I met Andy and Malia last year, right after I learned my father-in-law passed away. It was a hard day. And truthfully, I wasn't sure I could document such a happy moment, while being so completely heartbroken. But I'll tell you something ... I truly believe God brought these wonderful people into my life, at exactly the right time, because they instantly took me to another place ... a happy one.
Malia's sister contacted me just a week before these two would say "I Do". Malia had been through quite a bit just weeks prior to her wedding; she underwent many tests, surgery, and multiple hospital stays. And just that week, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Needless to say, this day was a welcomed retreat away from all the uncertainty.
They married at the courthouse in downtown South Bend, surrounded by Andy's parents and many of Andy's co-workers. Malia's family was unable to attend, but they were able to livestream the ceremony via the web. It's quite amazing how technology can bridge the gap! It was a beautiful little ceremony, and happiness filled the room. You could feel the joy all around ...
Andy, Malia and I then walked around downtown South Bend, chatting, snapping photos, and simply enjoying our time together. Not thinking about anything else but these two beginning a long life together. It's amazing how in a single minute, you can be in the very depths of sadness. And then, in an instant, someone can bring you out of it. Even if just for a moment.
Grateful that I was able to meet these two amazing people. Not only were they kind and thoughtful, but they helped me through an incredibly tough day, despite their own, very real, struggles.
Congratulations Andy and Malia.