This is not typical of Briana in any way, shape, or form, and I was worried that she may have just been vulnerable due to the health issues she had been dealing with for the past two years. I didn't tell any of my family members or my friends because I didn't even know how to begin to discuss it, and, quite frankly, I was embarrassed. All of my dreams for my only daughter's BIG DAY were taken away from me in an instant (and for that matter taken away from HER). More importantly, the family had not met him or his family. I knew very little about Ryan and now I had an instant son-in-law.
The days, weeks, and months that followed this October 2011 were very difficult for Briana and I. She justified what she did, said it wasn't impulsive, that they were happy, and that they didn't have any regrets. She told me that after her thyroid removal surgery, a scare with cancer, and Ryan's experience being at war, they both decided life was too short and this was the right thing for them. Ryan confirmed to me that he loved Briana and that they needed and wanted my support and didn't mean to hurt me or her family.
After a lot of prayer and soul searching I was able to look at the big picture and not be angry anymore. What's interesting is that when I asked God to completely heal Briana while she was in surgery, I also asked for her to be happy and to one day be in love again (as I knew she was worried about that). I had no idea that two weeks later God would answer those prayers with her getting married and not to have cancer. My new motto is: Be careful what you wish for.
Fast forward to January 2012 of this year, Brooks and I took Briana and Ryan to my condo in Puerto Vallarta and we had an amazing time. Since then, we have spent many double date nights together and the "new additions to my family" are blending together slowly, but surely. It's interesting that Brooks is from Mississippi and Ryan is from North Carolina. I guess Briana is attracted to the "southern charm" the way I am. Like mother, like daughter.