Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Sweet Love Story

Today is my parent's 40th wedding anniversary.  I thought I'd share with you their love story.  After all, it is how I came to be and why I am so blessed.  I have wonderful parents who love me but first loved each other.

When Mom was 6 years old she lived on Laurelhurst Dr. in Salt Lake City.  
Dad (then 8 years old) moved in across the street on Blaine Ave.  Dad and Mom's older brother, Mike became best friends.  Mom and Dad were too young to notice each other back then.  Mom was just Mike's baby sister, nothing more.
When Dad was 12, his family moved away.  They always kept their house on Blaine Ave. though and used it during summer visits.  

One summer when Dad was about 15 years old, he noticed a beautiful young woman across the street.  This was the first time Dad remembered noticing that Mom was a little more than Mike's younger sister.  She was "gorgeous".  He remembers going on a scooter ride for an entire evening with Mom this summer.  From then on he'd always watch for her when he came to visit.  She admitted to watching for him too.
Dad lived in Virginia most of his High School years and had many different girlfriends, but always kept Kathy Bean in the back of his mind.
Dad and his family moved to California during his Senior year of High School.  He had plans to attend the U of U after he graduated.  He moved to Utah late August 1965 and immediately went to his buddy Mike's house.  Mike pulled out his yearbook to find Dad a date, but Dad had another idea.  He asked, "What about Kathy?"  Mike yelled for Mom to come downstairs.  Dad says, "She was drop dead gorgeous!"

Mom, then 16, was a ballerina for Ballet West.  Dad told Mike to look no further.  He had found himself a date.  They doubled with Mike and Ruth Ellen (Mike's now wife) and another couple.  They went to Park City and to the theater.
Here they are on their first date
The ticket to the theater
Mom had to sit on Dad's lap on the way to Park City.  She was too embarrassed to put all her weight on his leg so she practically stood the whole way there.  The things we women do:)

A week after their first date was Mike's mission farewell.  Mom and Dad had been on a couple dates by now so after the farewell party Dad took Mom on a "walk".  He wanted to kiss her but didn't quite know how to break the ice.  He came up with a sweet story to make his move.  He said that he and Mike had a bet and that he needed to kiss her before Mike left on his mission or he'd lose.  I guess Mom was dying to kiss him too because she fell for it and kissed him back:)
They were inseparable after that.  
her Junior Prom

While Mom was into ballet, Dad was a lead guitarist and singer of a group called "Little Society" and had shows almost every weekend.  They'd take turns supporting each other in their year of dating.

Dad performed at an assembly concert for Mom's High School.  All the girls were so jealous and Mom was so proud to be his girlfriend:)
Mom even got to go away with Dad to a performance in Palm Springs.  

Here they are in Palm Springs

Back then only 2 young men per ward were allowed to serve a mission because of the potential draft for the Vietnam War.  Dad's ward had already filled their limit, but sometime in March 1966 dad was informed that they had a spot.  He was asked if he wanted to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  He immediately called Mom to see what she thought.  I think he expected her to be a little apprehensive at the thought of being apart for 2 whole years, but she excitedly agreed that it was the right thing to do.  He filled out his mission papers and was called to the "Central British" mission.  He left June 1966.

This is the girl he left behind.  She is so beautiful.
Mom waited for dad.  She wrote him EVERY day.  He still has all her letters and they total 730. 

Here is an invitation to a dinner for all her friends who were also waiting for missionaries

She was a faithful girlfriend?...or so Dad thought.  She dated a guy for almost his entire mission.  When the new guy asked if he had a chance, Mom kindly replied, "No!"  So he broke up with her 6 months before Dad got home.  She was a little bummed because she still had 6 more months to wait:(  Poor thing!

I think she made the right choice:)

Mom had the privilege (and the permission) of visiting Dad on his mission.  They met at a place called "Stratford Upon Avon" in England.  Dad saw her from across a bridge and describes it as a scene from a movie as they ran toward each other and embraced.  How romantic!!

