Hugs for Andrea Drakos (And an Extra Hug, Too)


IHACD 3 stories


The story takes place in 1977 and I was just 19 and newly married looking for a job.
It was October when I ended up at a preschool where the owners were LDS and one assistant was a new convert. I didn’t know anything about “Mormons” but that didn’t last long. On my lunch breaks they would individually come and talk to me and share the gospel with me. I had been raised Baptist. I won’t go into my childhood but I will say it was not a good one. When my older brother was killed in a car accident I was in middle school and I was left with unanswered questions about where he was and if I would see him and what about the fact that he did drugs etc. This was an important key in my search for the meaning of life even though I didn’t really know I was searching. When I was still in high school I tried to find happiness in drugs and alcohol. Not there. Friends? nope, not there either. I felt very alone.
ANYway, as I was being taught it was as though I already knew what they were going to say before they said it but I wasn’t able to articulate fast enough. It was like when you watch your favorite movie you know what is going to be said before it’s said because you have seen it so many times. I would go home and tell my husband everything and he believed like I did! We were baptized that same year in December. But I knew the gospel was true before I ever spoke to the Missionary’s. They were wonderful. Elder Trump and Elder Kern.
I did pray and ask for some kind of confirmation that this was the true church and that it was what God wanted me to do. So when my old Pastor came to our house to prove how bad Mormonism was I sat there and kept praying for an answer.
I got one. I could see his mouth moving and I knew he was talking but I couldn’t hear anything he was saying. I was maybe 5 ft. away from him but he seemed to me like he was miles away. It wasn’t until he got up to leave that I could hear and understand him as he said goodbye.
We were sealed the following year in January when I was 6 months pregnant with my first of 4 children. We lost all of our non member friends. Their choice not ours. Well, they wanted us to choose them over the Gospel and we didn’t so they chose not to stay friends with us. We were married for 12 years when I divorced him for not honoring our vows and his Priesthood.
I stayed active in church with my 4 kids. It wasn’t fun and it wasn’t easy to be divorced and in the church. I got remarried in 2002 to a non member. Someone I had known since Kindergarten. He took the discussions 4 times. He went to church with me and most people didn’t know he wasn’t a member. He started talking about wanting to be baptized so he could take me to the Temple. He died unexpectedly in 2013. He was the light of my life, truly my soul mate.
I knew he was going to join the church. Even my Bishop said that he would. I just didn’t expect it to be from the other side of the veil.
We have 5 Grandchildren. This wasn’t the plan. Not my plan anyway.
I could never have made it through this part of my life without the gospel. I know that Heavenly Father loves me and I have felt Him literally holding me upright when I couldn’t stand on my own. I have felt comforted many times when I have reached such depths of grief that I felt I would never come out of it. I have been strengthened every day and I know that it isn’t my own. I am grateful for the gospel and that I can still be sealed to my husband. I am grateful for those who loved the Savior and the gospel and were willing to share it with me all those years ago.
Andrea Drakos
Andrea Drakos
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  1. Andrea,
    Great story. My parents’ divorce was finalized on my birthday, while I was on my mission. The why isn’t important. My mother met a wonderful non-member, who treated my mother very well. My mother would have married him much sooner if he hadn’t insisted that I should meet him and approve of him first. They were married two weeks after I returned home. He treated my mom well, and did a good job of raising my younger brothers. He attended church with my mom, obeyed the word of wisdom, encouraged her to attend the temple, and supported 2 of my brothers on their missions, and paid tithing. He just couldn’t seem to accept the gospel in its entirety.

    A couple of years ago, as they were making their daily 40 mile trip out to the farm, he suffered a mild heart attack (as if there is any such thing). Suddenly mortality and his love for mom took a much higher priority. About 6 months later, he called me (700 miles away) and asked when was the next time we were bringing the grand-kids up to visit. I asked “why”? and he responded that he thought it was important to get baptized so that he wouldn’t lose mom in the eternities and wanted me to confirm him. So we made the trip the following weekend. I still don’t know if he ever told his own adult children that he joined the church, even though 2 are less active members themselves. Unfortunately, his heart attack caused dementia to set in, and shortly thereafter, you could have the same 5 minute conservation with him for hours at a time. A little more than a year ago we lost mom unexpectedly. It was wonderful to see how happy she was when he got baptized and as they prepared for him to go through the temple.

    Thank you for your story.

  2. Wow, two great stories…Thank you Andrea and Cav Pilot. I have been married to a non-member for 45 years, your stories give me hope.

    • Queen, If there is love there is hope…
      What a blessing to have 45 years! We used to look at “older couples” holding hands walking along like it was their first date, and we’d say, “How great is that!? that will be us someday.” It’s the little things that count. They always make the best memories.

  3. Thank you SO much for sharing your story Andrea. There is so much I want to say…and just can’t find the words. Just know that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I wish you much peace and happiness. Stay strong and true.

  4. Beautiful story, beautiful you! Like Lynn said, “stay strong”. Our God loves you and will watch and carry you through everything if you let Him. Hugs <3 <3 <3 <3

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