and in her will to live. Many people find her an inspiration and courageous, including me. But she will just tell you, “It’s just me, I’m just doing what I have to do.” My parents have been married for over 40 yrs, and my Dad is suffering so deeply right now. It’s beautiful to see him love and serve my Mom, yet so painful to see what he has built his whole life around now begin to prepare for her “journey home” first.
My fiancée, Mike, and I drove here to Florida, planning to be here until New Years; but I now see God’s wisdom in so many things that I have been going through in the past year and a half. Right before we got here, Mom had a Pet Scan, and after my Dad told her how she has declined since we saw her at Thanksgiving, her Oncologist had to frankly tell her, “It will be downhill from here.”
I never imagined we would be discussing my wedding plans and at the same time seeing what Mom wants as far as funeral arrangements, but then again, much of life is not how we plan. I am learning to become more grateful for the present moment, that she is here now. How fortunate that my sweet Mom has come to know and love Mike even in a short time.
It’s all very fresh, but I soon will be moving in with my parents to help them: They need it, and I know it’s where God wants me. I am abundantly blessed to have a supportive Boss and a best-friend roommate, who’ll put everything that needs to be on hold and do whatever to support us. Yet Mike, working IT for Corporate America, has a Boss who “doesn’t want that for his team” and said that it’s not “his family”. He feels called to be here just as much as I do. My selfless fiancée still wants to go to his Boss’ Boss now to ask – please join us in prayer for things to fall into place. I know that God will line everything up, because He is faithful, and this is what we are called to do. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine we’d begin our marriage in a Retirement Village of all places, but we don’t want to be anywhere else… Perhaps we will work backwards from here 🙂
I thank you all in advance for your love, prayers, and support. It has been a swirl of activity and emotion since we’ve arrived – Mom had to be taken into the Doctors office the day after Christmas because we now know that she was having an allergic reaction to the medication. We are so humbled and grateful that a loving “team” of friends and family have already begun offering their services in helping us plan a Florida wedding as quick as we can. It will be a special time for some of our very close family and friends to share in the joyful time intermingled with sorrow. Hopefully in Orlando, we are beginning the process of setting that date everyone is asking about…there are just a few things that need to fall into place first!!!