May 24th at 4PM the next chapter starts. On that day and at that time I will walk by beautiful daughter down the aisle. At the end of that very short walk her hand will move from mine and go over to Mark’s. At that moment a chapter that was written over a twenty-six year period will end and a new one will begin.
For twenty-six years I have been the man primarily responsible for the care and protection of Nicole but at that moment that duty passes to Mark. In a somewhat different manner I have also turned over the care of Christian to the United States Army and Janni to the Marine Corp. All three will be scattered about the country like seeds on the wind to be planted wherever they may land.
On May 25th Deb and I will open our eyes to a new world. The chapter that has been closed was a successful one indeed. Our children have brought us great joy and we are immensely proud of each of them. But they no longer need us every day of their lives. That is the new reality that we must face.
Despite the sadness this time finds me immensely hopeful as well. While great change surrounds us at this moment Deb and I love each other dearly. No matter what befalls us positively or negatively we will face it together. Lord willing we will grow old together. We will grow old watching, with great adoration, the fruit of what our love has borne. I love Deb dearly and her hand will never pass from mine until my final breath.
While tears of thanksgiving are upon our cheeks let us look with joyful anticipation to the road before us. A road that I will walk with Deb’s hand in mine.