An Engaging Christmas

Well, I promised you Christmas news, and this year there’s plenty. I’ll start with the big ones.

We had two engagements in the family announced at Christmastime.

My brother Paul John surprised his now-fiancée Crystal Hughes, who expected a digital camera, with an engagement ring. When they phoned us on Christmas day, I explained that a digital camera would at least have been useful, but Crystal seems very happy with the deal, and we all share in her excitement, although it would seem to be one of the signs of the Apocalypse.


A rare photo of Hell on the day my brother became engaged.

When my sister Joyce arrived to visit us this Christmas, we learned that my Mom had become engaged to long-time neighbor and friend George Fortini. Mom turned 80 in September. Let me explain a bit.

First of all, we called Mom and chided her: “What?! You didn’t tell the whole family yet? The next time you get engaged you’d better call all of us!” Mom explained that she was working on it, but she didn’t want to eclipse Paul and Crystal’s news. (Mom was one of the few people who knew about that before Christmas.)

Dad went home to be with the Lord at Christmastime three years ago, after almost 60 years of marriage to my Mom. The same week, Ellen, the wife of their close friend and next-door-neighbor, George passed away. (Oft have we teased Mom about that “coincidence” in timing.)

George and Mom started hanging out together more and more. Mom was very concerned about what the rest of us thought about that, despite our constant assurances that we were very happy for them both. I did tease her, “You know, Mom, you can’t marry him because he’s not a believer.” I also gave Mom a lecture on the dangers of dating in a Postmodernist society. Behavioral standards have changed a bit since 1945, the last time Mom was “on the market.” She assured me I had nothing to worry about.

Not long after that, George trusted Christ as Savior. Mom, perhaps underestimating the power of the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, declared, “George is saved, but he will never abandon his Catholicism.” A few weeks later George was regularly attending services at Heritage Baptist Church with my Mom.

On the Thursday before Christmas, George proposed marriage to my Mom, and she accepted. She was so giddy (I wish you could have heard the excitement in her voice), that she forgot about a weekly appointment for one of the “old ladies” for whom Mom drives.


Yes, my Mom is indeed of sound mind.

Mom and George have not yet set a wedding date, as they are working out legal and “estate” details. Maybe they’ll do a double wedding, although Paul John has been talking about a Hillbilly wedding ceremony …

8 Replies to “An Engaging Christmas”

  1. Oh how wonderful- a glimmer of hope for those of us falling into the category of “when hell freezes over”. So the Sohmer family is gracing my refrigerator- yours is not! Chalk one up for Mark!

  2. Okay, see the comments from your Mom on our “Merry Christmas” post. I promise, you’ll get photos soon, but you’ll need your cute-sensitive glasses, because the Wilcox kids so completely eclipse those pale Sohmer children (although the newest one isn’t too bad, as she’s not burdened by the unfortunate paternal DNA the others share).

    And, Mark didn’t send Nehemiah any Geekwear, did he?

    By the way, Naomi, who turned 3 in October, also often talks about her wedding. On Sunday she said, “Dad, when I’m all grown up, will you buy me a shotgun like David’s, and my marriage dress?”

  3. I agree, Doug, that a digital camera would have been a better engagement present.
    BTW, Beth saved up for 3 years and surprised the socks off of me this Christmas by buying me a digital camera.

    I said “yes”.

    As for buying Naomi a shotgun: As a father of a daughter, shouldn’t you already have a real one?

  4. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year bro and sis…was glad that Paul has asked Crystal..loved your Hell freezes over shot..lol…and MoM? wow…she was so tickeled…Christmas holidays were great….psst did I forget to mention that Rich gave me Diamonds this year??? Refer back to your hell freezes over shot…lol…luv Martha

  5. First of all, I liked the pic too, no matter what Nichelle thinks of it. Seems as if it was a diamond Christmas this year…..
    SPEAKING OF ENGAGEMENT……. on our return layover flight from PA to Bahstahn, we (the guys on our flight) had to subdue a guy who wanted to get off at 30,000 ft! took 6 of us to keep him down! and man did I feel sorry for him when I saw the size of the cops that came to take him away! Oh yeah, and when a stewardess tells you to sit for landing its a good idea cause man we got bounced all over! (but we made it into Logan 20 mins early)

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