I remember the day I shared with my grandfather, Herschel Grice, my intentions of asking Lori Hutchison to be my wife. He was thrilled! My family loved Lori deeply from the first time they met her. As always, he gave me sage advice.
He said most people think getting an education and launching a successful career are the hardest things you will ever do in life. Not true, he said. Patiently waiting and listening to God’s plan for your life and your wife are the most important.
When God puts the perfect person in your life and you have the courage to go after her with all your heart, then that is where the magic happens. Together, you will be stronger than one.
But now for the hard part, finding the perfect match and stepping into marriage is the easy part. The hardest part is continuing to build a relationship and a marriage that makes you stronger together, than apart. Two become one in extraordinary ways.
However, you must work at it every day, celebrate the blessings and small successes and continue in every way, every day to invest in your marriage.
He said it will be the hardest thing you ever do. There will be huge failures along the way. But those valleys will make the mountaintops so much sweeter.
Valleys and Mountaintops
How right he was. 32 years later, Lori and I have experienced heartache, disappointment, loss of close friends and family members, including Herschel and Lori’s mom Lynn Hubbard, and devastating blows that saw Lori beat cancer.
Most of the mistakes and failures along the way in our marriage have been of our own making. Life is hard, marriage is harder. Somehow however, God has allowed two of the most imperfectly, perfect people in the world to continue to find a path forward.
As Herschel promised, the mountaintops have been unimaginably high. We can’t explain why, in so many ways, we have been so richly blessed with friends, experiences and opportunities.
The friendships of the people God continues to put in our life are the most remarkable of all blessings.
Every time we have a need, we get stuck in a rut or dream a phenomenal dream, one of you reading this shows up in our life. It is because of you, we are stronger and so richly blessed.
Our greatest miracle in marriage was the gift of our daughter Edie Grace. She is the most terrific, compassionate, driven daughter in the entire world. A good friend of mine, Dr. Michael Taromina, took me to lunch when we learned we were expecting and shared with me how Lori and I thought we understood love.
He went on to say, that you will never utterly understand the raw, unmistakable power of love until Dr. Joe Edwards places your daughter in your arms for the first time. You can only understand this if you are a parent. If so, you will agree no truer words have ever been spoken.
Love at First Sight
Lori and I were first attracted physically, but we soon learned that there was so much more to our individual journeys, that pulled us together. Both of our Moms had conceived us in high school and the years that followed left lots of question marks for our future. We bonded with this commonality and learned quickly that we were much stronger together than apart.
Lori’s Dad loves to tell the story of our first meeting. He and I were working together and for quite some time I had heard stories from him about his beautiful, smart, and talented daughter. Then one evening, feeling sorry for a starving college student, he invited me over for a home-cooked dinner. When I saw Lori, it was love at first sight! The next day he asked me what I thought of his daughter. I quickly replied sharing with him how beautiful I thought she was and that I planned to make her my wife someday. We had not even been on a date!
The Journey Continues
It is so much fun to look back, but what is terribly exciting, especially in these uncertain times, is to look forward to what the future holds for Lori, Edie Grace, and myself.
Our marriage has been a partnership in life, business, and parenting. One in which we devote each day to making a small difference in the lives of our clients, family, friends and community.
One thing is for sure, with your support, encouragement, and friendship it will continue to be an amazing journey.
Certainly we know that, no matter what life holds, the journey is so much better to enjoy with family and friends.
So here is to 32 more!
Thanks to you for sharing this journey in whatever way God has placed you in our lives.
May you be richly blessed for joining us along the way.