Friday, October 14, 2011

40th Wedding Anniversary

Dear Patrick and Madelyn,

On October 16th your Meme and Papa will have been married forty years. 40 years!

Patch, your time now with Papa is typically spent outside playing chase or practicing how to square up to home plate. Madelyn, you have frequent tea parties and tickle matches with him. Patrick, you love to play games like The Good Night Moon matching game and sing the Indian song with your Meme. Madelyn, you love to show Meme your dance moves, read books and cuddle with her every chance you get. But there is so much more to these two incredible people that you love so dearly. Let's take a glimpse back in time to find out what they were like in the “olden days," shall we?

Your Papa was a cool cat, non-conformist in high school. When all of the other boys were part of the preppy or hood* crowds, your Papa wore Hawaiian shirts and Converse All Stars. He even rode his bike to school way before that was cool (if it ever was). He was an all around athlete, quick to laugh and always ready for a good time. He played on his high school’s football, basketball and track teams. He pretty much rocked the pole vault and even tried to teach your Mommy when she was old enough. Although, at the time, they didn't have girls’ pole vaulting at my high school (archaic, I know). He may be laid back but don’t ever think for a minute that you can get away with anything around him (I may be speaking from experience). He’s not only seen everything, but chances are he’s done it too.

Senior year he actually jumped onto his desk in protest of a homework assignment. A very stunned teacher, Sister Maxine, didn’t have time to react before he opened the huge old warehouse window (three stories high, by the way) and proclaimed, "Goodbye world! I can’t take it anymore. I need something more in life than homework!" before hurling himself out the window. Thankfully Milwaukee had gotten several feet of snow that winter so he landed at the bottom unscathed. He ran into a couple of his buddies and quickly told them what had happened. Naturally, they went back to his classroom, knocked on the door and told Sister Maxine they had found something that belonged to her. Then they carried Papa in the classroom and placed his still, lifeless body on her desk. She ran from the classroom screaming. Like I said, he has seen it all, done it all and probably wrote the book about it too.

Senior prom, they had started dating a few months prior to this.
Your Meme was a diligent student, captain of the cheerleading squad and started the first high school pom pom team in the United States. She single handedly lobbied to the administration of Messmer High School to grant permission to have the team, ran try-outs, chose the members and did all the choreography. When she took her teams to Stevens Point, WI for a National Cheerleading Association clinic she met Mr. Herkemer, the man who invented the pom pom and founded the NCA . He asked her to join the summer staff for college camps; a huge honor in the world of cheerleading. Kinda cool that your Meme learned to do a Herkie jump from Mr. Herkemer himself!

 She is one of the most creative people you'll ever meet and has the organization and planning skills to pull off any kind of project you can think of, a rare quality if you ask me. Usually, people are either extremely creative or extrememly organized but your Meme is both and the combination of the two make for some amazing results (i.e., Aunt Abbie and Uncle Matt's wedding). She has always had a gift for sewing and crafting beautiful things, something she got from her Mom, no doubt. She sewed her prom dress, her wedding dress and all seven of her bridesmaids' dresses, along with the two flower girls' dresses. She even made the priest's vestments to match because, well, that's your Meme, always going way above and beyond the norm to make even the smallest details perfect and memorable.

Together your grandparents are a true testimony to love. I've seen them go through a lot. Endure a lot. Change, absolutely. Through everything they've never stopped respecting each other, never stopped loving each other and on many occasions loving the family more than themselves. They have never stopped working to make their union and their family the most important thing and it is evident in the way their four children know undoubtedly that our parents love us to the ends of the earth and back. We are so lucky they are invested in our lives, children. Their love is unconditional and will follow you throughout your days and give you strength in the toughest of times. We are abundantly blessed to have them in our lives. You are the luckiest kids in the world to call them your Meme and Papa. And I am honored to call them Mom and Dad.


Happy 40th Anniversary Pam and Joey! I raise my glass to who you were then, who you are now, and everything in between. I am so thankful for your love for each other and for us. Cheers!

* I have no idea what that means, I am just reporting the facts.


Meme said...

THE perfect gift! Thanks for recording these memories for all the grandchildren to read someday and know that meme and papa were once young! And still in love.
Our family is a treasure and a blessing.

Abbie said...

Ang this is wonderful! I couldn't have articulated our love and admiration for them better. Such a sweet tribute!

Aunt Mollie said...

I can't believe that this is in front of us! Meme and Papa, you have such a wonderful life and I look up to you both! Happy anniversary! Angie & Toby, great blog once again