I don’t usually boast about myself or really let people know how much I feel with words. But today I’m writing this blog not only for my own excitement but also for my new family and happiness. A couple months ago I got engaged to a wonderful man and I have entered into a wonderful family. Being said, everyone asks me the story of how I met my fiancé since we don’t have an average story. But the whole reason I’m writing this blog is in fact to actually tell you about my future mother in law’s story. I decided to interview her, not only to become closer with her, but also to learn her love story. This story has inspired me. It shows everyone that love can be truly strong no matter what. How I thought to write about this was that I was experimenting with some equipment on my camera and was taking pictures of my ring. When I wanted to practice more I asked her if I could use her ring, realizing I wouldn’t have my future father in law’s ring because he’s a trucker and not home. Thus, will begin my story of true love and a strong woman.
Mary and Lyle met in high school when they were 17 and 18 years old. They both attended Fennville High School in Fennville, Michigan. They didn’t start dating in high school just quite but considered themselves high school sweet hearts. Lyle would constantly ask Mary out but she knew her mother would kill her if she dared to marry a Batey, let alone even date him. “He was a pest,” Mary’s mother said. Mary and Lyle would still hang out as just “friends” during school. Lyle would go to Taft’s grocery store to see Mary and ask her to lunch. Mary’s coworkers didn’t even like him being around. Everyone seemed to think he was a horrible person. But was that really true? One day Lyle called Mary, drunk, and asked if she would go out with him. Mary of course didn’t know he was drunk. For their first date they went bowling, had dinner, and even saw a movie. How romantic! Mary thought Lyle was the kindest, funniest, and most loving person. She then kept agreeing to go out with him, leading them to officially dating. Don’t worry, Mary’s mother later on changed her mind after meeting Lyle officially. She realized he wasn’t like his father one bit. Mary and Lyle dated for about a year and a half and, if you can guess it, Lyle popped the question. But of course he didn’t do it in the most normal fashion. They were watching TV and someone on the television got engaged and Lyle asked, “How bout it?” Mary of course thought he was kidding but Lyle was not laughing. He was dead serious. They later went shopping for the ring, but don’t worry, he didn’t get down on one knee in the store. He waited, asked Mary’s parents for permission, and then got down on his knee at her parents house and asked her. And she said YES! Five months later they got married in South Haven in Maple Grove Church. Everything was homemade from the food to Mary’s wedding dress.
From the time they were dating to the very day today Lyle has been a truck driver all his life. They would see each other every weekend. Their love was strong. So strong that on January 6th, 1993 Brian was born and a year and a day later Jacob was born. Just imagine, having a husband who a lot of people said was a “pest” and then having two boys. Crazy! But Mary wouldn’t have changed it for the world. While Brian and Jacob were kids Lyle was still away quite a bit, trucking, but he was still home on the weekends. Mary said it was hard being by herself with two bouncy boys but her parents were always there to lend a helping hand. But even today, Brian and Jacob still remember the great times they had with their dad even though he was away a lot. They would play catch, ride bikes, go fishing, and go on vacations. “Jamaica was the best vacation because we were all together and we just had fun,” Brian comments. “Although he was gone he was a great father.”
Taking after their father Brian and Jacob both became truckers, receiving their CDLs both at 18 years old. Mary was worried but she knew it was in their blood. When Brian turned 20, his dad got a new job and was gone for two to three weeks at a time. Being the kids had gotten older and had jobs and school to attend, it didn’t affect them as badly but Mary didn’t like it at all. And even though the kids were grown they still missed their dad, both calling him all the time. In 2012 Brian and I met and started dating. Lyle tried to be home when I would visit from Pennsylvania so he could see us. At this time Brian was still a truck driver, so of course I had to adjust to that. Not only were we long distance, but also it was hard knowing he was up all those hours. I would call him any chance I got to make sure he was okay. There were some scary calls, but I also had Mary there for me. She would talk to me and make sure I was okay. She knew it was hard for him and I being so far away from each other. But she made me feel secure knowing that someone understood the worry and love. But after awhile of dating Brian quit his trucking job and moved out to Pittsburgh to be with me and on July 4, 2014 Brian surprised me with a trip to the zoo with his parents and brother and in the picture booth, where our first date started, he pulled out a ring and asked me to marry him. Of course I too said yes! His parents were beyond excited to have me added into the family. Lyle then made sure he was home more often to see us when we would come up to visit. Now he is actually team trucking with Jacob and they’re home every weekend.
After 24 years together Mary is happier because now Lyle is home more. “We are a lot closer now,” she says and she thinks it’s a good opportunity for Lyle to spend time with Jacob. Being a part of this family has opened my eyes. Seeing how strong and loving a family can be makes me excited to be a Batey one day. Although I am not a trucker’s fiancé anymore, I know how strong a relationship needs to be to get through everything. My soon to be mother in law, whom I call Mom now, has shown me the true love of a Batey, a mother, and most importantly a trucker’s wife.
“Never let them leave. Never be angry with each other because you never know if it’ll be the last time you’ll ever see them. Make sure you always tell each other I love you.”
Thank you to Mary (Mom) for letting me interview you and learning about your story. Your wisdom helps me realize that love is strong beyond words. One person can only take so much but you have proven that in rough times you keep your head up and believe in the best. Yours and Lyle’s love is so beautiful that I am beyond grateful to be your daughter in law. I’m honored to hear these stories and feel these emotions from all the love, strength, sadness, and compassion. You’re an idol to me and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Love you Mom!