Well, it’s been quite the year for the Ball family. A separation, two deaths, reconciliation, and all the attendant emotional baggage. I can’t begin to describe the roller coaster ride; nor do I think I’m unique. I suspect if everyone here told their stories, there would be similarities galore. This is life. Someday I hope to be one of those serene old ladies who has seen everything and is dismayed and shocked by nothing, rocking in my chair on the porch, spitting tobacco into can.

And now, my darling child is remarrying. As I’ve written, Nicolas remarried to a really nice girl who seems to be perfect for him, strong in the ways Sarah was not. Nicolas will always have a place in Sarah’s heart, and I assume, she in his, but this was a marriage that never should have happened.

The wedding is tomorrow. Let me tell you about Brad. He’s sort of a goofball. The first time I met him, he rode up on his motorcycle, Sarah on the back with a helmet on. I watched him help her off and take the helmet off her head and muss her hair; he had longish hair and looks sort of tall and gangly and awkward. As he walked in the door, he was texting on his Blackberry. He glanced up and said, “hi” and went back to the BB. Bill was underwhelmed and I cracked up inside. (I was waiting for Bill he’s going to be a kick boxer as a profession) Sarah dumped him that night. How could he text while meeting her mother?

And all’s well that ends well, Brad learned the error of his ways and doesn’t go near that Blackberry when he’s at our house. Sarah set some guidelines as a woman can do LOL. Brad is actually quite strong, laid back and easy going, not given to temper, but strong enough to take a stand when Sarah is bouncing off the walls. He doesn’t cater to her moods or react when she gets neurotic, but he places her first and takes care of her and cherishs her. That much is obvious. They compliment each other and there is a joy present that wasn’t there when she married Nicolas. It’s so blatantly different that it breaks my heart for Sarah and Nick. Again, I say, if I had to do it over again, I would have objected to their sleeping together, but lobbied against marriage.

Brad is the only boy, a middle child with four sisters. He knows how women are made :). He is the easiest person to be around, comfortable in his own skin and laid back. He’s not overwhelmed by her dad or put off by my craziness. Very natural and normal.

Brad’s a returned missionary from an imperfect family, like ours, with a strong testimony of the gospel. He’s never been married. He and Sarah are getting married in the stake house. This was a complicated decision. He and Sarah both have temple recommends, but she’s still sealed to Nick. The authorities wouldn’t consider cancelling the sealing for a year because of Sarah’s immorality problems after the divorce. Otherwise, it could have been cancelled and they could have been sealed. When Bill and I married, we were allowed to marry in the temple for time, but the church no longer allows these types of marriages except for special circumstances. There’s a part of me that rebels at that; especially because Nick was re-married in the temple. But the bottom line is that if Sarah hadn’t broken the commandments, she would have the same blessings as Nick.

She’s changed, matured and softened in the last couple of years. Her bad choices, then the supremely good one she made to repent and turn her life around have tempered her. She’s less judgemental, kinder and wiser. I would never choose for her to suffer from her choices as she has, but I don’t think she would have become this person without that suffering, growing and healing.

So we’re having another wedding. This time, we gave Sarah a check for $1000 and told her to knock herself out. I told her she would have to do the work. She totally stepped up to the plate and with the help of Brad’s family, who love her and are wonderfully normal, the wedding will be nice but not as gaudy as the last one.

There’s an air of excitement and joy that permeates everything, despite the inevitable drama, stress, and exhaustion of planning a wedding. This is a good thing….knock on wood.

After the honeymoon, they’re going to live in California for the summer so Brad can sell security systems to bank their next year in college.

This feels right. I’m nervous about Sarah living so far away from us, but I’m confident about this marriage.
Sometimes life works out.