My friends Tom and Colleen have a green thumb. Things thrive under their care: a massive garden, horses, and a lovely little pooch named Sherman. For a long time, it was the kids, who were brilliant and beautiful both, that occupied their time and their lives. Now the kids are grown with lives of their own. The girls are married, Becky with two gorgeous little girls, and a new little guy, now in the tongue-sticking-out stage. Becky is married to a nice Scottish boy, Alex, who built their stunning home with his bare hands. Beth is married to Ryan and she’s a national talent as a writer. More about Ryan in a minute. Tucker is a newly appointed minister at their family church. He’s a traveler, an innate visitor who can talk to anyone at any time. Three A.M? On a street corner in Brussels? A perfect or maybe an imperfect stranger? No problem.
Beth fell in love with Ryan in her last year of college. They waited to spend time together until she graduated. And what’s not to love. He is a massively kind, thoughtful man, an artist and a classically trained musician who was teaching at a University. Then the recession hit. Hard here. Hard other places too. The University did away with his position. Then Beth and Ryan spent time in graduate school, refining their skills and refurbishing their outlooks. Beth got kudos and national attention. But Ryan really struggled to find work—for three years. Multiple resumes sent all over the world, miles traveled for interviews, a life on the computer looking for leads. Sticking with such a daunting, discouraging task for that long is the epitome of courage and character. The family helped with support, encouragement, and prayers. Tom and Colleen were doing their ever-loving best to make sure their kids were all right. Becky and Tucker were on their knees, sweating it out. All that turned out to be ever-so-helpful.
This week, Ryan’s efforts paid off. He landed a miracle job. He’ll be in charge of a big governmental and scientific institution. Somewhere North of here. Starting right away. They’ll be close to a major university so Beth can find a job or write. Either way there will be enough money and a new life in a new community. Everybody has the weak knees of gratitude.