This past Friday, my new husband and I were married in the Church.  As a practicing Catholic, getting married in the church was very important to me. It was a small, intimate ceremony with just our closest family and friends.


And two people that mean the world to me. My late husband‘s parents. His mother and father were there to celebrate my happiness. My new love. My happily even after.


I cannot imagine what it was like for them to sit there and watch their daughter-in-law marry another man. See their grandson walk his grandmother down the aisle. Hear him do the reading about loving as long as we live. 


When my new husband and I were married on the beach, Jared‘s parents did not attend. It was too hard for them. Too emotional for them. And I completely understood. They love me. They love my son. That was all that mattered. They didn’t need to be there on the beach to show me that we would always be family. Fast forward a few years, and they were sitting in the pews in the church smiling, crying, truly happy. And their love for me and my son is beyond measure.


My father died 17 years ago. So I asked my late husband‘s father, my papa, if he would do the father daughter dance with me. He always tells me I am his daughter. He also says he is thankful that he did not have to raise me through the teenage years. That man loves me. And I love him. He has been a father to me for 21 years. And dancing with him was a blessing. Truly priceless gift. 


My new husband and I planned to dance with our mothers. And I asked my late husband‘s mother, my mother-in-law, if she would be OK if I danced with her halfway through this song. She and I leaned on each other a lot when Jared died. The last few weeks of his life and the first few months after his death, we were both hurt. Our hearts are broken. And we supported each other. And she supports me now. Loves my new husband. Is grateful tmy son has a father figure who loves him so. She’ll always be my mother-in-law. And I’m so grateful she and I were able to share those few precious minutes on the dance floor.


While we were dancing, my mother-in-law was telling me how blessed we are to have such an amazing family. That it’s just more people to love. And more people to love you. I am truly grateful that I have in-laws who understand that just because my late husband is gone, doesn’t change the fact that we are family. And we always will be. 

They will always be my in-laws. They will always be my son’s grandparents. 


We will always be family.  Share our ups and downs. Support and love each other. They can’t get rid of me that easily.



Carla always knew she would be a widow but didn’t have any idea how it would actually feel. When Carla met her late husband Jared, he was waiting for a lung transplant due to Cystic Fibrosis, a chronic disease affecting the lungs and pancreas. So she knew that most likely someday she would say goodbye to her husband. But she never dreamt it would be exactly one week before their 14th wedding anniversary. In August 2014, Jared was diagnosed with a rare bacterial infection in his transplanted lung and was expected to survive at least 6 months if not a year. Instead, he died just 6 weeks later. And in the blink of an eye, Carla became a solo mom to their 10-year-old son. And even though her life was forever marked before and after, she was determined to live life to the fullest because her husband would expect no less.

She founded Breathing for Jared, a Foundation to provide college scholarships to those suffering from lung disease in honor of her late husband. Became a supporter of the CF Foundation and Donate Life. And discovered that writing out her emotions and fears on her blog Transplant Wife and Widow helped her to process her grief

Carla recently remarried and is now blending a family with her new husband, bonus daughter, and son.