Family time with Judy's side of the family tree has been wonderful. The conversations have been some of the best. The wedding we came to celebrate...beautiful. Watching four generations enjoy each other...splendid. Grateful for this family...to the max!
One of the crowning moments for me this weekend took place this morning. Judy's sister (86yo and the grandmother of the bride...), was widowed several years ago after 60+ years of marriage. By our God's wild and wonderful design she had a new man enter her life some months back. Fifteen months ago it was my sacred privilege to officiate at their wedding in San Diego (he being 94 and widowed some eight years earlier...).
Our new brother-in-law was one of the WWII vets who was honored last summer at the celebration commemorating the Battle of Normandy off the French coast 70 years early that was one of the landmark battles of that terrible time in history. On that fateful day he was in one of the last landing craft to be deployed. He shared with me that it was a time of huge risk as an unexpected tidal surge was taking place and not allowing all the men to make it to shore. Over half the men in his landing craft perished.
For this family time together I had one large request for this fine man and I to have time together...just the two of us. So we stole away this morning for a long breakfast and some sincerely amazing conversation. I will treasure the time we had together, getting even deeper acquainted with each other. Never had a 94yo brother-in-law before. :-)
He shared with me some more of his story. Poignant. Deep. Unsettling. Grateful. It's hard to even begin to imagine all he went through, all the near misses to not making it, but he survived, and thrives today and lives today from a grateful heart for all he has experienced. He would discount this time as heroic...but from all he shared, hero comes easily as a description. This will be a conversation I treasure for all the rest of my own days...and I look forward to more when we are next together.