On June 8, 2013 two of my favorite people in the entire world celebrate a rare and wonderful  milestone. My parents, Greg and Carol have been married for 50 years!

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These two people have blessed me with a fun, exciting, and loving upbringing. To this day, they still help me with the basics of growing up. They share their wisdom, patience, love, and kindness with me and the rest of our extended family as well as a plethora of friends around the globe. They deserve much happiness and love from all of us.

So what does it take to be married to someone for 50 years? Who knows. I’m not sure there is a formula—except the basics like love, trust, generosity, kindness, laughter, joy, forgiveness. You know what that sounds like to me? The fruit of the Spirit. These two souls have God’s Spirit working in them and through them and it shows.

My dad and my mom probably have some other words of wisdom on how they’ve stayed together for so long. Maybe some selective hearing, some earplugs, some giving up of the remote control and so forth. All I know is that I love them and I am so glad they are taking care of each other.

Congratulations mom and dad!!

Below are some photos from their wedding. I can see some of my cousins in there plus and aunt and uncle and some grandparents. The wedding photographer was a friend  who took some shots for them and the getaway hot rod mobile is there—the thing that made dad look “cool” back then, I’m sure.

Aunt Elaine and Uncle Johnny and cousins with Mom.

Aunt Elaine and Uncle Johnny and cousins with Mom.

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Mom with grandpa Crowe

Mom with grandpa Crowe

The Wedding Party.

The Wedding Party.

The explaining starts today, the selective hearing starts tomorrow

The explaining starts today, the selective hearing starts tomorrow

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The new Mrs Carol and Mr. Greg Crowe

The new Mrs Carol and Mr. Greg Crowe

With Grandma Andrews.

With Grandma Andrews.

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The hot ride!

The hot ride!

Mom and grandpa Crowe

Mom and grandpa Crowe

There once was a little girl who loved to sing and dance and play with her brothers and sisters. She was the fourth of five children and always a favorite among her family. Her early life started out in Indiana but then the family moved to the west side of Cleveland where her father worked in the Presbyterian church. Every summer they packed up the family car and drove way up north to an exceptionally beautiful lake in Michigan. It was on Walloon Lake that she learned how to sail and swim and made many friends.

As a young women she spread her joy and love to the kids who attended the local camp on the lake where she worked as a counselor. Singing, dancing and playing games with kids continued through her summers and then on to her years in college.

A very generous aunt and uncle saw the potential in her and sent her to Wooster where she made more friends and spread her joy and love to the people she met there. An adventurous one, she moved to New Mexico after college to work there for awhile before heading to New York where she lived with her older sister and her nephews and nieces. She earned a master’s degree and then got a job at Cornell University.

It was at Cornell that this young woman met the love of her life and then went on to spend the next 50 years with him. This beautiful young woman took care of her husband and soon had a little baby boy. This special boy was born while she lived with her husband on base in Munich, Germany. The army nurses weren’t exactly helpful to this new mother as they dumped sheets on her bed and told her to make her own bed (right after giving birth). She was a tough one this young woman!

More adventures ensued as they took little baby Greg on the road while they climbed mountains and toured Europe. Back to the states they went and soon had a little girl to round out the family. This young mother stayed home raising these two children, spreading her joy and love to them and everyone she met.

This woman grew in her faith, continued to always be a supportive and loving person, and to this day is the most wonderful mom a girl could ask for. This woman is now a grandmother, spreading her joy and love to four of the luckiest kids in the world. They get to call this woman grandma and know that they are loved and prayed for every day.

Thanks mom. I love you and your story will live on through me and your always grateful family. You have been through many trials in your life and continue to come through them with grace and style. You are a great role model and I’m glad you’re my mom!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Love,

Your kid.

Now that Valentine’s Day has come and gone, I can talk about real love. I say that because I’m an anti-Valentine’s day kind of person. Now, hold your judgment for one minute while I explain. I actually love romance. I’m a hopeless romantic. But to me, stamping a date on a calendar that puts pressure on men to deliver something special takes the fun and the romance out of the equation. We’ve commercialized this romantic love into a special love-day package. Step one; make reservations at a restaurant where they have a special meal including dessert and wine at a neatly packaged price. Step two; buy a bouquet of flowers and some chocolate (or if you’re a lucky girl, some major bling). Step three; smile, and know that any responsibility or creativity in displaying your love and feelings for your wonderful girlfriend has been taken care of for you so any real intimate sentimentality or originality has been squashed.

Me? I want to know that my true Love is thinking about me at random times during the day when we are apart. I want him to show me that—in his own unique way—be it a text, a flower on a random day, a note that shows he’s been paying attention to what’s important to me, or maybe just a smile and a kiss when we are standing in line. Romance for me is that he knows I hate calling repairmen to come fix things so he does that for me without asking. That he knows I love to watch Downton Abby so he stays quiet during the episode and records it for me if I’m going to miss it. Or that he listens when I rant and doesn’t always try to fix what’s wrong, just supports me and lets me know he’s on my side and there for me. That’s love to me. That’s romance. Oh, and a quiet lovely vacation on a secluded beach “don’t stink much neether.”

But let’s talk about love in general—not just romantic love. Love has many meanings, both in the dictionary and to each individual. It is the most talked about subject on the planet and for good reason. Want to know why we are here? It’s to love. To love each other and to love our creator, God.

One of the things that made me know I was on the right track when I finally put my faith in Christ was that all the questions I was having about things I didn’t understand in the Bible and in the world were put aside as something that I could trust God about and that would be revealed to me later (or not). Why could I trust Him? Faith. But also because Jesus told us what we really need to remember.

“Love one another; just as I have loved you, you are to love one another.”

He said “love” three times in one sentence and since Jesus didn’t stutter, I’m pretty sure he was emphasizing the word, love.

All of us—Christians and non Christians alike could use a dose of this every morning. A daily reminder of how wonderful the world would be if we first chose to love.

I was listening to the radio the other day and the speaker I was listening to said we are living in an “I” world. There’s the iPhone, the iPad, iTunes…you get my drift. He said we need to get out of that thinking and start helping each other. Interesting thought.

So, how to start.

Well, for me, I’ll start by not getting upset at the other drivers on my way to work tomorrow morning. I’ll look in the eye of the guy with his hand out and give him at the very least my respect and concern. I’ll pray for the people who hurt me and my family and friends and boldly ask God to turn their hearts toward love. And I’ll keep looking for my allusive true Love. But in the meantime am very blessed and thankful for the love of my family and friends.