Pushing Sorrow Aside to Embrace a Day of Joy – Parenting Plights & Delights

One year ago, we attended the last-minute wedding of our youngest daughter, Suzee. “Why last-minute?” you may ask. In mid-January 2017 my husband, George, was diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer: leptomeningeal disease. We were still trying to process the diagnosis of Stage 4 lung cancer.

George wasn’t showing any neurological symptoms at the time of the leptomeningeal-cancer diagnosis, but that wasn’t expected to last long. All four of our adult children freaked out. The whole family did.ย Suzee, our youngest, had her father write “I love you” on her wrist, and that night her boyfriend Brett tattooed it for her.

April and her family had just moved to North Carolina in September 2016, so she made plans to fly back to California with the two kids so they could have “quality time with Gramps while he was still acting normal.”

Suzee expressed her desires to get married soon so her father could escort her down the aisle while he was still able to walk. We met Brett’s parents, Dave and Roxy, a few days later at a Mexican restaurant. We all hit it off and had a nice time.

That night, Brett proposed to Suzee. Here’s their engagement picture, a selfie:

Lynn Kelley, happy anniversary to my youngest daughter

They decided to get married while April was out here with the kids, which would be in a couple of weeks. Twas a whirlwind from that point on. I took George to various medical procedures (will cover all that in a future post) and he had started chemo January 12th, 2017, so I was busy caring for him and didn’t help plan the wedding at all, except for decorating a box to hold the gift cards:

Lynn Kelley, happy first anniversary to my youngest daughter

My niece, Carrie, graciously offered to have the wedding in her yard. It was going to be held by the pool, a gorgeous setting, but a monster storm changed all that, so white tents were set up in the driveway instead. One tent blew into a neighbor’s yard the night before the wedding when a strong gust swooped it up. The rental company had to come out the next morning and replace it. By then the torrential downpour had let up, and scattered showers alternated with bright, blue-clouded skies.

It turned out to be a beautiful wedding, a day to rejoice and celebrate. We pushed our sorrows aside and embraced the joyful occasion of welcoming our new son-in-law into the family.

Lynn Kelley, happy first anniversary to my youngest daughter

Groom’s parents: Roxy and Dave – Bride’s Parents: Lynn and George






Lynn Kelley, happy first anniversary to my youngest daughter








Lynn Kelley, happy first anniversary to youngest daughter


Lynn Kelley, happy first anniversary to youngest daughter






Lynn Kelley, happy first anniversary to youngest daughter



Lynn Kelley, happy first anniversary to youngest daughter


Lynn Kelley, happy first anniversary to youngest daughter


Lynn Kelley, happy first anniversary to youngest daughter



Lynn Kelley, wedding - happy first anniversary to our youngest daughter


Slide show:

Joyful ever after.

Happy First Anniversary to Brett and Suzee. May they enjoy every precious moment and celebrate another 60 years.

Note: George’s cancer is basically in remission. I need to finish blogging about his journey, but it’s not easy to write about and it’s taking much longer than I planned. Here’sย Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 if you’d like to read the beginning of the journey.

All four of our children are married now. We have five grand kiddos and are looking forward to more. Life is good and we’re eternally thankful for countless blessings.

What are your thoughts? Do you enjoy celebrating anniversaries and other special occasions? Do you like to go all out or keep it simple? Are you able to push sorrowย aside to find moments of joy? How are things going in your life?

I’d love to hear from you. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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20 Responses to Pushing Sorrow Aside to Embrace a Day of Joy – Parenting Plights & Delights

  1. August says:

    Such a beautiful story and testament to love, Lynn! I’m so happy for your family.

  2. Pambelina says:

    Happy anniversary Suzee and Brett!
    We were so blessed to be able to make it to your beautiful ceremony, and are so happy that you guys are celebrating year 1 of 100 ๐Ÿ™‚
    Have a wonderful day and remember we love you!
    Aunt Pam & Uncle Dave
    p.s. so happy your dad is doing well…so much to celebrate today!

  3. Yvette Carol says:

    Happy Anniversary to them. It’s such a poignant story and I’m so glad George is in remission. <3

  4. Bestie, I am crying over what you all have been through. Suzee is beautiful. I pray they have the 60 + years. Happy Anniversary to the happy couple. I watched the videos. She and George walking down the aisle. WOW. George looked so happy even with all he had on his mind. So did you. So you pushed that out for Suzee’s big day. I still want to meet up with April. I know she lives near Christopher’s hospital – Chapel Hill. You looked ravishing, And the pics of George and Suzee … well, wow. So tear-worthy. Love you, Bestie. SMOOCH.

  5. What a blessing that George is in remission! Thank you for sharing your story with us. <3

  6. What a gorgeous wedding – and George looks good, too! Hope he continues to be well and enjoy all those grandkids!

  7. I can’t imagine the ups and downs you’ve been through on this ride, Lynn. My aunt is currently battling brain cancer, and I am in awe of how my uncle has come through as a caregiver, how strong and calm and patient he has been through it all. I am glad to hear your husband in in remission.

    These wedding photos are gorgeous. So many people forget that weddings aren’t about the trappings–the expensive dress, the fairy-tale location, etc. They’re about the people, two families forever joined together because of love. That’s the magic of a wedding. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Lynn Kelley says:

      Hello Denise! Yes, the ups and downs have been unreal. I’m sorry your aunt is battling brain cancer. She is blessed to have your uncle. A strong support system makes a huge difference. I hope he’s taking good care of himself, too, because care givers are at risk if they get run down. With George’s cancer in remission, we’re in a much better place right now than we were a year ago.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the wedding photos. It was a beautiful wedding despite all the “trappings.” Your insight is right on. You summed it up perfectly: “Theyโ€™re about the people, two families forever joined together because of love. Thatโ€™s the magic of a wedding.” Thank you for visiting, Denise. So nice to meet you!

  8. Stylograph says:

    So beautiful piece of writing…so happy for you and your family…keep smiling and god bless you all ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

  9. Stylograph says:

    And also its really appreciable that you had to take so much pain in all this time but still you remain calm and composed and were so positive about everything….I can understand that it may sound very easy to say these things, but only the person suffering from it knows the real pain…hats off to you n your courage…
    I wish you all an awesome future and your grandchildren a loving future…
    A lot has passed away and now its turn for all good things ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

  10. Oh my goodness Lynn, it’s been a year? Love the pics! (See, a wedding doesn’t need to be this big, elaborate thing.) What a beautiful occasion amid the craziness in our life. So glad that George is healthy and your family is well. Those are two great blessings for which I know you must be so grateful for. Woohoo!! Congratulations to you all! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Karen! We are so grateful for our blessings. It’s amazing to be in a good place right now as compared to this time last year. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year. The wedding was beautiful and emotional and just as wonderful as elaborate weddings. Such a special day we’ll treasure forever. Thanks so much, Karen, for stopping by!

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