If you have followed Sarah and I’s writing over these months, you know that we’ve now met each other’s families. She traveled to Ohio a few weeks ago, for the first time, and upon arriving, we made sure to arrange time to specifically visit both my parents and Megan’s parents.
Terri, Megan’s mother, has sadly had to watch two of her children go because of Cystic Fibrosis. I cannot begin to imagine what that must be like. Yes, I’ve lost Megan, and I watched her younger brother Jason pass away, but they were not my children. She had known, raised, and loved both of them for their entire lives, and then they were gone.
Bringing Sarah to meet Terri was something then that caused me some anxiety. Not because I was worried that her and Sarah would not get along, or that they wouldn’t immediately begin talking, but because even if I haven’t experienced it myself, i know that Terri is still and will always be mourning Megan’s death. It would only be natural for her to see Sarah as a “replacement” that her son-in-law is bringing into the family, like some sort of distraction.
I’d been talking for months about Sarah. Terri had seen pictures, heard stories of our adventures, and learned of Sarah’s own story of losing her parents and Drew. Shelby had told Terri of going to Texas, being goofy as they were, and how much fun Sarah was. Now they were meeting. After introducing Terri to Sarah, I sat back and let the two of them chat away. To no one’s surprise, they connected. There were no uncomfortable silences or odd pauses while someone tiptoed around what they wanted to say next. It all just flowed, and felt as if they had always known each other. There were a few moments where it felt as if Megan was in the room, based on how easily Terri could talk with Sarah.
As we sat at the dining table in Terri’s kitchen, Sarah told stories of Drew, and her own parents. Terri told stories of Megan, little anecdotes of her personality, and various memories of different events that had happened over the years. It was then that it felt to me that there was no cause for anxiety. The two of them were simply two women, with their own stories and lives, sitting at a table chatting. That feeling, like we’ve all known each other our entire lives, will always be odd and happy at the same time.
Just two weeks ago, Sarah wrote in her post about her, Shelby and I visiting Niagara Falls, and how there was a huge part of her that wished for Megan to be there. It wasn’t but a few days later that I learned Terri had read that writing. For her to see that Sarah truly and honestly honors Megan as both my wife and Shelby’s mother, just as I honor Drew brought her tears and happiness at the same time.
She expressed this to me, how much she loved that post. I could hear the emotion in her voice when she was describing it to me. She knows that Sarah is not a replacement, but also, she is not a distraction. She is a separate entity, selected by Megan to be a new member of the family. Seeing how happy Sarah makes Shelby is ultimately what I believe solidifies this belief. Megan’s concern was the well-being of her little girl, and by extension, it is also Terri’s concern. Yeah, i suppose she cared about me as well, but really, a mother’s love for her child is much stronger.
It still astounds me how Sarah and I casually met at Camp Widow under no pretense of dating or finding someone, and how easily we fell in love. It is even more surreal to me that every new meeting with each other’s friends, and especially families, has been just as easy, natural, and comfortable.