Mon, Jan 3, 2011
I got a call from one of my brides whose story I had worked on several months ago. I simply adore her so was very excited when she had another project. Her parents recently celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary. The kids got together and decided that, as a gift, they would give this story to their parents as a book at Christmas. As I was working on this beautiful story of a husband and wife and world they created, I couldn’t help but think of my own family and the story we would tell…
When their parents opened the gift, the response was exactly what we were hoping for – tears and joy for a beautiful life. I have to say thank you again for the honor of putting this story into words.
This was actually my first time creating a book from the story and images they sent and it turned out fabulously. I’m excited to offer this as an additional service to future clients.
More than a Love Story
This is more than a love story.
This is a story of what love can create.
For Michael, the story started with a photo.
His friend showed him a picture of the beautiful woman. Of Maribeth. And Michael calmly mentioned that he would like to meet her… if she was ever in town.
For Maribeth, the story started with an invitation to dinner.
The same friends suggested she come to Old E’s. A tavern. Where Michael would be. Maribeth didn’t want to go; she wasn’t interested in meeting a man.
Their story could have ended there.
Before it even began.
Then, at the last minute, Maribeth had a change of heart. She decided to go, to take a chance, it was only dinner after all. There was no way to know, as she approached the door to tavern, that she had just changed the course of her life forever.
Changed for the better.
It was love at first sight.
Michael and Maribeth spent the entire evening together; they talked, they laughed, and they wondered how two strangers could get along so well.
Dinner finished, the table cleared, the party ended and still they had not had enough of each other.
They were in their own world.
A world at the beginning of something beautiful.
Michael gave her a ride home that night. The drive wasn’t long enough.
They went for a walk but no matter how far they traveled, it wasn’t far enough.
They spent that entire first night in conversation that never got old, sharing moments that would never fade… Memories they will remember until their last days on this earth.
By dawn the next day,
This was the one.
Michael and Maribeth dated for a week.
But only a week.
At the end of that week Maribeth was moving to California. It had been her plan all along. And though Michael knew this, he assumed they would make it work – the span of a country could not keep him from this woman.
Maribeth assumed differently. Long distance relationships never work. And while it was fun, she assumed it was over.
Michael stood on the sidewalk, devastated as he watched Maribeth drive away.
The very next weekend, Michael flew to see her.
For the next three months, every weekend the sky was graced with a passenger who paid $76 to fly across the country to be with the one they loved.
Three months filled with poetry. Filled with love.
They were married.
They committed to spend the rest of their days loving each other as they had since the very first night they met.
A commitment they would keep for 32 years and beyond.
This is more than a love story.
This is a story of what love can create.
In those 32 years Michael and Maribeth had three children.
At the birth of each one, it was love at first sight all over again.
Suddenly they were more than wife and husband; they were mother and father.
A mother who was determined to keep her children on the move – to never have them to standing still, to always encourage them to Go, Do, Be. A mother who never wanted grass to grow beneath her children’s feet.
A father who was a sharer of wisdom, a giver of advice, and a steadfast motivator. The bleachers were never close enough. He preferred to stand on whatever court, field, or turf where his children were playing. A father who valued respect.
It was a flawless summer evening; the sky was clear, the air was warm and the mother had a plan.
It was a perfect night for a sleep-over.
Mom gathered up her children and took them to the backyard, to the fort above the sandbox. They climbed the ladder armed with their sleeping bags, pillows, snacks, and fans connected to the house by a long extension cord.
They spent the night in that fort. They giggled and told stories and eventually, the fort fell silent. Each on their backs, the children looked to the sky. They could count the stars and see the entire universe move around them, slowly, steadily.
This world was theirs. They knew it.
Something their mother wanted them to never forget.
It was a magical night in that fort, high above the sandbox. A magical memory their mother created. There the four of them slept…
With the grass far below and no chance of it growing beneath their feet.
The four of them sat around the kitchen table. Father, daughter, son, daughter.
The children took turns, sharing the stories of their lives. Dad would listen – supportive, invested, respectful – and then he would speak. Offering his wisdom. Offering his advice.
He taught them that respecting yourself and others was a priority not to be forgotten.
They thought maybe he was just long winded –
But the children had the whole community to remind them that he was much more.
At restaurants or at the mall they were stopped, with or without their father, as people expressed their gratitude for what he had done for them. How much they respected him. How he had always been supportive, invested, respectful.
The children know now that their father lived his advice.
Above all else, he respected others, he respected himself and never forgot to make it a priority. Any words of wisdom he shared with his children were words stemmed in love, devotion, and an unyielding commitment to his role as their father.
Mom and Dad,
Thank you for being such amazing parents.
The successes we are today are a testament to you.
Who you are. How you raised us.
Thank you for showing us that marriages are made of more than love.
They are made of respect.
You had each other’s backs, always.
That steadfast loyalty is something we all strive for.
Thank you for letting us learn things our own way.
Thank you for letting us learn things the hard way, when that is what we needed.
We know it couldn’t have been easy to watch.
Thank you for being there for us when we made a bad decision.
Thank you for never saying “I told you so.”
Thank you for never letting grass grow under our feet.
For encouraging us,
from the very beginning,
to Go. Do. Be.
Thank you for your laughter, your ability to make a fool of yourself and your choice not to care.
Thank you for teaching us not to be afraid.
Things can be hard, but life is still there.
Thank you for teaching us to embrace it.
Thank you for your fearlessness.
Thank you for being the honorable man you are.
Thank you for working so hard and sacrificing so much.
Thank you for giving us the things you never had, and teaching us in ways you were never taught.
Thank you for always making it clear that no matter where our lives take us, or who we’re with, or what we become that we are always a part of this family.
That we are always a part of you.
Thank you both for your love of each other -
Thank you both for your love of us.
To have known each other so short and to have been married so long proves that some things, against all odds, are simply meant to be.
Your story is more than a love story.
Your story IS love.
A story of what love can create.