August 30, 2008 and August 30, 2011
Same day, three years apart.
Both of these days full of happiness, hope, and a bright future for very different reasons.
One of these dates is sweet to remember.
One of these dates is bittersweet to remember.
Both of these dates are forever etched in our minds and hearts.
I never want to forget either one of them for very different reasons.
August 30, 2008.
Alissa and Nathan got married.
Great wedding, picture perfect weather, fun with friends and family.
Sweet, sweet memories.
Alissa and her beautiful bridesmaids, Courtney, Laura, Mallory, and Kim.
Four girls who were and still are very important to Alissa.
I know that all four of these ladies still make Alissa laugh.
My mom with her three granddaughters.
I know that Alissa has gotten many of her great qualities from her grandma Marge.
Alissa with her Uncle Kevin and a lint remover as well as some breath spray.
As I recall these were items to be used in the bathroom as needed, but Kev helped himself to them.
Alissa has a lot of her Uncle Kev in her!
Since the wedding was in Bloomington IL, a number of our friends were not able to make the trip, but my good friends, Lynne and Melissa along with Lynne's husband and Melissa's daughter, Meghan did make the trip and I was so happy they thought enough of us to travel to the wedding.
Meghan is going to be nine years old, hard to remember how little she was in this picture!
Paul's band played at the wedding and we all danced the night away to fun live music.
It was a fun wedding and today I want to wish Alissa and Nathan many, many more happy years together sharing outside beers and brewery tours.
August 30, 2008, forever full of sweet memories for us.
In contrast, August 30, 2011 started out with happy news,
We went to spend the day with Tizita and were greeted with the surprise news that Courtney and Paul had received their long awaited referral for Natnael.
We went on a shopping spree that day with Tizita and picked out many fun things for our new little grandson.
We had never met him, only seen his picture, but we were in love with him already.
He was part of our family.
In January 2012, Courtney and Paul went to meet Natnael for the first time.
We were all so excited as they reported back to us from Ethiopia, telling us what a handsome, joyful boy he was.
Little did we know that only a few short weeks later, he would be gone.
Called home to heaven.
So our very happy memories of August 30, 2011 quickly turned into heartache.
August 30, 2011
Bittersweet memories, but God had a plan, life moved on.
Soliana became a part of our family.
We honor Natnael in many ways including a memorial stone and tree in the Van Auken yard.
So, today I will take a few minutes to remember the joys of both of these August 30's.
I will thank God for his blessing of marriage and Alissa and Nathan.
I will also thank him for his blessing of my three grandchildren, Tizita, Natnael, and Soliana.
August 30, a very big day in our lives for so many different reasons.