The Best Part of a Holiday Weekend at Lake Gaston


We just finished a great weekend with our kids – well, our son and his wife.  We were sorry our older son, Aaron could not join us.

Many years ago (36 now) I had the extreme good fortune to marry an amazing woman.  Today, I can express great pleasure at seeing that my younger son, Jake, has accomplished the same thing.

This four day Labor Day weekend was terrific!  I don’t know what you usually do when family comes to visit – but Sherwoods usually relax and share great conversation.  For us it’s all about the relationships we’re building or continuing to nurture.  Such is our growing relationship with Elif, our son’s wife and newest family member.  For Mary and me Elif is the daughter we’ve never had.  She is as precious to us as our two sons.

This reminds me of a story…

Seven years ago when Jake and Elif were dating, Mary, and others, made innocent (I guess) remarks leading Jake to feel pressure to propose.  Of course he called me for fatherly advice.  I suggested he would know when the time was right and no one could make that decision for him.  Several days later the phone rang and a stranger asked for Paul Sherwood.  After acknowledging I was he – the stranger – without preamble – started in on how he and his wife had gotten to know Jake and loved him as their own son.  He said that Jake had asked for his daughter’s hand in marriage and he wanted to know whether Mary and I would accept his daughter into our family on the same terms.  I can tell you – I have never been so completely surprised and touched by anything in my entire life.  Whether traditional in the Turkish culture or just something Elif’s Dad wanted to know – that question said a lot about the quality of the relationship between that man and his daughter – and especially about the depth of his love for her.

It has been my privilege to get to know this young woman – and to love her as though she were my own daughter – which, of course, now she is!  It has been my joy to see my son and his wife together – the love they have for each other is as obvious as is, I hope, the love Mary and I have for each other.

My thanks and appreciation to all four of my family for loving me.



  1. Mary says:

    Hi Luke: Thanks for checking out our blog. Your book review blog is incredible. I’m impressed!

  2. Brother Luke says:

    I’m so glad you had this lovely fortune, Paul, Mary, and Jake! I recall the reception in Bedford with fondness – maybe even a little wistfulness.

  3. Mary says:

    Thanks, Julie. Loved seeing Ace’s 1st day of school picture!

  4. Julie McAteer says:

    Love this! 🙂

  5. Mary says:

    Thanks, Sue. I am truly blessed!

  6. Sue Ryan says:

    Paul, this brought tears to my eyes. I knew you and Mary had something special, but to put it in writing is saying you are not afraid to show it to whoever. Your boys and wives should be very proud of the example you have shown. God bless your entire family.

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