Monday, September 12, 2011

The post I cant even type without CRYING my eyes out....

Look at this young face...

Its my friend Ryan with his momma, Stephanie back in 2004.

This picture was actually when she got good news of her cancer & he flew out & celebrated with her...

It was about 3 years later that Steph lost her battle...

How I miss my friend... but how blessed we have been to have Ryan & Stephanie's family in our life.

Ryan ended up staying around the area so Ricky & I just have loved him like our own family... always have.  He's just the most amazing young man.

See, he's always loved me :)

We have watched him grow up, graduate high school, watch him become a man really.... tried to help him when he lost his mother, who passed away only a few years after his father.  We watched Ryan make career decisions & go through training to become a firefighter... what an job to respect.  We also watched him as he met the girl of his dreams...

Holy COW... I was LARGE! .. & look at Ricky's HAIR! Old picture arent always fun to look back at!

You have to understand - Stephanie ADORED Ryan... It was actually comical & we loved to tease him about it... so I know how much she would have loved to see this day that he would take the title of "husband"....

Women of Faith 2005... we wore our tiaras ALL weekend
For the record, Stephanie & I went to a Women of Faith in June 2005 & there was a young lady that Stephanie & I kept talking about would be perfect for Ryan... her name was Chasity.  Of course, they were still both in high school & probably too young to think of dating seriously.  But Stephanie already adored the young lady that Chasity was & I know she saw the amazing woman she would become too...

So it was no surprise when Ryan & Chasity both took paths that led right to each other...

Stephanie had passed away before she saw this... but I truly believe she knew...

The wedding was this past Saturday.

We knew it was going to be wonderful, but hold all the bittersweet memories of the people who were missing - Ryan's parents. Particularly for me, my best friend... Steph...

Ryan entered the church & had two white roses & took them up front to the empty chairs that his parents should be occupying... cue the tears from the beginning...

Chasity was gorgeous (not a surprise to anyone) & the ceremony was just perfect for them - laughter & personal things said ... it was perfect.

It was time to give the roses to the mothers & Ryan took a white rose to his new mother... & then Chasity had a rose... she took it to the empty chair....

I thought I was going to loose it... along with everyone else...

The wedding ended with the pronouncement that they were HUSBAND & WIFE!  YIPEE!!!!!!!

So excited for the day.

We head to the reception & all the fun starts... getting to chat with Steph's family that I hadnt seen in so many years & just talking to friends & enjoy the moment of the day.

I was holding this girl when Stephanie passed away... she was just a baby... a sure sign on how long my friend has been with Jesus

So I'm talking to a friend when someone comes & grabs me & says, "They're dancing!" - I didnt even know. (They had forgot to announce it over the speaker)... so I run only to catch the end of their first dance.

Then its the father/daughter dance.  That makes me cry anytime anyways... but they danced to Steven Curtis Chapman's "Cinderella" ... so it was even more amazing... so special - so lovely....

Then the time for the mother/son dance.  It just made me choke up anyways just imaging the pride that Steph would have dancing with her son... Ryan took his new mom with him to the dance floor.  It was wonderful... This family is just perfect for Ryan & have already taken him in as their own child... its like God made sure Ryan had this new family to marry into.

Then all of a sudden, my friend Erica tells me, "Give me your camera'... I was like, "HUH? Why?"...

only to look up to see Ryan coming towards me...

Wait...what?  What's happening?

Ryan had danced half the dance with his new mother in law & then came & got me for the final part of the dance.

I dont even remember it, but everyone said I kept saying "Shut up... Shut up...Shut up"

I couldnt even look up at first!!!!

I just remember bawling... crying so hard I was sobbing...

I couldnt even look up - I just buried my face in Ryan's shoulder & told him that I'm actually speechless... & that NEVER happens!!!!

Ryan said some things to me that I'll cherish forever while we danced... I said some things to him as well, but for the life of me, I dont even remember... he may not have understood anyways since I was all blubbery...

(I'm getting all choked up again thinking about it)

Telling him he's made me UGLY now with all the crying :)

I ended up crying like every 15 minutes for the rest of the evening :)

I just felt so honored for that privilege... to dance with him in honor of his mom... definitely not in the place of his mom, but in respect for my friend.

Dang it... I cant even type about it without tears flowing...

I tell you what... that Ryan... he's something...

Ricky & I adore him & have always thought of him as family & now we're excited to think of Chasity as family too....

I will say it was one of the biggest surprise I think I've ever had in my life ... I will never forget the moment...

I just felt honored & blessed... no other words...

Love having one of the best moments of my life captured... Words cant express how I felt... Thank you Ryan - you are an amazing man that your mother would be so, truly proud of


  1. Oh my gosh! How incredibly sweet for him to think of you!

  2. aww!! that is the sweetest post.

    i'm sorry you've lost your friend but what a way for her to be remembered. i'm so happy for you lady that you were able to share that dance with him :)

    love you! xoxo

  3. Oh my goodness! i have to tell you that I was seriously sobbing reading this!! SO beautiful!! So special! What a special young man and new wife....and what a special friend you are! Love you lady!

  4. oh my word, now I'm a blubbering mess!!! That was seriously the sweetest thing ever!

  5. Love this.

    And I cried like a baby. Thank God the Big Guy wasn't home. :)

  6. Ok, so this was hard to write, eh? Well, it was hard to read too! Sniff, sniff.

    You know, you are always the one behind the camera, capturing priceless, unforgettable moments. What an experience to be on the other side of that lens.

    Ryan is, indeed, an amazing young man...a beautiful legacy of his parents and, especially, his mother...your dearest friend.

    My heart aches for your sadness that still shines through the posts that invoke memories of Stephanie. I know you are still hurting. However, moments like those that you experienced last weekend bring bright rays of sunshine. What wonderful grace and mercy that the Lord provides!


  7. And now I'm bawling! What a precious celebration and what a tribute to your sweet friend. She would be so proud to know you have honored her so well all these years...Amazing! I love stories like this!!

  8. Okay, I had to take off my glasses because I am crying so much. He sounds like a fantastic person. What a beautiful relationship you have.

  9. Aww this post made me tear up!! I'm sure he is beyond thankful for your role in his life. :)

  10. This is one of the best stories that I've heard in such a long time. We Readers need this every once in a while.

  11. Now I'm ugly with the crying. Great post.

  12. Oh my goodness….. I have no words!!! This is the most BEAUTIFUL post EVER EVER EVER!!!!!!! I love you so much friend and your heart, your love for people, and for this sweet boy that you’ve taken under your wing in the absence of you precious friend and love as your own!!!! Gahhhhhh, I need tissues!!! And oh lordy, can’t get over Ricky’s hair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bwahaha!!!!!

  13. What amazing post. You are a great friend. What a sweet story you shared... Hugs to all of you..

  14. Made me cry too. I'm so pleased that Ryan danced with you - I was gonna be mad if he didn't & I don't even know him!

  15. oh my goodness what an incredible story!! what a love story...congrats to the newlyweds!!

  16. Oh RJ ~~. Tears and love my sweet dear friend!! I love Ryan too and have never met him. Just tell him this chic in MO thinks he is just grand!!! Love you friend ~~ dawn

  17. What a special thing and such an honor! I am in tears!! I've lost my mom (although thankfully she was here for my wedding) and my mom's best friend stepped in for her in many ways when she went to be with Jesus. Definitely a special relationship!! So happy for your "son!" He seems like a great guy!

  18. I just found your blog and all I can say is "oh my goodness" through tears of course! What a special and precious time! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  19. Such a sweet post and I now have a huge lump in my throat. I'm missed you friend! Getting caught up on my blog reading...


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