Dear Carol

Dear Carol,

I have been meaning to sit down and write to you for several months. It seems I have so much to say but it is difficult to find the words that match the depth of feeling I mean to convey. There must be hundreds of words that express gratitude, but none of them seem adequate. So for now, I will start with a simple, thank you.

My mother once told me that the best way to predict how a man would act as a husband was to watch how he treated his own mother. I remembered thinking this a silly notion at the time, but have since discovered this method to be an accurate indicator of character. With the love and devotion Joey has for you, I know he will be a wonderful husband to our beautiful daughter.

When Joey first began inquiring about Sierra, I started digging around social media to see what we could discover about him. I couldn’t find a thing, not even a picture. I was surprised, but not at all disappointed. When Sierra finally decided to ask for a picture, this photograph of the two of you together is what he chose to send.  I think I knew at that moment that this man was worthy of my precious daughter. If I had any doubt left, it was completely erased the very first time I ever saw them together. They were (are) so compatible.  They have fit together from the very first moment this love affair began.

But of course, you already know.

Since Sierra was born, her father and I have dreamed of many things for her. We chose to dream without limits or abandon and hold fast to the idea that nothing was impossible. We wanted only the best for her and knew that was God’s intention as well and prayed that we would and could do whatever was necessary to ensure this grand destiny. Even our dreams could not match up to the reality God had planned. Joey is the embodiment of everything we ever wanted for her and so much more and I know we have you (in part) to thank for the gift of him.

There are lots of adjectives I could use to describe Joey; considerate, kind, respectful, generous, loving, sweet, gentle…. The list goes on and on. But the only word that I can think of that comes close to describing our love for him is: worthy. He is worthy to marry our daughter. As a parent, I cannot imagine a higher honor.

I write to you today, not only to say thank you but to promise to love Joey as my own. I never knew there was a missing piece to our family puzzle until he came along. And he is a perfect fit.

I promise to remember you in every moment we share with them. Your physical presence is sorely missed, but your spirit remains in the love of your family and there is never a moment when you are not with us, sharing in that love.

I do regret that you are not with us physically to share in the joining of our families. I would have been honored to be at your side for this journey, but have felt your love the entire time. Joey knows of your continued influence in his life. Those are his stories to tell. I will make sure his children know of the precious love of their Grandma Carol and of your protective prayers of love and well being.

Until we meet again my friend... all I can say is thank you.  Please know you are loved and appreciated.

With a heart full of love and gratitude, Kelli

Joey's mother, Carol Oliveira passed away in 2013. I have had these words on my heart for several months and while they still seem too simple, at least I have begun to express my sincere gratitude for this dear lady and the man she raised.