86: Better than Prince Charming

86: Better than Prince Charming

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Here Comes the Bride

Better than Prince Charming

Love one another and you will be happy. It’s as simple and as difficult as that.

~Michael Leunig

In April 2007, my mother got a second chance at her happy ending when she met Jody. They are now planning their June 2011 wedding.

My mother hasn’t always had the best of luck with men. She and my biological father broke up soon after she announced her pregnancy with me. When I was four, she split up with my younger brother’s father, and he left the province soon after my eighth birthday.

She dated a few men over the years, but they didn’t last very long. I dreaded the day when she told us that she had a new boyfriend. I hated them because none of them were good enough for the one person who had dedicated her life to being a wonderful mother, who sacrificed everything for the happiness of her children. My mom had always been there for me, and all I wanted was someone who would always be there for her. She deserved her Prince Charming more than anyone I knew.

Then along came Jody. He was perfect for her. He wasn’t like the others. From the moment I met him, I felt comfortable around him.

One spring night, I sat down with my mother and asked her what made her fall in love with Jody. “I love him because he’s considerate, thoughtful, and down-to-earth,” my mother had told me. “And I can just be myself around him.”

They fell in love almost instantly, and the relationship moved quickly. By October 2007, they had moved in together.

Two years later, in October 2009, he proposed.

Earlier in the year, Jody had asked our permission to propose to our mother, and my brother and I eagerly agreed. He was better than Prince Charming. He treated us like a proper father should, and we were thrilled that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with our mother.

The day before we were going to the Rockton Fair, where he was planning on proposing, my brother and I made up excuses to leave the house for a few hours because Jody was picking us up down the street. He had asked for our help and his daughter’s help in orchestrating the proposal.

“I’m going to my friend’s house, Mom,” I said, praying I wouldn’t smile and give it all away.

“And I’m going to the mall with some friends,” Ethan said more casually.

“Do you want a ride? It’s raining outside,” Mom replied.

“No!” I had to restrain myself from saying it too loudly. “We need the exercise, but thanks for the offer.”

Ethan and I quickly left the house before she suspected something was amiss. We walked through the rain toward the silver van that was waiting for us down the street.

We drove to my aunt’s house where we spent hours setting up the message, “DENISE, WILL U MARRY ME?” which spanned the entire length of her enormous green lawn. I left, satisfied that the next day would be one that we would not soon forget.

The next day, after having a fun-filled day at the fair, we headed over to the helicopter area. Two of my aunts and their husbands were there after already having their helicopter ride.

As my mom and Jody were lifted into the air, I became excited. It suddenly became more real. The next time we saw them, they would be an engaged couple! Words cannot describe how happy I was at that moment. I was bursting at the seams with joy.

“We’re going to be stepsisters!” Jordan and I laughed and hugged each other happily.

When we saw the helicopter appear in the sky, coming back toward us, we started jumping up and down.

My mom jumped out of the helicopter first. She held up her hand, showing the sparkler Jody had placed on her finger only moments before. She ran across the field. I hugged her and told her how thrilled I was for her. Then I told her where we really went the night before.

“I was actually planning on driving to New Hamburg to see you yesterday,” my mom admitted to her new fiancé.

It was a good thing she never did because the entire proposal might have been ruined had she decided to make the drive to New Hamburg that night. I like to believe it’s because it was meant to be.

My mother had found her soul mate at forty-one years old. She had found the man who knew all of her flaws and loved her even more because of them. She had found the man who wanted to stand up in front of everyone they knew and swear to love her forever. And she had found the man who wanted to take on the responsibility of being a father to me and my brother.

My mom’s very own love story shows that true love is out there for every person. It goes to show that no matter how old you are or what your past holds, there is someone out there who will love you with every fiber of their being for everything that you are. Love is going to find you when you least expect it, and it’s going to sweep you off your feet, no matter if you’re twenty-five or sixty-nine. You can find love at any age.

~Stephanie McKellar, age 17

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