I’m not even sure where to begin with Carrie and Billy. For these posts, I usually reflect on the wedding day and the moments that stood out to me, but with them, there is so much more to reflect on.
With Billy, there is a lifetime of memories of he and I with our younger sisters and brothers. With Carrie, there is a newfound friendship that has deepened to a level I could have never expected in less than two years. I am so thankful and grateful they are part of my life.
My brother Jack was incredibly kind and an excellent judge of character. It is no mystery to me why he and Billy were so close. I say “were,” but after loss you begin to redefine things so perhaps I should say “are.” They are so close.
Jack, Billy, and Billy’s brother Brian were/are “tighter than the paint on the wall” as my Dad would say. They share lots of the same interests and hobbies, but more than that they share a hardworking, generous, positive spirit at a level I’ve found to be rare.
My Dad and Jack were/are best friends and always shared the dynamic of two equals with deep respect and love for each other. Their relationship was never really father and son. Jack never needed much parenting. Since Jack passed away, Billy has spent countless hours on the phone with my Dad. Multiple times a day he calls to chat, solve problems, ask advice, and find comfort in each other. Billy once said, “If I can be 1% of what Jack was to your Dad, I’ll be happy.” He has stepped up for our family in a way we will never be able to repay.
Thankfully, Carrie is the kind of woman who is ok coming in second as far as cell phone minutes. She may receive fewer phone calls throughout the day (which may be a good thing…), but there is no question she is first in Billy’s heart.
Very soon after they began dating, Billy decided to introduce Carrie to our whole family at Christmas dinner. Walking into a house full of dozens of strangers might be a little intimidating for a new girlfriend, but as soon as we were introduced and I saw the look on Billy’s face, it was clear this was it. She was the one. There was no question in my mind. Carla and I started jokingly making bets on how long it would be until they were engaged. As it turned out, we didn’t even have to wait a year. By next Christmas, the ring was on and wedding plans had begun. We were ecstatic. For us, it feels like Carrie has always been part of our family and we can’t remember what things were like before she walked into our lives that cold Christmas night.
Now, they are husband and wife, living in their newly renovated home (the site of their engagement session), and making plans for their future. Patrick, Carla, Max, and I are lucky they chose to settle down only 10 minutes away along with Billy’s sister and her husband. We can continue “growing up” and sharing life all together, just like we always have.