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Letters and Memories

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Letters and Memories - Page Text Content

S: Color Our World

FC: Colour Our World | Color Our World

1: March 18, 1972 To our parents, who define unconditional love, Your 40 years of marriage have created 6 children with nearly 200 years of combined memories. No words can ever thank you enough. Love, Gretchen, Anna Marie, Carl, Karen, Sarah, and Derek

3: Mom, I thank you for: Teaching me the extremely important skills of running a household and a hectic, frenetic life in general by being expert at the multitude of hats you have worn: (I still have no idea how the two of you did it!) baker, chef, chauffeur, house cleaner, gardener, personal shopper, seamstress, financial consultant, tutor, professional organizer, interior decorator, fashion consultant, mediator, doctor, nurse, host, cheerleader, coach, counselor, judge. | Being the best listener I have ever known; listening to my ranting and raving without judgment or commentary on many, many, many, many occasions. Being one of the most patient, genuinely caring and loving individuals I know. | You both have “colored my world” in so many ways.

4: Dad, I thank you for: Fixing just about everything I’ve broken (or at least trying) and instilling in me by example the belief and practice that things can be repaired, reused and recycled rather than thrown on the trash heap. Loving me despite not understanding (and probably sometimes being downright afraid of) my “dark and stormy” moments. In a day and age when many seem to have to choose between work and family, showing me by example (although sometimes extremely difficult) that both are wonderfully possible. | Teaching me how to negotiate for items like cars, mortgages, etc. Matt walks away from me like Mom walks away from you. Your love of music (even if I still follow you around and turn off every music that you have turned on in every room of the house) such that my love of music of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s now extends far beyond your favorites.

6: I thank you both for: The appreciation of the little things—a great sunset while sitting on the deck or beach, a good book, a glass of wine (or many), a walk in nature, or camping under the stars. Teaching me that you can’t find happiness at the shopping mall or in a gift box and how to focus on the things in life that really matter. Raising and encouraging me to believe that I can learn to do anything and for encouraging me to reach for my dreams however small or insignificant to someone else. Helping me to understand the importance of appropriate limits and to understand that saying “no” is sometimes just as important as saying “yes”. Rarely reminding me of my bad choices (and there have been many) but always reminding me of my good ones. Now that I am an adult, for being my friends in addition to my parents. | Being such an integral part of my children’s lives and helping to care for them and shape them as you have done all of us. Being respectful of my opinions (and we know there are many) and allowing me to voice them without being condescending or argumentative. Showing me that when it’s hard, frustrating and even painful, to be a caring and supportive family member who simply does the right thing rather than turning away when it’s easier. Being the best example of two individuals committed in a loving, giving, supporting, sharing relationship that I know.

7: Thank you for all you’ve done, will do, and who you are. I love you. Love, Gretchen

9: Words alone will never express the lessons on life you both have taught me. Your relationship, unconditional love, admirable family values and morals have served as a foundation for my life and now my families’. Here are some words that reflect marriage--attributes I learned from your examples: | DedicAtion CommunicatioN PatieNce CompromIse PriVacy TEamwork Respect Sense of Humor Appreciation Romance HonestY

10: Another life lesson you have taught me, is the importance of memories. Here are snapshots, memories of both of you. | Mountain House HEad Rubs Music I LOve You WoRk Room HolIdays KitchEn Sunday Drives

12: Your day is not just a celebration of vows, but an icon of life, love, and unity. | I honor you and congratulate you on 40 years of marriage. I love you both more than words can say.

13: Happy Anniversary-----with even more Memories to come.. Love, Anna Marie

14: "As time goes on, I realize just what you mean to me..”

15: DAD, you taught me that: Reading the assembly instructions is usually not necessary, and sometimes is even more rewarding when you don’t. Going an entire season without our team scoring a single goal can be fun, as long as you try your best (maybe even knock over some smaller kids to head the ball the length of the field). A screwdriver or a wrench should never be used as a hammer (except sometimes...) Even trapping and releasing baby skunks can be a cherished father/son memory. | I wish I knew how to truly express what you both mean to me. The following barely scrapes the surface: | A trip to Channel or Hechinger should include a Frosty or Jamoica Shake whenever possible. It IS cool to have WOGL be the soundtrack to your life. Michael Jack Schmidt was and still is the greatest third baseman of ALL TIME! Watching your child play the same sport or play the same song over and over, never gets old. If you have a sense of humor combined with compassion, it is possible to make someone smile or laugh during the toughest of times.

