They worked one summer at the capitol in Bismarck; not in the same office as I remember it being told, but on the same floor.
He’d been rather restless before then, having been away from home, first as a young man in the seminary, then a serviceman in the U.S. Air Force, where, for a while, he was stationed in Japan, and served as a chaplain’s assistant. Japan was one of his loves, as well as the people there.
But something wasn’t settled, and when he saw her, something inside him said, “She’s the one.” They courted, and a few years after that first meeting in the capitol halls, he asked her to marry him.
She said yes, and in the summer of 1965, they united in holy matrimony, 50 years ago today…
Their sacrament was sealed at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, that building with the tall, spire reaching up from the Plains into the heavens, just blocks from where they’d met — the place where she’d grown up and received her first sacraments.
They became teachers, and around the time he was finishing up his degree at Minot State University, the first girl came. A move to Wyoming where teaching jobs awaited, and the second daughter arrived — me! Their penultimate move would bring them to northeast Montana, where they would raise their daughters, and teach kids, and help with farm crops and other endeavors.
Eventually, the girls would reach their parents’ height. They would gather again, one last time in Montana, all four, before the two who started this family off would return to their North Dakota origins.
We girls married, too, and brought new people into their circle of love — eight grandchildren in all here and one in heaven.
Then, in January 2013, Dad passed on into the next world, leaving us to go on for a while without him. But that doesn’t mean this day — 50 years after they said “I do” before family and friends — should be any less significant.
If not for their “I do,” there would be no Roxane, no Camille. And none of this would have happened.
It’s been 50 years since that day at the cathedral, and half a century later, they are on their daughters’ minds and in our hearts in a very special way. We are praying for a bright day for Mom, and Dad, too, thanking them for all the sacrifices that brought us and our families into being, and looking forward to a day in the future when we’ll celebrate again together.
Happy 50th wedding anniversary Mom (and Dad too)! We love you!
Q4U: Have you ever toasted to 50 of something — for you or another?