The longer I love, the more I know I was blessed with my parents. This is from April 6, 2009.
The beginning and the end of my folks' marriage are represented in the above pictures. In the top photo, Mom and Dad are either newlyweds or about to be newlyweds. In the bottom shot, Dad loves on Mom in late Fall, 2007. Dad was at Surrey Place, a rehab nursing home in St. Louis and their friend, Sue Simons, brought Mom to be with him. He was so excited to be with the one he cherished more than life itself. Dad fought tremendously hard to recover from his stroke so he could take care of Mom as they approached their 58th wedding anniversary. When Grandfather Hawley preached my parents' wedding on December 25, 1949, he included this poem by an unknown author:
"How far will you go with me, my Love?
To the stile or the bridge or the great oak tree?
The lane is a lonely and fearsome place
And there's no one journeying there but me.
She smiled at the stile with a sweet disdain,
She scoffed at the bridge and the great oak tree
And looked me full in the eyes and said,
'I will go to the end of the way with thee.'
Then I loved her anew, with a strange fierce love,
As high as the stars and as deep as the sea.
She would share my heaven and share my woe;
She would go to the end of the Lane with me."
Mom and Dad made it to the end of the lane. The Apostle Paul called it 'finishing the race.' I call it the best love story I could ever hope to witness.
"Love seems the swiftest, but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org