Some of you know that my late husband and I had something of a whirlwind romance back in 1995. The whirlwind had two aspects to it, the spiritual and the physical. I said spiritual because we both felt and even heard God telling us that this was the marriage we were both meant to have, the person we’d been created to share our life with. The physical was made even more swift by our living arrangements. We were located in different time zones, Larry in the Easter time zone and I in the mountain time zone. This mean long hours on the telephone, sometimes quite late at night. Neither had much thought left over for anything else. Talk of marriage came up very quickly and came to betrothal way too early for anyone else’s liking. We’d met on January 24 and a mere 5 1/2 weeks later on March 3rd Larry proposed to me.

The mode of Larry’s proposal would set the mark for every gift he would later give me. He was very alert to every thing I would mention or comment on. He’d asked me why I’d not moved to Michigan yet, I answered that I’d not yet been invited. So on March 3, 1995, in the parking lot at the Saginaw Port Huron Airport, I was given an Invitation From the Heart asking me to marry him. It was the most romantic moment in my life.

After the funeral I was unable to find the invitation but last weekend, 6 1/2 years later, my son stumbled across it going through so old boxes. I can’t tell you how happy that has made me. It doesn’t seem like much, just a plain piece of computer paper with some computerized pictures on it and a short poem that he’d written himself. It’s not much to look at but it means the world to me, that little bit of paper changed my whole world 21 years ago today.

Shelley Brandon

My bio is rather complex and like most people's starts at birth, or maybe before. I was adopted as an infant by very special and very loving parents. Pretty normal and average childhood with two younger brothers. Married at 22, motherhood at 25, divorced single parent at 29. Blessed at 31 with a new chance at love and the family I'd always wanted. Eight months later two of my sons lost their mother to pneumonia. Our blended family was tossed by the waves of grief from the beginning. The waves became a tsunami when my wonderful husband died 14 years later. Grief has been my shadow for nearly 20 years now, but life is still good when you're standing in the light.