Once upon a time,
There was a young maiden, er… uh… well, actually she was 77-years-old. And she had never been married.
The maiden is Fayrene Clark, Reverend Fayrene Clark-Reese to be precise.
I met Fayrene at a writer’s conference this year, she is now 80-years-old. And she is who I want to be when I grow up. She is pure sunshine.
She laughs like no other. She exudes JOY.
She loves the Lord.
Moreover, she trusts HIM.
This is her love story:
Fayrene was a missionary and evangelist. She traveled all over the world sharing the GOOD NEWS.
I asked her, “Didn’t you want to get married and have a family?” And she said, “Very much. But God said no. So I quit grieving and got on with my life and ministry. And it was good.”
As she grew older and the season of marriage and babies moved on without her, she continued her work, loving Jesus, friends, and family. Romance was no longer something she considered.
She retired and returned to Arizona and soon learned from a friend that one of their other friends, Peggy, had passed away several months before.
A seemingly normal occurrence at her advancing age of 76.
Fayrene decided to call her friend’s now widowed husband, Cecil, to extend her shared grief and apologize for not reaching out sooner. Fayrene didn’t even realize that Peggy had been ill.
Cecil thanked her and asked her to dinner.
They laughed and talked.
And they laughed and talked for 5 months, mostly over the phone.
On November 2, 2012, Cecil asked Fayrene to marry him.
She says, “When he asked me to marry him, I put my head on his shoulder and cried like a baby. I had never expected to hear that question at my age.”
The 77-year-old bride wore white to the joyous event on February 9, 2013.
“He snored, but so did I. And he thought it was cute. We were very much in love.”
And as quickly as the couple’s whirlwind romance and marriage began, darkness fell. Fayrene explains, “On June 1st, 2013 Cecil was diagnosed with an inoperable Aortic Hematoma. We had been married for three months and twenty days. He passed seven weeks later on July 20th. I know he sits and worships at the feet of our Lord.”
Chills covered me as she told this to our dinner table, some people gasped, others wiped tears. Someone whispered, “Oh, how sad.”
But Fayrene said, “2013 was the most joyous and the most devastating year of my life.”
And I ask her how she coped and she said, “I wrote a book.”
Under the working title, “Seven Months and Eleven Days with Cecil” Fayrene tells of their courtship and romance with laughter, joy, tears, and some down-south snark.
“I think writing the book helped me through a part of the terrible time. It has been almost three years since His death, and thank God, I am able to laugh again because God is faithful. And the joy of the Lord is real and constant. I want people everywhere to know that God is there in the good times and the bad. And His joy is truly my strength.”
The manuscript is laugh out loud funny and a beautiful expression of embracing the God of all. A God who gives, and takes away.
I am utterly enchanted with the peace and joy that seeps from the Reverend Fayrene Clark-Reese. Alas, my fellow authors’ whose eyes may grace this page, you will understand. These days, it is nearly impossible to publish without the dreaded “platform.”
And at 3:00 am on the day after I heard Fayrene’s love story my eyes flew open wide. I decided her story and her implementation of the Gospel in the midst of broken dreams was a platform that must be created.
So I made a Facebook author fan page for her, and with her help, we are reaching out and asking you to share this story. Take a moment to go like her page. Just click like. If you want to write and encourage her on the page she would like that too!
Please know, in an effort to remove myself from this I encourage you to share this story any way you’d like. You can copy the link, rewrite the story, copy and paste it in a news feed, or share it like it’s hot. Invite anyone you can to like the page. All I ask is for her to have a following and platform so that this story can be shared with the masses. It is a testament to a life lived for the eternity.
Let’s get Fay’s book on shelves… Thank you in advance, Jami Amerine
“Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.” Psalms 30:5b
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained! Love, Jami