This is the outfit she wore to visit him.  No wonder she stood out:)

While Dad was on his mission, he saved his money by skipping meals and going without, just so he'd have enough money to put a ring on Mom's finger the second he got home.  And that is just what he did.  
The very next day (June 1968) he took Mom up to the Spruce's in Big Cottonwood Canyon.  He'd been given a wooden spoon from a family on his mission.  A Welch tradition is that you give it to your fiance when you want to propose.  So Dad presented this spoon to her and said, "If we were Welch we'd now be engaged.  But we are American and this is how it is done."  He then got down on one knee and asked her to marry him.  She was so excited and of course said, "Yes!"
here they are happily engaged

They were married September 4, 1968 in the Salt Lake temple.

Dad, I hope your day is full of wonderful memories of a happy life together.  It will continue on and someday you will truly live Happily Ever After...

Happy Anniversary!!


Kami said...

It is late and I am crying. What a neat post on a special day. I loved reading about their love story (I love the orange outfit ;)) - . I bet they both love reading this. What a nice thing, Amanda.

Debbie said...

That was fun! I knew the story from Kathy and I saw the true love they have for each other. Good post.

The hair is too funny when the missionary girlfriends got together.

Dawn said...

Happy Anniversary Dad!!

Awesome Job Manda!! I loved reading their story and I already knew it. I hope today it a great day for Dad.
I know She will be near today.

They were so dang cute!!

Brooke said...

What a wonderful story! Happy Anniversary to your parents! Days like these are so bittersweet.

Shauna said...

What a special post and it was so fun to read! What a beautiful girl your mom was, she looks so much like Dawn in some of those pictures. I loved reading that, thanks for sharing and Happy anniversary Kathy and Earl. Hope your dad has a good day.

estanworth said...

What a beautiful story! You did such a good job writing it. I love the pictures- it just helped add so much to your words.

Jenna said...

That is such a sweet love story. I love all the pictures. I think she looks like each of her girls at different times. I hope you and your family have a special day today.

Becky, yep said...

I love this post. I love young love stories and this one is a classic!
Happy anniversary Kathy and Earl!

Marti said...

How sweet! Your mom really was gorgeous! It is amazing to hear how young they were when they met and who would have thought all those years ago that they would have had such an amazing story and life together and make a great family. I hope your dad has a good day today, I am sure it is really hard for him to be without his sweetheart who is so obviously in love with! I hope your doing ok Mand! I was thinking we should get together while your two are in school and go to the park before it gets to cold! Email me or I'll call you!

~Tiffany~ said...

I can't believe after all these years they still have all those wonderful memories and pictures! Your mom was stunning! You must have taken after her! I hope all is well for your family.

Kristine said...

What a wonderful post, I really enjoyed reading it. They have an amazing love story, your mom is so beautiful. It is my parent's 40th wedding anniversary today, too! That is funny, they were married in the Oakland Temple the same day your parent's were married in the Salt Lake Temple. Thank goodness for the blessings of the Temple.

the clements family said...

What a beautiful love story! It is so nice to hear of love stories that have lasted for so long! What a sweet couple! You look so much like your mom. Thanks for sharing their story.

Staci said...

Your posts continue to make me cry. That was an incredible love story. Your mom looks so much like you and Jane. I love all of her great outfits, they used to dress so neat back then. Your Dad has a great reunion to look forward to.

Anners said...

You can only hope your own love story will inspire such nice sentiments from your own children someday. Thanks for sharing that.

Kassidy said...

What a great story! One I am sure will be told for many years! Your mom looks alot like you and your sisters! What a beautiful lady!! I think about you all the time, I hope you are doing okay!! I can't imagine what you have gone through and continue to go through.
Love kassidy

Liz said...

That is the sweetest love story. I love things like that because it sounds like something that Hollywood would make up, but it is actually true and very beautiful.

severts5 said...

What a wonderful story!!! I'm totally crying. I can't get over what a great story that you have of your parents!

Kelli @ "Writing" the Waves said...

This is the sweetest story I have ever read. I love all of the pictures and the fact that they kept that ticket stub from their very first date. What a special anniversary tribute, Amanda. I bet your dad loved it.

Kelli @ "Writing" the Waves said...

P.S. I think your mom made the right choice too..that picture of the guy in the glasses is hilarious!

tushar dark knight said... wish them eternal love wishes from me...THEY MADE A LOVE STORY COME TRUE...AMEN....GUD LUCK...