16: MOM, you taught me that: There is nothing more comforting in the world than a mother’s hug. No sacrifice is too great when it comes to your family. One person can personify the words “love and home-cooking”. If it smells funny, it’s not safe to eat. When I fall down, there’s no shame in shedding a tear, but then pick yourself up and be stronger for it. Even in times of intense pain, sorrow, or strife, you are not alone. Listening is the best medicine. Getting outside is always better than sitting on the couch.

17: MOM and DAD, You’ve shown us love, generosity, patience, determination, selflessness, honesty, kindness, and so much more. Everyday I’m learning something new--all of it with the foundation you have given me: how to be a husband, father, friend, guidance counselor, disciplinarian, hard worker, source of strength, source of compassion, source of laughter (and tears), and most importantly, a good person. While the “straight and narrow” has changed over time, you have taught me to form my own path, “stick to my guns”, be my own person, do what is right, and what makes me happy. I may falter, but I will never stop trying to be like the two people I look up to the most: my mom and dad. | ”Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”

18: While many amazing memories come to mind, my lasting vision of the two of you is Mom sitting on the couch rubbing Dad’s neck and ears while Dad sits in front of her on the floor rubbing her feet. These simple little things are what has now grown into an amazing family. Through all the ups & downs (many of both), the love the two of you have for each other and all of us--well, that’s what life is all about.

19: Only two words sum it up: Thank you! Happy 40th Anniversary! I LOVE YOU!! Love, Carl

20: Many people look back on years past and look at the big moments as the life defining events that shape their lives. While those points create memories, most of my best memories come from the simple and genuine moments in life. Dad, I remember singing my ABCs while bouncing on your crossed leg at the kitchen table on Chestnut Drive. Mom, I remember sitting on the counter next to the sink while you bandaged whatever new bump, scrape or butterfly stitch worthy new scar I had for my attempts to keep up with my older brother.

21: T | Mom, I remember the microwave timer being set for how long I needed to practice flute. That discipline allowed me to experience opportunities in London, Rome, Florence, Venice and Naples that I otherwise may never have. Dad and Mom, I remember the love of gardening you shared. I remember learning to cut the grass and being scolded for going too fast. I remember picking tomatoes, peppers and little-shop-of-horrors zucchini. | Dad and Mom, I remember digging in the sand at Locust Lake beach and learning to ice skate on what I thought was our own private pond. Mom, I remember getting to watch The Ewok Movie with you in a tent made of black, white and mustard plaid love seat pillows when I was home sick. Mom, I remember you hiding medicine in my ice cream so I wouldn’t get a bloody nose at the Poconos- it could have been milk or yogurt or something less special, but instead it was black raspberry ice cream. Dad, I remember blaming you for the rainy weather every weekend you would come up to the Poconos and I still blame you for my probably unhealthy fear of black bears. | Mom, I remember the microwave timer being set for how long I needed to practice flute. That discipline allowed me to experience opportunities in London, Rome, Florence, Venice and Naples that I otherwise may never have. Dad and Mom, I remember the love of gardening you shared. I remember learning to cut the grass and being scolded for going too fast. I remember picking tomatoes, peppers and little-shop-of-horrors zucchini.

22: Mom, I remember testing every ounce of patience you had in my teenage years. Thank you for teaching me that sometimes it’s ok to yell when you really need to. Dad, I remember learning to drive in the Lebaron and being able to drive to soccer practice listening to the radio. Those drives were probably why I was the only high school and college student to listen to Oldies 98.1 and know all the words. Dad and Mom, I remember hearing Dad’s voice carry across the soccer field and seeing him run the flags up and down the sidelines while watching mom with her arms crossed and hood up, shivering in her chair at midfield. | Dad and Mom, I remember seeing both of you at parades or in the football stands, sitting through the games just for the awesome halftime shows. Dad, I remember calling you outside of the car dealership when buying my first adult car and while you didn’t tell me what to do, you provided the key bargaining power- be prepared to walk away- I’m still driving the same car that I got at the next dealership. Dad, while not a fond memory, I remember sitting with you in St. Mary’s waiting room while Mom was in surgery and realizing that I was an adult and capable of facing real crises.

23: Dad, I remember knowing that no matter what words you spoke to me while we danced at my wedding, they would make me cry. Dad and Mom, I remember the realization of what it’s all about seeing how unconditionally and priceless a relationship between a grandparent and a grandchild can be. Mom, I remember the retelling of how Dad refused to buy anything pink on the way to the hospital.

24: Know that as time goes by, I have realized just what you mean to me and how you have shaped my life. You are the reason that I value the lessons in life more than any measure of value in dollars. Dad, you are the reason that I am an Engineer- I can say I followed in my father’s footsteps- wry sense of humor and goofy engineering jokes and all. Mom, you are the reason that I try to be nurturing, caring and loving to my own children and why feeling any emotion so strongly manifests itself in tears- anger, happiness, fury, elation. While I don’t always feel prepared for what parenting presents, I know I have been given the tools from the best. | You are the reason that I am the person I’ve become. If thirty-three years from now, Steve and I can surround ourselves with children, grandchildren, family and friends, I can only pray that life leads me through the same happiness, heartache, struggles and joy that 40 years of marriage can provide.

