You might want to grab a kleenex for this one and enjoy the "happily ever after" ending.
Her story began on August 26th, a few years back. Heather joined her brother, sister and parents in an adventure already in progress. So excited to join the fun, she raced through her baby years trying to catch up so she could play.
Eager to join the conversation, her first sentence at 10 months was "pick up Edna;" giving herself an affectionate nickname that stuck. So life with Edna began. She was enthusiastic from the beginning; almost running before she could walk. Easter egg hunts, playing with her sister and brother, Christmas, trips to Disneyland brought her so much joy. She didn't talk a lot, but was processing, analyzing and synthesizing her world. She was at her best watering the garden with her dad and loved nothing more than a good long cuddle.
She was a fun and affectionate child, a bit intense and difficult at times, but very tuned in to others' thoughts and feelings. She had some of the symptoms of then-unknown Asperger's Syndrome.
Life became challenging when her parents divorced after recently having moved to a new town; the family didn't know many people. She tried to fit in and made friends, but divorce makes circumstances difficult, especially for children. Mom remarried, and found that blending a family can be a complex and messy business; little Edna didn't thrive in the chaos.
Still cute and positive she pushed on, swam, danced and finished high school then went to live with her beloved dad. She had great adventures, traveled, won an award for being a top bank teller, worked for ESPN, dated and ended up with Mr. Wrong time and time again.
Eventually she became weary of the process and times were tough. She worked hard as a single mom to provide for her little Elyzza and finally decided that she was destined to be alone; a reality that was almost too hard to bear. She was emotionally and physically frazzled. And that is where the power of prayer took over and God's great love for Heather was manifest.
Heather had gone to the temple to make covenants with the Lord that had eternal significance. She had received a blessing telling her that her children were excited that she would be their mother - but with no qualified candidate for a husband; there didn't seem to be any way for that blessing to be fulfilled. She spent a lot of time praying, serving others and hoping that through some miracle, God would lead her to a wonderful man.
She waited and dated and when she had about given up, one of her friends told her about man who had recently lost his wife to cancer; he had two young children. Heather, with her good heart, asked them to let him know that if he wanted someone to do things with she would be happy to surf or climb rocks or snowboard with no expectations.
Eventually he did want the company of another adult and the two single parents found they enjoyed each other's company and that they shared so many interests. Their friendship blossomed into love and they decided they wanted to share their lives. Now blending families is a messy and complex business, but with with the power of love and prayer, they have bright hopes for the future and a life of happily ever after.
On 12.13.14 Paul and Heather were married in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints San Diego Temple.