Then one July morning my son asks me to go to lunch with him. After lunch we went back to my office where he closed the door and told me of his plans to ask Callie Brown to marry him. So after a summer of proposals and engagement parties, Sue and I began the task of wedding planning for both children. Major change #1.
In November we made the difficult decision to put our beloved Tracker to sleep. Our faithful Black Lab for nearly 15 years had slept on the floor next to our bed and it was hard to imagine life without him. Saying goodbye wasn't easy, but he had a good life and we didn't want to see him in pain. Major change #2.
On December 14th I received the news that I had bladder cancer and would require surgery the next week. Just a few days before Christmas, the surgery took care of the problem, but the recovery was not pleasant and made for an interesting Christmas and New Year's for sure. I was reminded how quickly life can change which made me appreciate the here and now and to learn to savor the moment. I adopted a new motto, "any day without a catheter is a good day". In retrospect, I had it easy compared to those who have to undergo rounds and rounds of treatments. I have such respect for those fighters and their families and almost feel guilty that all I have to do is endure an unpleasant procedure every three months for the next two years. Change #3.
This past weekend, Hall wedding #1 took place in Yazoo City, MS. It was an exciting (but exhausting) weekend and certainly one of the most memorable times of my life. I had the honor of being the best man for Payne and to tag team with Andrew Mayhan in performing the ceremony. As I stood before Payne and Callie, I led them through the same vows that Bro. James Yates led Sue and me through in the same place 29 years ago. A church full of dear family and friends from near and far came to share this day with the Hall and Brown families. Tomorrow the couple will return from their honeymoon in St. Lucia, and on Monday will move into their new home and take their dog, Sadie with them, leaving us with only one dog. I'm worried what Sue and Stormy will do without "Tootsie Roll" (Sadie). Change #4
Now we focus on Mary Paige and the preparations for her big day on May 28th. The days will certainly pass faster than I would like. But that's life on this earth. Changes will continue to come. As the old gospel song says, "I don't know what holds the future, but I know who holds my hand."