25: Congratulations, thank you, and happy 40th anniversary! Love, Karen

27: To many people, family is just a matter of genetics. It has given me my height, my brownish-red hair, my dark brown eyes, my broad shoulders, and most likely made me predisposed to acid reflux, myopia, and who knows what else. But honestly, all of the potentially problematic genes I have inherited are a small blip in comparison to the incredible genes that have been passed on and the unconditional love and nurturing you have provided. You taught me many life lessons at an early age that most of the world has not yet grasped. You taught me how far a simple please and thank you goes in life, whether in the office, in relationships, or to strangers on the metro. | You also taught me that everything you get out of life depends on what you put in. And because of that lesson, I have graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree and am making my way through graduate school one semester at a time.

28: You have always been there cheering me on, no matter what my passion. Mom, you made it to my high school graduation hours after getting out of the hospital, and you explored my future college campus by wheel chair. Sometimes the dedication and the effort you put forth to view my successes required no words. | You were both in the audience for eight years of band, chorus, and orchestra concerts. You sat in the uncomfortable stands or stood on the sidelines for countless soccer, basketball, and volleyball games. You didn’t always understand the rules, but you gauged the excitement of the plays by the look on my face. You also supported the long nights after those games. Mom, I distinctly remember getting back from a volleyball game my senior year and sitting with you to watch the series finale of Friends.

29: Thank you for supporting my yearning for adventure, signing permissions slips for high school trips to Scotland and Germany and buying my Eurorail pass that was one of the most integral parts of my 5-month-long sojourn in the United Kingdom and Europe.

30: Somehow, you have always miraculously kept the right distance. You have supported my independence but have always sent a simple email to make sure life is going along the way I want it to. You have provided the love and encouragement I need to pursue my dreams, but you have always let me make my own mistakes. If we have questions, whether they are about cooking, cleaning, cars, taxes, or power plants, you have provided answers, but you have never forced them. | I told you I was going to pursue a degree in English, and while you both questioned it at first, knowing I could hold my own in the more economically driven world of math and science, you went along with it. Because you always made me do my homework first and play later, and took us whale watching, camping, to the zoo, and to the Franklin Institute, my love of science has continued to grow. And Dad, I know you now love where those combined passions have taken me. Those scientist types like you need the scientifically inclined writer to translate their ideas for everyone else, or a daughter who loves blowing up model rockets as an adult (Mom, I had the hose ready) and watching Mythbusters.

31: I can never thank you enough. I am who I am because of you. Love, Sarah

33: Dad, thank you for: Teaching me how to use a screwdriver and everything else in a toolbox—and that banging on the top of a broken something-or-other may work as a fix, but it isn’t usually the best. | Showing me how to install a hard drive, which eventually led to my becoming the family member who has the pleasure of repairing everyone else’s computer. Throwing a baseball around with me in the backyard. Giving me your goofy sense of humor. I guess I just have to accept it.

34: Mom, thank you for: Teaching me to clean up after myself. I might just be the cleanest, most organized college student on campus. Driving me all over creation, to school events or friend events, etc. Putting up with (and listening to and comforting me regarding) my whining about this or that. | Providing sustenance for both my insatiable hunger and my mental activities through delicious meals and through the books I wanted to read, even if they were lousy Star Wars novelizations.

36: Thank you both for: Taking me camping and to the park and instilling in me an appreciation for nature. Imparting to me an appreciation for everything from the little things in life to long term happiness over something shiny and immediate. Letting me change my mind countless times before I make a decision myself. | Teaching me how to figure out which way is north — literally and figuratively.Yet allowing me to choose my own path and find my own way.

37: Happy Anniversary! Love, Derek

38: The stars were in reach, and no matter what they sang the music was still alive. Winter was just waiting-- an occasion to put on the cardinal's song. Anyone who swears by black and white can't have seen the cardinal's winter flight... March, 1972: Colored your worlds with an "I do." Forty words for forty years-- a picture wrapped around the sun, lantern in the black.

39: Anyone who swears by black and white can't have seen into your grandchild's eyes... ... Color caught the world on the wing; a cardinal waiting for the spring. ~Derek Lichtner

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About This Mixbook

  • Title: Letters and Memories
  • Mom and Dad's 40th Anniversary book of letters from the six of us
  • Tags: None
  • Published: over 6 years ago