A Love Story

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Today would have been my parent’s wedding anniversary. My Dad died in November 2012. Actually, we lost my Dad much early due to a massive stroke in 2006.  My sister and I have discussed if we are the people we are “because of or in spite of” my parents. We have “played” pop psychologist analyzing and scrutinizing my parents’ relationship and personalities. During one of those conversations my sister commented “their story was truly a love story”. Wait! What! I wanted to ask didn’t she remember slammed doors, raised voices, less than stellar choices on many levels.. Their story wasn’t a fairy tale – American serviceman from Oklahoma meets young British woman during Korean war and they live happily ever after.  No that wasn’t it. Their life together wasn’t perfect or maybe even what they each expected it to be – 4 children, financial stress, mental health issues, miscarriages, moving a lot – Oklahoma, Utah, Arizona and finally New Jersey.*

However just this week I realized my sister was right my parents’ story was a love story. Because after it was all said and done from April 22, 1953 until November 25, 2012.

” I, James, take thee, Margaret, to be my wedded Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.”

I, Margaret, take thee, James, to be my wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.”

They kept their vows definitely not perfectly but they kept their vows and something bigger than words makes you keep those vows – love!

IMG_1034 Mom and Dad in Christmas 1988.

 

*Years ago I realized that my parents did the best they could with the resources (financial, emotional, mental and spiritual) they had. There is a sense of freedom when you come to that point.

April 19 – then and now

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Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing. My prayers and thoughts are with the family members, victims, fire responders, all who have always known whether it is the first, seventh, thirteenth or twentieth time April 19 has been the date on the calendar since that terrible day in 1995. My prayers are also with those who served on the jury for the trial of the accused bomber. This has to be difficult day for so many.

Twenty years ago I was in England with my two daughters and my British born mum for a two-week vacation to introduce my girls to the “mother country” of their Nanny. We were fortunate to have family to stay with and who were also willingly to drive us hither and fro through the British Countryside. We had already visited the sights of London – toured  the Tower, heard Big Ben chime twelve as we came out of the underground, visited the stables to see the Queens horses, shopped for English sweets and souvenirs. We had taken the train to Oxford to see the universities and where I was born. On Easter Sunday we had gone to Windsor Castle and had a glimpse of the Queen Mother leaving church.

On Wednesday April 19 we had visited Hampton Court and my daughters had participated in the “Jeweled Egg Hunt”, a scavenger hunt designed to make historical places a little more interesting to a 7 and 10-year-old. Upon returning to Auntie Mirrey’s house while enjoying a cup of tea there was breaking news report on the television of a bombing in Oklahoma City. My dad is from Oklahoma. Oklahoma was far away but not foreign to us. I had lived on the campus of the University of Oklahoma as a little girl. I remember trying to listen to the information and at the same time shielding my daughters from the news. A telephone call “home” would give more information but the sense of disbelief would remain. Sadness for those who were lost, sadness for innocence lost, sadness for lives changed, sadness for my country being bombed.

On that day twenty years ago I didn’t know that 6.5 years later I would become a member of a select group of people those who have experienced a personal loss  in the midst of a national tragedy. I didn’t realize that I would be able to understand in ways I wish I didn’t know what it is like to have a nation remember the anniversary of your loved ones death.  I pray that no one else ever has that distinction.

faith and hope…

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It has taken years to sort through the significance if there is any of being notified on Easter Sunday that Bruce’s body had been identified.  The FDNY didn’t officially come until  Easter Monday night but the Easter Sunday telephone call told the news. A middle of the night telephone call 10 days before had  informed me that he was found. That same telephone call stated it could take up to 6 weeks to identify him so I hadn’t told my girls.  Why Easter Sunday?? Why on the day when the story was about no body was I telling my daughters their daddy’s body had been found. We never expected there to be a body. This was out of the blue. This was a wound being ripped open. This was a difficult time. This made no sense…

At the time (April 2002) something in me knew there was something significant  but I couldn’t verbalize it or even think it through but there was a sense that I was missing something. Years past and slowly or maybe it was actually suddenly, it clicked. Whether Bruce’s body was found or not, my hope in eternity is based on the belief that there was no body on Easter Sunday. My hope that I will see my husband again is based on “nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.” So Bruce’s body being identified on Easter Sunday was a reminder that Jesus is my hope and my salvation. Jesus was Bruce’s hope and salvation.

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

My prayer this Easter weekend is for the families of September 11, of the Malaysian airliner, of the Great East Japan tsunami, for all families  who have never had any human remains identified that they may know faith, hope and love.  

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13