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S: Our Love Story

FC: My Valentine

1: To: Kay Brown From: Her Loving Husband Ken Brown Valentines February 14, 2011

2: "Our Story" It was the end of summer 1964 and I had been out of the Navy a year or so. It was good to be back home, but I was getting antsy. I decided it was time to see more of the U.S. since I had already been all over the world. I was at a local hangout in Killeen, Texas when I decided to figure out where to go. After spreading a U.S. map on a table, I closed my eyes and pointed to a spot, opened my eye and looked............It landed on Boulder, Co. I looked at my wallet and I had a $125. I found three friends and asked them if they wanted to go to Boulder. They did and we left out at 6am the next morning. We spent the night beside the road in the car. Early the next morning we pulled into Boulder. It was a clean picturesque town of 30,000 people. The mountains were beautiful and the air was crisp. We found an old motel that rented by the week. After that Rick and I set out to find jobs. The other two moved on. I found a job at White Stores as a delivery guy with the promise to move into sales as soon as there was an opening. It was per chance I met Bob at the Texas Cafe. A short time later, I started working for him at a sewing machine store. Bob was dating Kay's mom, but I had not yet met the family. When I first went into their home, it felt like a home and I

3: really enjoyed it. I met Vera, your mom, you and your sister and two brothers. It was nice being around a family for a change. I really didn't pay you much attention to you because you were so young. You were cute, but you were only 16 and I was 22. Over the next few weeks I began to come over more and without Bob. The time spent with your family was great, but I began to notice you more and more. I noticed this quiet, shy girl and how much more mature you were than the girls my age I was dating. It wasn't hard to figure out you were very poor. I'll never forget the first time your family fed me. I thought it was strange that I was the only one eating. Later I found out it was the only food in the house. You only had a couple of hand-me-down dresses and a used coat and cardboard in your shoes. Your mom had four jobs trying to put food on the table and a roof over your head. It was easy to see how you had grown so mature. With your mom working so much, you had to assume the role of "house mom." You cooked, cleaned, ironed, washed and all of the things a house wife would do.

4: It wasn't very long before I only wanted to be with you. Everything a man could look for in a woman, I saw in you. It was natural we just started going together. We had a lot of fun. I remember Christmas when it was snowing and we were window shopping downtown Boulder. I suddenly scooped you up in my arms and ran down the street yelling like a mad man. One of your favorite things to do was go to McDonalds and we ate 15 cent hamburgers and french fries. You loved it. When I could afford it we went to the dollar drive-in theatre. I also remember how excited you were when I bought you a can of hair spray. You had never had it before. I knew you were the one for me and you felt the same. I asked you to marry me and you said yes. When I wasn't looking for you God pointed you out to me on that map. When I didn't know the direction he had me go to work for Bob so I could meet you. When I thought you were just a kid, He put me around you to observe you and see not what I wanted, but what I needed. When I left to go back to Killeen to get a job and prepare for your coming, it was with mixed emotions. I worked days making a living and nights building your "little house."...........Finally it was ready. When I sent you the bus ticket to come, it was the beginning of our life together. I'll never forget you getting off the bus at how thin and pale you were. When you first met my parents how they embraced you as if you were their own. I still remember how you followed Mama as she taught you so many things about life. I love your cooking because it was my mamas and even better. you treated my parents as if they were your parents........I guess they were. I'll always remember how excited you were at meal time. Every meal was a feast to you. For the first time in your life you felt secure. We got married and it seemed you were afraid of everything. I had to make every decision. You didn't want to spend one minute away from me. Remember every year I would take a day off from work and we would go find a Christmas Tree and cut it ourselves. We would shop for a car at night (when they weren't open) and dream. Our dreams were big and our income was small, but we were happy. When John was born, I was amazed at how you were such a natural mom. Then Samm came and it seemed you were in your element. No two boys ever had more love from a mom than ours did. We read to them, you taught them their numbers. We prayed with them and at a tender age they came to know Christ. Now they have their wives and good Christian men.

6: You grew up before my eyes and turned into a beautiful woman. I found out after we were married that this beautiful woman that was mine was a great mom, a wonderful cook and could sew with the best. Your talents of being able to build and fix things are amazing, but you also had a ability towards anything "artsy." The house, your clothes, any kind of decor flowed through your head. I also couldn't believe how smart you were and could figure out just about everything. All of these things I had in a wife that I wasn't smart enough to look for. I thank God, He gave you to me. Now here we are 441/2 years of marriage and you are still the "Love of My Life" I know your sickness has robbed you of many things in life. I would change it if I could. But this is what it has done for you; You know how precious life is and you meet it head on with enthusiasm. You laugh every chance you get. A great hearty laugh with light heartiness. You are no longer shy, but glad to meet people and think the best of them. You have great compassion for people and anxious to "help." You have grown spiritually and always ready to share Christ with anyone. You are not afraid of anyone. In fact my love, I think you are the most amazing person I know. Whatever time we have left, we both know it is with the one that loves them the most in the world. God put us together and I thank Him for that. He will be the One who separates us in death. I love you with all my heart.

