30 years ago today, September 7, 1984, I married Steve Douglas and became a wife and a step-mom for the very first time. It's hard to believe that it has been that long ago since we began our journey into married life.
Steve Douglas was a fun-loving, hopelessly romantic, life-of-the-party kind of guy. He was side slappin' funny and sometimes I didn't know whether to laugh hysterically or to crawl into a deep, dark hole. We met at Tulsa Baptist Temple after I was asked to teach a CPR class to the Singles Department at the church. Steve was a part of that class and his first course of action the first night was to lay down on the floor and beg me to do mouth-to-mouth on him because he was dying. I thought he was a class clown and had to ask him to please quit interrupting the class with his behavior but I did end up secretly laughing ALOT at his funny antics.
After the class ended, I would see Steve periodically when he would come into the bank where I worked and where he happened to be a customer. We would exchange pleasantries and visit for a few minutes. Two years passed before he asked me out on a date (after a little urging from the ones responsible for all this--Bernard and Judy Peace) Four and half months later--we got hitched!
Steve was already daddy to Jamie, 14, Jared, 12, and Jana, 9, when we got married. We would eventually add Matthew, Justin, and Kimberlee to that mix. God has been more than faithful and more than merciful to our family. I am so thankful that He allowed me to meet Steve and become his wife. I am even more thankful that He allowed me to become step-mom to Jamie, Jared, and Jana and eventually mommy to Matthew, Justin, and Kimberlee. I am thankful for the godly heritage that Steve had and that Steve himself trusted Christ as his personal Savior. As a young believer in my walk with the Lord, I am thankful for the example Steve set in faithfulness to church, faithfulness in tithing, and faithfulness to support missions. I am thankful for his dedication to being a good daddy, a loving son and brother, and for being a servant to anyone that needed help. He was a man's man but had a heart of a giant teddy bear when someone was down and out. He taught me alot about life, about love, about God, and about living without regrets. We were married 9 years, 3 months, and 12 days before he passed away suddenly from a brain stem stroke.
Steve's legacy lives on in his children, grandchildren, and now his great-grandchild. Even as I am now blessed with a wonderful second husband, sometimes I look at what Steve and I started 30 years ago and wish he could have experienced all that life churned out with our family. I know he would be proud of the kids, and their kids, and all their accomplishments. But most of all, I know he would rejoice that they know Jesus and claim His name.
My niece, Tara, as flower girl.
Steve's niece, Misty, attending the guest book.
Steve and his best man, Gary Bragg, checking to see if I would be late for the wedding (a bet Steve wagered and lost, and, as a result, would spend his honeymoon night playing cards at Bernard and Judy's house with all the singles from the church!).
Judy Peace making sure everything is where it's supposed to be.
Jan Smith, Matron of Honor. A wonderful friend and mentor who changed my life for the good!
Jan Smith, the skinny bride, and my bridesmaids, Jamie Douglas and Judy Peace
My two brothers, David Bluford and Tony Bluford, walking me down the aisle.
The wedding party along with Gary Bragg, best man, and groomsmen, Bernard Peace and Jared Douglas
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Douglas
Steve and Lori with Jamie and Jared. Where was Jana???
Steve's parents "Gankie and Pops"
He disappeared during the reception and showed up ready to leave in a toga.
One of those crawl-in-a-hole moments.
One of those crawl-in-a-hole moments.