When couples get married ...

I've written exhaustively about how thankful I am for John. I've documented on my blog what an amazing person and husband he is and how much I adore him many times. I probably make some readers roll their eyes -- or gag. But I am so blessed and so thankful and so happy ... and so expressive ... that I can't help myself.

We just celebrated our ninth Christmas together. And on January 4 we will celebrate our eighth wedding anniversary. I knew I was marrying a very special man the day of our wedding. What I couldn't know in advance was what a great stepdad and Poppy John he would be.

When two people join their lives together, other people's lives are affected. There are often personality clashes and baggage. Not all step and in-law relationships are beautiful and wonderful. So, when they are, it's a blessing to be valued, cherished and thankful for.

I remember how much I wanted John and Danny to have a close relationship when we were first married. I remember wanting it to happen really fast. And I also remember John telling me that a stepdad/stepson (fatherly) relationship had to grow naturally over time to be genuine. It could not be forced. He would not push any specific kind of relationship on Danny. He would just be a friend and have no expectations. After all, he would always say, "Danny has a dad."

John is not the type of person to ever impose himself on anyone. He is very respectful. He chose to stay "in his place" and I'm guessing that he may have also been guarding his own heart just a bit. But I remember him telling me that if Danny ever wanted more of a father/son kind of relationship with him, Danny would have to be the one to indicate that. He would never presume upon Danny in that way.

John and I have been together now for almost nine years, and married for eight. And in hindsight (especially through the lens of this past year), I see how wise John was in the way he approached his relationship with my son. They have always gotten along well. They have never had cross words or "issues." I know that Danny has always appreciated the way John loves and respects me. But a deeper relationship between the two of them has grown in the last few years. And it's the relationship I hoped for from the beginning. But John was right. You can't have it instantly. Their relationship is what it has become in large part because John did not try to make it happen.

I'm a very thankful wife and mom. The genuine love and respect between my husband and my son makes my life better, easier and happier. Neither of them causes stress for me in the other relationship. Neither of them competes with the other. There are no loyalty issues. There is just love. And I know how fortunate I am.

I'm very thankful that God blessed me with a man who would also be a blessing to my son, my daughter-in-law and my grandchildren. I waited a long time for the life I enjoy today. But when God chose to bless my life in this way, He blessed me far beyond my wildest dreams. There were blessings prior to 2003. I see God's hand in my life in many different ways since childhood. But I have truly known love and fulfillment and the joy of living in the last nine years. I don't take a single day for granted.

I love these guys and I'm so grateful they genuinely love each other.

I'm also extremely blessed and thankful to have
the most wonderful daughter-in-law in the whole world.

These are some of my favorite pictures from this Christmas.

These are my perpetual "Christmas Gifts."


Anonymous said…
And you have been blessed! Perhaps in more ways than you realize. You've also been given the gift of a patient heart. Please never underestimate how important that is!

Robin said…
I enjoyed reading this account about your family. Even though I already knew about it, it is a feel-good read. You are all blessed to have each other and I know you all know it. I am thankful for your happiness.
DeeDee said…
Shari, we've been down a lot of roads together for such a long time, haven't we? I've known you and details of your life, your feelings, struggles, challenges and blessings since you were just a baby. I'm sure I don't know it all but I do know a lot since you've always been such an open book. Therefore, I KNOW what you say here not "blowing smoke," but every word is true. And, for that, this makes my heart very happy for you, for John and for Danny! GOD IS GOOD and JUST!

I hope your new year is even more blessed! DeeDee
Shari said…
Thank you, Alice, Robin and Dee Dee for the nice responses to this blog post. You have all been important and cherished friends in my life. And you always will be.

Dee Dee, we certainly have been down a lot of roads together! And even the ones that were separate have often been parallel.