December 9

I the Lord make myself known to them in visions; I speak to them in dreams.

Numbers 12:6 (NRSV)

“I’m calling with exciting news. I’m getting married.”

As my mother chatted about her engagement to a family friend I barely knew, I could only think one thing:

But Dad just died.

“I’ll see if I can attend the ceremony,” I said. “I can’t make any promises.”

Our call ended in hurtful silence.

It was mere months since Dad died, so my grief was raw. Would I ever accept someone new at Mom’s side? 

That night, I slept on my worries. In my dreams, I looked in on this heavenly scene:

Dad, looking happy and relaxed in his favorite button-down sweater, sat in a lush green meadow in front of a babbling brook. To his right sat my Uncle Bud, a favorite relative who had died a month after Dad. Instantly, I felt a palpable sense of peace. Everything was right in their world, and I awoke knowing everything would be fine in mine, too. I couldn’t explain it, but I felt a new sense of calm. Deep in my bones I knew Dad was okay with Mom moving on. 

A few months later I danced at Mom’s wedding and opened my heart to her husband Harry, a man my future children would call Grandpa. I never would have imagined learning to love a stepdad, but Harry shared my commitment to family. He attended my girls’ concerts and birthday parties, ate their homemade applesauce at preschool, and welcomed them to his dairy farm, where they fed Jersey calves, chased kittens, and snapped beans. When my eldest daughter hit the “terrible twos,” Harry presented me with a book of parenting tips. When I published a story in an anthology, he invited his friends to my book signing. But the best thing Harry did was love Mom with his whole heart. Together, the two of them laughed, loved, and lived each day to the fullest. 

Nobody can ever replace my dad. But because God spoke to me in a dream, I was able to welcome my mom’s greatest love and my children’s grandfather.

I’m thankful I heeded His message.

Stefanie Wass

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