Hey Lou Writes

The Grey Matters

Now THAT Is Real


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My parents… their teen years!

When I look at this picture, I think… “Wow, they certainly look meant to be.” They both had the style going: choker necklaces, long hair, involvement in school, what I would call “hippy mentalities,” kind smiles and good looks.

I’m so thankful that not only did this couple look good together, but they really were meant to be. Today my parents have been married for 33 years.

33 years is a long time!

It was a Tuesday. Kirsten Faye Braaten and William Bruce Wilder were getting ready to make the commitment to love each other forever. Who gets married on a Tuesday? Two people who have to work that very week, who have very little money, and who will get a discount at the hotel where one of them works. That’s who. And you know what? They say they wouldn’t have it any other way. Their small wedding was a special one. A few good friends and their families were there. They had a “reception” that took place at the hotel, in a room that wasn’t booked solely for them. My, how the times have changed.

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Mr. and Mrs. Wilder

It’s no wonder these two made it work with the bare minimum. They were meant to be. My parents hardly knew each other when they got married. They had known each other (somewhat) in college, and then, having spent some time together (a total of about 4 weekends, as they were living in separate places) knew they were meant to be. They said it was like a magical force simply willing them together- that they had hardly a thing to do with it. It was all in God’s plan.

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my mom, her two new brother in laws, and another groomsmen

Besides, look how cool my mom is. No wonder my dad fell head over heels ;)

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my mom, opening wedding presents (we played dressup with the dress she is wearing my entire childhood!)

It doesn’t take a storybook romance to make things work. I know that my parents have had their share of rough times, but they’ve always, always made it through. When I think of my own marriage, I look to them, because they never gave up on each other. They never gave up on their children, on their lot in life or on their faith that things would always be okay.

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newly weds :)

My parents have never told me to do something because of money or popularity. They’ve encouraged me and all three of my sisters to follow our dreams and be happy in doing so. Maybe it helps that they come from humble beginnings and they know it’s possible to survive on beans, rice, and a lotta love. Because of their example, I like to think I don’t want for much. I can live simply and love much.

My mom told me many times growing up that once I’m married and have started a family, people who might try to get in there and ruin it, or whose lives seem so much more exciting… that they’re just fake. They’re not real. They may look one way, but that’s just an outward appearance. Yes, others might be really exciting and kind and have great lives, but it doesn’t make mine any less. I truly believe that now. I wake up each day to an existence I am happy and content with. More than that… I wake up every day to a life that makes me smile and laugh and wish only for another simple day of the same thing. Just like my mom, I also married a great man. The love of my parents and the love I experience with Greg is something that can’t be made up. Fiction can’t compare.

So thanks, mom and dad. Thanks for sticking together for 33 years.

Because that’s real.

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I love this one! Always having fun, those two…

Author: Melinda Haas

Melinda is a writer, blogger, artist and teacher. She lives in Wisconsin with her family.

6 thoughts on “Now THAT Is Real

  1. This post is full of LOVE and TRUTH! Thanks for sharing such fun photos and beautiful words. Our parents really are the coolest. ;)

  2. Wow Melinda!! Incredible! Definetly made me teary eyed and joyful! I felt powerful emotion reading through it. What a beautiful true and unconditional love story, that is real! Truly inspiring! Congratulations to your amazing mom and dad, they represent what marriage should be. For better or for worse. We will choose to love our own true love through it all.

    • Thanks for reading, Jess! I think you and I both have futures like this to look forward to!! Someday we’ll say, “Remember back when we were married for only 33 years?” :) You are inspiring, too!!! I hope I can be such a great mom and wife someday!

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