Family members attending in spirit

This morning my grandma passed away. She's now holding the baby boy she lost when he was 4 months old and hugging her eldest son who died when I was a toddler. But more importantly she has given a kiss to my grandpa who left us four years ago.

This spring, I lost my beloved papaw. At his visitation, a friend of his told me how excited my papaw was to come to Florida for Jeff's and I's wedding. That really shook me up as my papaw was very special to me. When I think about my summers growing up, I think about him.

I did write a letter inviting papaw to the wedding and placed the note in his casket, but it is heartbreaking knowing he will not physically be present. It is sad only one grandparent will now be at my wedding, but I am truly thankfully for her health.

Today, I take this time to remind myself about the importance of taking care of my body. All three of my grandparents died from illnesses they brought upon themselves -- smoking, over-eating, under-eating, not being active.

As I enter into this marriage with Jeff, it is also important to remember the necessity of being healthy for him.

You marry someone because you cannot picture life without them. But, by not taking care of yourself, you cut your time short. It is devastating watching widows and widowers bury their spouses.

I would never do anything to shorten my years with Jeff; however, so many people do. Luckily, for Jeff, I have plans to be a running, biking, water-skiing wife, mother and grandma.