Yep, it’s true. Every couple needs their own nickname and “Meganate” is the one that Steve, Sarah and I have bestowed uponst Meagan and Nathan. (You know, like “Meg and Nate?” But squished a little?)
Since so many of you have so kindly adopted this lovely couple into your affections, I wanted to let you know the latest on their upcoming summer plans.
On May 4, Steve, Sarah and I will head out to Florida to attend Nathan’s college graduation in Lakeland. While we’re there, we’ll no doubt get to take part in one (or several dozen) Wedding Planning Conversations which will be lots of fun.
Of course, we always enjoy the rare treat of getting to hang out with Meagan’s parents (and our dear friends), Revs. Frank and Sheri Hawley. And might I just add that if you don’t read Sheri’s blog on a regular basis, I highly recommend that you start. (You can always find it in my right column.) Sheri is a writer and speaker par excellence who in addition to her really full time job as a co-pastor, also travels around the country speaking at churches and conferences. Need a speaker? She’s your gal.
Alright. Back to my story.
Do you want to know the best part of our upcoming trip to Florida? The absolutely, exquisitely, very best part of the trip? When we climb back in the van to return home, Nathan is going to be in there, too! He’s coming home with us! For a week! His last time to be home before being married! I’m crying already! Sob! And sniff!
And to make me sob and sniff even more, here’s a photo of them on our trip to Florida to drop Nathan off for his freshman year of college. One of my favorite pictures ever.
I imagine you’ve pretty much guessed that we’re thrilled out of our socks to have this opportunity to spirit him away for a few days and say good bye to the passing of this old chapter and prepare ourselves for a great new chapter to come.
I haven’t told him this yet (because maybe he won’t come home if I do), but I have plans to not have the camera out of my hands for even one second while he’s home. If he so much as sneezes or scratches his eyebrow, I am going to take a picture of it. The only place he will be truly safe is in the bathroom and by the time he leaves, his life’s slogan may very well be, “Just when you thought it was safe to come out of the bathroom. . .”
After about a week of having him here, we’ll put him on an airplane for the last time as a single man and watch him wing his way back to his new life and his new future, not to mention the eventual production of at least a dozen darling grandchildren. (Although I must say that I still can’t quite imagine any short person looking at me and calling me, “Grandma Smith.”)
Their wedding is on the calendar for July 23, Sarah’s lovely yellow bridesmaid dress has been ordered and we are all counting down the days with great anticipation.
When the wedding is over, Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Smith will depart on a cruise ship for a 5-day honeymoon and Steve, Sarah, and I will depart in a mini van for a 13 -hour trip back home, accompanied by the melancholy (yet joyous) knowledge that the Smith family has been changed forever.
I know I’ve heard people say that “You’re not losing a son; you’re gaining a daughter” but I’m just now beginning to truly understand that sentiment. I am very much looking forward to being a mom-in-law to such a delightsome daughter-to-be as Meagan. The more I get to know her, the more thankful I am that she will grace the Smith family all the years to come.
I think mother-in-lawing is going to suit me just dandy! I mean, what’s not to love?
And just because I’m almost fifty years old and am much more prone to reminisce than I used to be, here are a few photos tracing The Official History of Meganate. (I realize that for some of you long time readers this is a review; however, my newer readers might like to catch the whole story.)
The first time Nathan and Meagan ever met was in Greenville, NC. Meagan and her parents and sisters lived full time in an RV and traveled doing concerts and services at churches, and Nathan and his parents and sister lived full time in an RV doing the same thing. How cool is that? (Meagan is in green, the girl beside her is one of her two sisters and Nathan is third from the right.) The other kids on the couch belong to a third family we know who also traveled and did concerts and services around the country.)
Can you believe how young Nathan and Meagan are? I think Nathan was about eleven; Meagan was about a year and a half older.
Here we all are a few years later; the same two boys and their sister from the couch above, along with Nathan and Meagan. This was six months or so after Sarah’s bone marrow transplant.
While Meagan’s family was transitioning between their mobile ministry and pastoring, they parked their RV at the church Steve pastored in Smithfield and spent over six months helping out in our ministry there. One of the many happy byproducts of that situation was that Nathan and Meagan got to hang out together in a lot of fun and informal situations and ended up becoming really good friends.
Then the day came when the Christian Academy Nathan attended had its annual formal. Since Nathan and Meagan were such great friends, they (and their mothers), thought it would be fun if they attended it together. No romantic undertones, you understand. Just friends.
It was especially funny that he picked her up for their first “social occasion” (not really a date) at an RV! Given each families’ history, how appropriate was that?
Nathan had no clue he was standing next to his future father-in-law.
A pretty good lookin’ fella.
Well, most of you know the rest of the story. Years went by and they dated sort of casually but broke it off when Meagan went off to college. Two years later, Nathan went to the same college and their friendship continued. And continued.
And then one day? It was a whole lot more than friendship.
It was this!
Love that picture, love them, love the fact that she said yes.