7: Remember when we were Young! Now look at our Family! | A reflection of life together

10: Family trips to Arkansas 70's / 80's | Trip to Colorado June 1973 | San Antonio 1981

11: We didn't have a lot of vacations , but we were fortunate to have some good ones. Remember when the kids were little and we went to San Antonio & Corpus. Outside of our hotel on the river walk a young woman was going to jump off the bridge. I was taking pictures and you fussed at me. We all had a good time at the beach and we all got way to much sun. The next few days we were all red as beets. In New Braunfels on the water chute we nearly lost Samm. The current was strong and Samm lost his innertube. I remember plowing ahead trying to catch up with him, but I couldn't. We were so fortunate a man caught him. We thanked God.. When we went to Arkansas, the kids were excited. You were less than excited when I stopped at an old motel with no lights. I was excited when the man said he wasn't going to charge us anything. You were even less excited when we didn't have any hot water. I remember us going up and down those hills and John getting sick in the car. He felt better when we got to "Dogpatch" and saw Daisy Mae. It was a simple trip, but we had a good time. How about the time when we all went to Mexico. We were very careful of what and where we ate, but we all got sick except Samm. I still remember John was in the bathroom when the plane took off. He said he thought the suction would "pull him in." | Cruises 80's | Arkansas 2002 | Mexico 1989 | 25th Anniversary | Mexico 1999

12: Do you remember our budget wedding? We had to be careful with our money. I even helped you pick out your wedding dress. I thought, "well even at $47.50 " it was "worth it." How we schemed and planned to do with what we had. It was a very simple wedding with no decorations. But I remember when you were coming down the aisle. There was never a more beautiful bride than you. You made dress change decimal points. It went from $47.50 to $4750 I remember when I put hand over yours and Bobby Taylor took our "hand picture" , that's when it hit me, "your actually married." Our old '61 Impala was dripping with "just married" paint When we got to Austin before we checked in I decided to stop and get the car washed. My theory as flawed as could be was if the hotel knew we just got married they would soak us for more for extra things. I really felt foolish when we were checking out and successful at keeping our secret. Another couple was checking in at the same time that just got married (wedding clothes and all), the clerk began to tell them all of the discounts and free stuff they could get. Live and Learn. | Marriage

13: It was always exciting to see you so excited over everything. You never knew what was out in the world and I'm so glad I am the one who got to show you. | Love

14: Things I Remember | One of the things I will never forget is when I was with Levines and we had a managers meeting in Dallas. We were a little late getting to the ballroom. When we walked in Everyone stopped and stared at you You were wearing a form fitting V-neck yellow dress that you had made yourself. You weren't just beautiful, you were stunning. Nobody could believe you were with me, including me. Every woman was jealous and every man wanted to be me. Needless to say you made me proud | One of the lowest points of our married life was when John asked me if I would take him and Samm to the North Lamar High football game. I didn't have any money. I knew at half time they quit charging admission. So just as the half was ending we sat at the end of the stadium and watched til the game was over. We were walking back to the car and I had each one by the hand and John looked up at me and said "Dad, do you think someday we can see a whole game?" I vowed to myself I wouldn't always be this broke and with God's help I would make my kids proud of me | Hon, one of the things I will always love you for is your strength through the Lord when we opened our mattress store. We were closing the furniture store after fighting to come back from the fire. It was finally just too much. I remember telling you I had just enough juice left for one more run. We had almost no money, John was in school, Samm was about to start, we had a new house payment and car payment. I remember drawing up a profit and loss statement and telling you this is what we had to do to make it. You said "if you think this is right let's do it, God will provide." That's all I needed to hear. The first month we did exactly what I said we needed to do to make it. I was excited God was in it. Every time we had needs and there were many, God worked it out and blessed us so much, we never looked back and here we are 211/2 years later, all of our needs met and much more. If you hadn't been so positive and encouraging I don't think I could have made it. Thank you for your love and support in all things, not just this. You have always bragged on me and been proud of me and wanted the world to know it. There has never been a better wife than you.

15: The Past

16: "You" I love your eyes. They are beautiful. I love how you are so ladylike and feminine. I love how you laugh with your complete being. I love how you are so intelligent. I love all of your amazing talents. I love your compassion for all people and especially kids and old people. I love your eternal optimism. I love how you love God and will tell anybody. I love how you love our kids. I love how you love me. How, no matter what you build me up, encourage me, tell me I'm the best and I can do anything. You would fight for me tooth and nail or take on anyone that was against me. You are 100% for me and love me unconditionally. | Love

18: My Pledge I will always love you unconditionally. you are the one I chose and I am still choosing. My love transcends feelings or emotion. It is a commitment of my life to you forever. You can count on me! I will never leave you, only death will separate us. I want to take care of you, protect you and help you to the best of the ability that God gives me. You are my Valentine Love Always,

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