Holly and I thank all of you who have given us such an outpouring of love and support. We feel undeserving, but so incredibly grateful to call so many beautiful people, “friend.” Thank you.
But I especially want to thank one man in particular.. One man’s strength, wisdom and love.
The last few weeks have been God’s blessing to me. I’m now officially Mr. Holly Frys… or soon will be. I proposed Sunday to the only woman I’ve ever loved. I did it in the very place we first met too. Everything I do and all I am is dedicated to my future wife.
This beautiful woman that will be my wife has had a hard life. For the people that don’t know, she is not only beautiful, smart, talented, funny, and all heart … she is also only 4 foot tall. My Holly was born with Spina bifida. Actually when she was still in her mother’s belly, a bony spur split her spine in two. From the beginning she had to fight twice as hard as any one else. I have never lived a day in her shoes, however, for two years she has been my whole life and every single day, I admire her indomitable spirit.
And Holly’s entire life, she has had but one man she could put her faith in. This man held her when she was sick, hurt or needed a shoulder. He taught her the strength and wisdom of God. In times of need he moved mountains, just to see her smile.
Gene Strother, what an amazing man. I have never in my life been more frightened of just one person. Let me tell you, I was so nervous the day I met this giant of a man, that it pains me to even relive the first conversation we held.
I speak two languages, own a business, travel the world and have been told I’m good at cake decorating… Yet never have I been more intimidated. As a businessman, I learned early on you can control a conversation if you speak all the time, never giving the other person a chance to say a word. So that’s what I did the day I met this giant, I talked and talked and never took the time to get to know this family… or worse, this incredible man.
How can this man have such an affect on me, I’m fearless? The truth is, when it comes to a woman that is so tiny, she still embodies so much power. She commands every room and the respect of every person in the room. She was right when she said, “you will never find a better woman than me”. I knew the only reason this woman was so amazing was because an incredible man raised her.
He was also the man that held my destiny in his hands. I knew I needed his approval so my heart could be complete. All this pressure and I was a jerk. I talked about me and what I did…who I am and what I this…what I, I, I.
I never had the chance to make a second impression before this giant left to work in another state and be the amazing provider he is for his family. It was almost a year later before I saw him and again I failed epically. All I could do was hear for 12 months how brilliant and kind he was. I wish the world could know how much I respect him. What he has done for the woman I love.
The stories I heard of how my Holly needed his guidance, how when others would go on dates, he was the only one that she could cry to. How when Holly’s little sister was born she hid behind the couch in their old home in fear of being forgotten. This man, Gene, superman, Dad would crawl next to her and let her know this is a blessing. Or how he never allowed her to feel sorry, but rejoice in her afflictions because God had a bigger plan for her life.
Who am I? I knew I loved this woman. I knew that she is mine. I even knew she would be my wife. But I could never come to ask this giant of a man for the one thing I needed, his daughter to be my wife. And that’s exactly what I said to him the night I requested his blessing. I have wanted much, however, I have needed nothing more than Holly.
Thank God, he agreed. Gene, I will work my whole life to love your daughter the way you did and still do. You are a giant among men.