|Sister and The Tall Blond Guy|
It was just yesterday. Wait, no, it was FORTY YEARS ago today that my little sister (also my only sister, my only sibling) married The Tall Blond Guy on a wintery afternoon. It was a beautiful ceremony with family members and a cheerful crowd of their college friends.
The Cook on Fifth Street (aka our mother) made Sister's gown because not only is she a good cook, but she is very skilled with a needle and thread. (she allowed me to play with her fabric scraps and embroidery threads when I was in elementary school, which led to my love of sewing)
I don't remember how many attendants they had in the wedding party (I can't easily get my hands on the rest of the pictures as I type this), but I was the Matron of Honor (already married with 2 small sons at the time).
We girls wore dresses from the same pattern as the bridal gown that had a flavor of traditional, old-fashioned design. I loved my dress. While the wedding took place in Illinois, I was living in South Dakota at the time, so I hired a local seamstress to make my dress. Although I could hold my own with sewing, I was not comfortable with such a monumental project.
Just days before the wedding, The Cook on Fifth Street noticed that the ruffled portion of the lower skirt on the dresses needed to be the same amount of inches from the floor so that they would look uniform (and therefore nicer) as we all stood in a line together. It turned out to be a very good thing that I arrived several days early so we had time to rip out and re-position the ruffle on my gown.
Sister and The Tall Blond Guy have turned out to be a wonderful match for each other. Both are very strong in their faith and that has proved to be the foundation that kept their heads above water when the inevitable trials of life hit.
One of the most remarkable things they faced was after several unsuccessful pregnancies. With their fourth attempt, we all sort of held our breath, hoping and praying for the best but understandably on emotional guard against bad news. Sister had told me an ultra sound was scheduled and promised she would call with the results. (By this time I was living even farther away, in Seattle)
I answered the phone and asked how the baby was doing. She replied that "they" were fine. Incredulous, I shot back with "You're having twins?!" Her reply was that it was looking like there were TRIPLETS!
This was back in 1980, when multiple births were not quite as common as they are now, so this was huge news. You can imagine the excitement that followed.
The babies were due to be born in November of that year but very serious complications made it necessary for the babies to come in early September. They were three tiny little girls, precious beyond belief.
While we marveled at the teeny tiny fingers and toes, Sister's life hung in the balance for several days and we feared we might lose her while saving the babies.
As if that wasn't enough, back at home on the farm, The Tall Blond Guy was trying to milk the cows (their livelihood!) three times a day in a state-of-the-art milking parlor AND their Basset Hound gave birth to a whopping 12 puppies! Help was brought in for the cows, but they also needed assistance in making sure all those puppies got fed. Their pastor was called into service. In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, he used a baby doll bottle to help feed the newborn pups.
Well, that is all a blurring memory of the past now. All the babies, all the puppies, and the mothers (both human and canine) survived the experience and even thrived.
The faithfulness and goodness of the Lord continued. The triplet daughters (and later, their brother) have all made Sister and The Tall Blond Guy into grandparents six times over. Every one of their four children has earned a college degree and they are spread out over the country, faithful to the Lord in their local churches.
Not only have my sister and her husband raised a beautiful family, but they provided fun for my children when we visited them on the farm. The Tall Blond Guy is the uncle all kids should have. He taught my kids how to help in the barn and gave them all rides on the tractor. One of my sons even spent three weeks of one summer living with them, learning and helping with the ebb and flow of farm life.
Sister and I are as close as 900 miles will allow with the help of emails and texting. I know she is always there for me and she knows the same is true of me for her.
Happy Anniversary, Sister and Tall Blond Guy! It is a joy to review some of the ways the Lord has blessed your marriage that began forty years ago today.