|My Pop & Mommalo 2007
This full on belly laugh of a smile hasn't been captured much since she left this earth in 2014. We got a few small glimpses of it in Pop's crooked smile around grandchildren, but in going through pictures after his passing you couldn't find this full on smile. It was in looking through photos that I realized that this up close photo that is hung at my Aunt's house was taken as half of a photo. The other half has Hunter and I on our wedding day almost 13 years ago. And between thinking about my Mommalo and Pop, remembering them, thinking about love, marriage, legacies, Heaven, death...and even Valentines Day it really has spoken so much to my spirit these last few days about Life and Marriage goals. This original photo of them and us just stirred something in me that I had to pen my thoughts out. I just felt compelled to share.
|Pop & Mommalo and Hunter and I on our wedding day
July 7, 2007
|My Mommalo (Lovis) and Pop (Willie Jim), circa 1950's
It's hard for me not to think about my Pop without thinking about my Mommalo. They were married over 60 years. They truly lived out their wedding vows...for better or worse, sickness and health, in good times and bad. It wasn't always easy. If you know their love story, then you know that there were probably a lot of really hard days - probably even hard months and years...but THEY stayed together. They married when she was only 14, she started having children when she was 16. My Uncle Joey, Aunt Karen, then the twins Randy (my father) and Uncle Sammy, and even a second set of twins that died on the day of their birth. My Pop only had an 8th grade education but was literally one of the smartest men I have ever known. My Mommalo didn't finish her schooling to become the renown sonographer she was until my dad and his brother were seniors in high school. There was a lot of life lived, loved, and raised on that farm from the moment they said I do until my grandfather took his last breath this past Sunday Night.
When I see these pictures of two couples at the start of their marriages, (and also my grandparents at the Legacy end of theirs) it speaks volumes to me about marriage vs wedding goals.
On The Wedding Day...the start...there are the Lovey-Dovey looks, the pull-each-other-close high-off-the-wedding ceremony embrace and high Hope's for a lifetime of happiness. Those are great to have on a wedding day, and I truly believe that every couple deserves to have those looks of adoration for their new spouses, but we all know that Life very seldom gives couples wedded bliss for the rest of their days. Aside from walking in the Christian faith and parenting children....marriage is one of the hardest responsibilities you will ever take on. I truly believe that so much is wrong with our society today because so many couples have the #weddinggoals mentality...but I want the #marriagegoals mentality. I want the the full out belly laugh, a lifetime of memories behind us....the "stay together through thick and thin", the uncondiontional (no matter what happens) kind of LOVE. Because that older couple in this picture did all that. Come hell and high water... even when Bear Creek did rise...they stayed, they loved, they forgave, they raised, the Loved some more, they pressed on.
I want this kind of love on display that I will be remembered for. It's my prayer for both myself and for my marriage to Hunter. At my funeral ceremony I hope my kids, grandkids, and even great grand kids will say SHE loved that man, and HE loved her and they loved us, and they Loved God, and they stuck with it. They loved when it was hard and they loved when it was easy.
Thinking on my Pop and from talking to so many others at his funeral he was well-known for his hard work to provide for and love for his family. He was known for his overalls. He was known for being a farmer and growing vegetables. He was known for loving his great grands. He loved our Karabella,who he called Little Bit, fiercely. But above all... Almost everyone you spoke to knew him for his love for his wife and how lost he was without her. But we also know that her love for him is what drew him to the Lord and how joyously we can say that their two souls are resting comfortably in the presence of the Savior of Souls.
So on this Valentine's Day when hugs and kisses and gifts and sweet words of adoration are sent to and from loved Ones, may you also remember to seek after that unconditional Love of Christ. LOVE others unconditionally as Christ has Loved each of us. May we all reach 60+ years with our Soul Mates where Love & Laughter can be captured and remembered well past our lifetimes.
Till Next Time,
See Also... That's What Mommalo's are Made of