by John O’Leary
“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett
As a family, we never discussed the fire that burned down our house and nearly took my life. We endured it, survived it, and moved past it. We chose not to be defined by it.
That is, until my parents sat in the first row of a church on November 22, 2003.
Their oldest son, Jim, stood on the altar in a tuxedo, the best man for their younger (and better-looking) son, John.
Watching their boys together, with their four daughters as bridesmaids, and a gorgeous woman in white named Beth about to join the family, they realized something for the first time: The terrible fire from years earlier wasn’t the end. The tragedy we’d endured as a family decades ago had a happy ending.
The fire did not take away the life their little boy could make for himself. Contrarily, it led perfectly to this place, this church, this altar, this union, this day.
The therapy and surgeries and amputations and scars and challenges culminated in a blowout celebration. It was miracle upon miracle upon miracle…looking back over the [Read more…]