Her voice trembled as she relayed the story to the reception full of people, of what took place just that morning. Her husband, who was supposed to be the best man, who was a twin brother to Mervin the groom, who was supposed to be standing there at the mic himself giving his speech about how excited he was for this day to come…to finally get to watch his twin brother tie the knot with his beautiful new bride, to watch him experience the joy and beauty of married life… But he wasn’t here. Oh, the ripping, tearing, shredding grief so many were feeling inside. But also the peace. Deep deep peace. knowing that he was with his Maker.
The morning of Merv and Candace’s wedding dawned beautifully with fresh spring dew on the grass. It started out cloudy but the sun came out nice and warm a bit later. The plans for the timeline of the day were to grab a few portraits of the bride and groom first, then do the family photos. We were saving the rest of the bride and groom and bridal party portraits for after the ceremony and before the reception per the couples choosing. I’m forever greatful that we got those few photos of the couple in the morning…otherwise, there would be none probably. We captured their joy, excitement and LOVE for each other in the few images!
We were finished with Candace’s family pictures and were working through the different groupings we always get when Merv went into the church to see if his family would be arriving soon for their photos. As I was finishing the photos of Candace and her brothers, Merv came running around the corner with disbelief written across his face. He informed us that he just got a call that his twin brother Mike passed away a little bit ago… Mike had decided to go for a walk that morning. He walked everyday I believe. For some reason, that morning was different. God had plans for Mike other than attending his twin brother’s wedding. He sat down for a break during his walk and passed away. His wife Barb found him when she went looking because he wasn’t coming home to get dressed for the wedding and they were running out of time. He had been soooo excited for Merv’s wedding day and was looking forward to it so much! He had his speech all written out and he was so excited to tell how God uses people in marriage and had worked in his heart and life and marriage! And now he wasn’t here to share his story himself. But the testimony he left behind spoke more and deeper than any words could have I believe. He was on fire for God and the testimonies that person after person gave about Mike and Merv left no doubt that both men were serving God wherever and whenever they could. It was such a blessing to be there and witness all of it. So many tears were shed but also there was so much joy!! Joy for Merv and Candace as the united their hearts and lives and joy that Mike was in paradise. Merv decided to go ahead with his wedding day because that’s what Mike would have wanted. What a day full of grief and beauty all in one. God bless your marriage Merv and Candace. I still think of you often and had to cry again as I relived your day through this blog post. Love you guys, Kari
February 19, 2020