Today I came across some videos I had taken of my parents talking about how they fell in love and got married. Hearing their voices was such a gift. The spark was still there after 58 years together.
Mom was only 18 when she fell in love with my dad, 26, an insurance salesman. That 8-year age gap would have been a red flag to most parents, but the Monsons had been dental patients for years of Dr. Norpell, mom's father. The families knew each other well and my grandfather watched as little Nancy Norpell and Craig Monson grew up with each dental visit.
As a teenager, my mother cut out this picture of her "Ideal man."
Do you see the resemblance? Mom thought Dad looked just like him.
The love letters I discovered, while sorting through the house when my mom died, show a sweet glimpse into what "courting" was back then. No cell phones or texts, just the yearning across the miles, followed by pen to paper, licked and sealed with love and dropped in the mail box the very next day. Their emotions popped off the pages as I read. Tender, sweet, longing.
At the young ages of 19 and 27, they married.
65 Years ago today my parents, Nancy and Craig, said their "I Do's" in a small town in Illinois. "Their song" keeps running through my mind this morning... Fascination by John Gary.
On many an Iowa evening, when the corn fields had stilled in the evening air, and moonlight shined in our dining room, Mom would check the pot roast for tenderness with a two-tine silver carving fork, while the five of us kids ran rampant around the house and my dad sipped his martini in the living room, floating away on the soothing music of John Gary. Hawaiian Wedding Song, Softly as I Leave you, and The Nearness of You were only a few of the songs that were the score to my early life as a 9 year old.
Take a moment, and let Fascination take you away...
I was surprised to see what a society wedding it was, complete with spreads in the local papers. The trip to Europe my father had won by being IBM salesman of the year in 1958, even made the headlines. An audience with Pope Pius? A whirl around the worlds fair in Brussels? Wow!
Fun on their honeymoon cruise-1958.
Five kids, 12 grandchildren, 3 dogs and 3 cats later, we gathered in South Carolina to celebrate 50 years of marriage with a renewal of their wedding vows. It was so wonderful to be together.
These are the roses that my father bought, dipped in gold. Each of us 5 kids got up and presented a red rose to my mom with heartfelt tributes to both. Dad's rose was all gold
which he loving gave to his wife that he affectionately called, "Mrs. Moonlight."
It was a very special moment...and mom was very surprised!
The joy on their faces that day are ones I will always hold in my heart. I'd like to think of them just like this today...together in heaven and just as joyful.
How I wish I could call and wish them a happy anniversary and ask were Dad is going to take Mom for dinner tonight. :)
Love you Mom and Dad. Happy 65th. We miss you!