May I have your attention please! I have an announcement to make:
This Saturday I will become one of the most teased, picked on, loved, and in some cases, the most feared person on the planet. That's right, I will become a mother-in-law.
Ashley getting married!
I'll give you a minute to catch your breath and absorb that statement before I go on.
Ok, better now? Good. Here's how this has all come about....
Ashley has shown pigs at the state fair in FFA since she was in 9th grade. That first year she met a boy named Lance who was in 10th grade. He lived almost 2 hours away from where we live.
Innocent flirting went on over the next few years until he graduated and went into the military after high school.
When Lance came home for 6 weeks after his first year of serving, he and Ashley saw each other at a concert and started talking, and for the remainder of the 6 weeks, they were inseperable.
He is still in the Military and has been stationed in Okanowa Japan for the past several months, until he went to Hawaii recently for desert training. They have been training in the intense heat around a volcano (can you imagine???).
Lance and Ashley have maintained their relationship thanks to modern technology. They started out with IMing, then moved on to Facebook, and now also enjoy daily face to face interaction by way of Skype.
Ashley had told me that she and Lance have talked about getting married in 2011 when he is finished with overseas deployment. Then, about 3 weeks ago Ashley talked to us and said very causally "Um, well, you know how I said we were talking about getting married in 2011? Well, we've moved it up to the 24th of this month."
To say you could have heard a pin drop is a complete understatement.
Lance talked to us to explain why the rush. On May 11th, Lance will be deployed to Afghanistan and he'll be there until December. Lance is a Marine and his duty will be to uncover land mines. He (and others) will walk with metal detectors part of the time, and then there's other tools they use other times. It's obviously VERY dangerous work.
Lance has talked honestly and frankly with Ashley about the risks. He told us "I know you both love Ashley and take great care of her as needed, but I also love her very much and I want to have the opportunity to be married to her and to take care of her. If I marry her now and anything happens to me over there, I will be able to die knowing that she will receive military widow benefits, which means I'll still be able to take care of her. That gives me a lot of peace."
How do you argue with that?
He is only home for 10 days, and then he has to go back to Hawaii to finish his training and then he'll deploy from there.
Lance and Ashley will be getting married this Saturday, April 24th, 2010 in a small park nearby. Thankfully Lance planned ahead and reserved a shelter house, because unfortunately it sounds like there is a good possibility for rain. (boo! hiss!)
Afterwards they will go to a hotel for the night near the airport, and then will fly out early Sunday morning, because, as I said, Lance has to finish his training. Ashley is done with classes for the summer on this Friday, so she is going to fly to Hawaii with him and they will have time together in the evenings for a honeymoon.
On May 10th my daughter will fly back to Iowa, and the following morning my son-in-law will fly to Afghanistan.