I would like to tell you about two of the most incredible people in your community who taught me so much in my life. They are my parents, Doug and Judy Hale, who live in Harlem. On March 6, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. I had really hoped to be there for that special occasion, but was not be able to make it; however in July my daughter and I will be moving to Augusta permanently.
The way their marriage started out sums up the way all successful marriages work out. You see, my parents got married in Idaho Falls, Idaho. They decided to take their honeymoon in Salt Lake City, Utah via a small plane piloted by my dad, who was an electrician in the Navy at the time. When it came time for them to return home to Idaho Falls, two snow storms converged upon them and they were forced to land on the highway in McCammon, Idaho.
As a newspaper article stated, "The sheriff came to meet them and, lights flashing, escorted the taxiing plane to his own front lawn. There the plane parked until the storm passed. Then the Idaho State Patrol and the sheriff escorted the plane, with its honeymooning Hales, to the highway, which they kept clear for takeoff for Idaho Falls."
They have a framed copy of the newspaper article in their home now. The headline read, "This Marriage Already Has Ups and Downs." Isn't that what long-lasting marriage is really about? Isn't it about weathering the storms of life? Let's face it; marriage is not easy. My parents taught me a lot about balance. My dad taught me so much about the value of work and integrity and about doing the best at everything you do. My mother taught me the value of compassion and service and especially about the value of laughter. I think laughter is what got us through a lot of things. We used to have a saying: I will always love you. I may not like you all of the time, but I will always love you!
My parents have had their challenges, including death of loved ones, deployments, financial challenges, job losses, teenagers and health challenges. You name it, they have probably been through it.
My dad retired from the U.S. Navy in about 1974 and is a very accomplished artist, with some of his prints being published by Ducks Unlimited. He retired most recently from Stone & Webster. My mom did a wonderful job raising my sister and me, and is an incredible seamstress and very accomplished in sales and merchandising. My parents are excellent ballroom dancers with multiple medals and trophies.
I do wish I could have been there for this event in their lives because they have done so much for me. I really feel this story is worth telling. In this world of "throw away" relationships, this is what marriage is truly about. It is about weathering the storms and about sticking it out through the ups and downs of marriage. It is about not giving up because there is a torrential rain or a flood of bad luck now and then. Sometimes it is about finding a place to land and waiting for the storm to pass, so you can continue on in your journey. That is how my parents got through their 50-year journey.
Las Vegas, Nev.
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