I love new beginnings. A new year is always a good time to start one. This year our family has a special new beginning that we are all pretty excited about. Our granddaughter, Alissa, begins her married life to the man she loves, Assad, on New Year’s Eve. We won’t be attending her wedding. She will be wed in Turkey tomorrow. Alissa flew there on Christmas to join him. Our family put together a video greeting in lieu of our being there.
Alissa is the most adventurous of our grandchildren. Actually she and her sister are the only grandchildren off on their own, so the others haven’t really had a chance to strut their stuff yet. I guess I’d say that Alissa was so beyond my own adventure capacity that I am still in a state of amazement. She decided about five years ago to go to Australia. Mind you, she didn’t know anyone there. She just went and trusted she would somehow find work and a place to live. It was pretty scary at first, but over time, she did find work, managed to go to school for hospitality and cake decorating, and draw around her a circle of like-minded friends, one of which was named Assad.
We are so proud of Alissa, but not just for all she has accomplished and all she has dared in her life so far. She is a woman of deep kindness and love, a woman of peace with an openness to people of any faith, race, and culture. I believe that no matter where she lives, she will radiate the love and peace that is within her. I would not dare to assume the Turkish or Syrian people need her more than Australians or Americans. We need Alissas everywhere.
We haven’t met Assad in person. We hope that will happen before too long. What we know of him through Skype and through Alissa is all good. He has shown himself to share Alissa’s quality of kindness and her values of peace and justice.
Well, tomorrow is their big day. We hold them in our prayers. And we also hold in our prayers Assad’s family and their homeland.