The path that led to these blessings started a few months after Krista passed away. Every April and October our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) has what they call "General Conference". This is where the leaders of our church give us instruction and guidance to help us better live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and find joy in this life and blessings in the life to come. This conference is held in Salt Lake City Utah and broadcast throughout the world by TV, radio and satellite. While listening to the April 2011 General Conference I heard from three different speakers that the single men of the church shouldn't wait to get married. There are countless single women in the church who are waiting for a worthy and righteous man to marry and start and eternal family with. All three times I heard this admonition it felt as though they were speaking directly to me. Not wanting to second guess the Lord I decided to become involved with our church's single adult group and attend as many of their activities as I could despite my 24/7 role as dad/mom and provider for Jacob and Emma. During one of the first activities I went to, a lady named Marlena caught my eye. I knew I wasn't ready to date yet but from watching her I thought that when I was ready she was the type of woman I would like to date. Over the next year my schedule and responsibilities allowed me to attend only a handful of single adult activities. Surprisingly, Marlena was at most of them. I got to know her better and really liked her even though I thought she was too young for me. In the meantime she fell in love with Jake and Emma.
Then one day as I was dropping Jake off at his Webelos den meeting, a lady I knew from the singles group saw me and asked if I was there to attend institute (an adult Gospel study class). I had no idea institute was the same time as scouts but thought it was too convenient not to go. I could drop Jake off and Emma could either stay with me at institute or hang with Jake at scouts. I was pleased to see that Marlena was also attending. The more I learned about her the more I liked and before long she was saving me a seat by her each week. I finally decided I needed to ask her out. I planned to ask after our next institute class. That evening as I was walking her to her car I turned to her and she asked if me and the kids would like to go the the Dallas Auto show with her on Saturday. After picking my jaw up off the pavement I accepted. We had a wonderful time at the auto show and I found out she is as big of a gear-head as I. Our relationship and love for each other quickly grew and before long we knew we had been guided to each other.
We were married and sealed to each other in the Dallas LDS Temple on June 30th of 2012. Marlena has been a blessing to me and also to Jacob and Emma. She loves Jake and Em with all her heart and has been the mom that they have needed since Krista's passing. She has taken the pain away from my life and replaced it with the joy that I had missed for too long.
Marlena has taught me a lot about the nature of love. Krista and I had five years to talk about what to do if her brain cancer took her life. We both knew it would be for the best if I remarried, especially if Jake and Emma were still at home. At that time I worried about not being able to love anyone as deeply as I loved her. I still love Krista with all my heart and always will, but I have learned that love is infinite and has no bounds. It doesn't diminish as you give it but increases with each person we grow to love.
I used to tell Krista I loved her more than anyone else in the whole world. I haven't been able to say that to Marlena because of my love for Krista. But I do tell her that I love her completely, and when I meet Krista again I will tell her the same because I love them both completely. Just as our Heavenly Father loves each of His children completely, not one more than another, we can learn love others completely and the more we love the more love we have to give. Isn't this the great lesson we are to learn in this mortal life? To love others even as our Heavenly Father loves us.