RABUN COUNTY, Ga. — It was a love story just beginning, but the widow of a firefighter killed in a boating accident weeks after their wedding day said this won't be the end of their story.
"The evening after the accident, I found myself in the bottom of our shower just starring at the wall, asking the question why as most of us have," Alyssa said during a Celebration of Life Ceremony Friday.
She told their story of their love, his heart of gold, his love for the Lord, and even joked about how he was good at pretty much everything -- except for building gingerbread houses.
Alyssa also told the story of heartbreak.
“When I began writing this I knew, there weren’t words adequate enough to express my deep sorrow, my love for Chandler, or the love I have for his family and friends that I so proudly call my own," Alyssa said.
"A little over 3 weeks ago, I had begin my final draft of wedding vows. And it is absolutely unbelievable that I’m now eulogizing the man I gave my whole heart to just a few weeks ago," she explained tearfully.
During the service, Alyssa said she's leaned on scriptures and books to piece together her pain. She even talked about how after their honeymoon, she read Chandler's favorite childhood book, "Where The Red Fern Grows."
"He was the epitome of living life to the fullest and he filled my days and nights with so much joy and laughter. These last two years and especially these last few weeks have been the best times of my life because of him," she said through her tears.
"Whatever Chandler touched, it turned to gold. He turned so many hearts to the Lord in the time I had the pleasure of loving him," Alyssa said.
She challenged everyone in the room to live a life like Chandler: vibrant.
“It was only our beginning but this is not the end. I am certain that Chandler’s legacy will live long past all of us and that his life will echo through heaven for eternity," she said.