My dad got married today.
I never thought I would have to say those words. As of yet, I still do not think I’ve fully processed it completely since I have yet to see him with his beautiful bride together in person as a couple, but I have known her in the past as my mother’s dear friend.
My dad got married today, by the law, at least (they will be married in the church in December). Either way, our family is gaining a new member, and a new season of our lives begins.
If you would have told me three years ago that I would watch my dad marry another woman, I would not have believed you. My mom was supposed to live well into her elder years with my dad at her side. She was supposed to watch each of her children grow up to pursue God’s dreams for them, be there when they married godly spouses, be a grandma who held and cherished her grandchildren. She was supposed to bid this life goodbye as a little old woman who had lived a full life. At least, she was supposed to in the way of how I would have wanted things.
I never would have wanted to watch my dad go through the pain of losing his wife of twenty-four years, but cancer is an awful disease and death in this life is a necessary passage to what awaits beyond the veil. In the years following my mom’s passing, my dad had to learn again to depend on God alone, to find healing and companionship in Jesus. It was heart-wrenching to watch my dad grieve such a deep loss, but I knew that God, in His goodness, would take care of him.
As much as I knew it would hurt to see my dad love another woman, I started to pray that God would bring him a new wife, someone who would show him new depths of Jesus’ love for him, someone who would partner with him in ministry, someone who would challenge him to become more like Jesus every day. A prayer deep in my heart was that the woman would be someone who had a chance to know my mom and be familiar with the impact she has had on our family for the rest of our lives.
God surprised me (should I really be surprised?) when He honored my prayer a few months after. Gema was a dear friend of my mother’s before and during her battle with cancer. When my mom was sick, I remember her being at the hospital often. She cared for her, laughed with her, prayed with and for her. She is a woman of God, who loves Him first and foremost. She is a prayer warrior. She is both bold and gentle. She didn’t expect marriage, but she was obedient when God led her to my dad.
My dad remarrying is bittersweet, since it brings back the painful reminder that my mom is gone but at the same time reaffirms the fact that God is faithful, and He will bring goodness out of even the most painful circumstances.
My dad got married today in a beautiful unfolding testimony of God’s faithfulness and His redemption. From the pain of loss, He has brought forth beauty. In wells forged by sorrow, He has caused new joy to spring up. In this, I see evidence of His unconditional love toward us.
So begins Part I of a new Parodi adventure. I am sure there will be new levels of grief to work through as we process new dimensions of what it was to lose my mom, BUT also more joy since we get to gain a new family member. No matter what, God is with us. He was faithful with our yesterdays, so I choose to trust Him with today and tomorrow.