"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." - Henry Ford
"Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward in the same direction."
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Paul and Sherry's friendship began in the hallways of Thurston High School. They were good, casual friends- nothing more, nothing less.
Then, one August evening following their graduation, Paul was supposed to take Sherry's roommate out for a date. However, Sherry's roommate was busy with someone else (oops!), so Sherry got to fill in. They took a drive to Oakridge - and halfway through, Sherry threw up. One heck of a first date.
Somehow, the sparks ignited anyway, and they proceeded to date until November when Paul felt the sudden urge to return to his former love. Gena had called and lured Paul away from Sherry for an evening, ready to remind him of the future they were destined to share together. Before the evening came to a close, Paul realized what a terrible mistake he had made. He left Gena behind and drove all over town to find Sherry and beg her to take him back. Fortunately, she's a forgiving person.
(This is a picture of Paul and Gena at their senior prom. In a "twilight zone" of foreshadowing - Sherry is seen in the background looking on. Paul and Sherry were only casual friends at this point in time.)
Paul, being the incredibly patient man he is, waited a whole month before asking her to her marry him, and then, never to rush, they gave it another month before actually getting married (and, no, she was not pregnant!). He was 19, she was 18 - and that was 39 years ago; January 20, 1967.
One Vietnam war that kept them apart, two children that drew them together, three parents that have passed away, four combined careers, five grandchildren that have kept them young - 39 years of joy, sorrow, triumph, and pain - and a love for each other deeper than any obstacle they have ever, and will ever, face.
We're so proud of you, Mom and Dad - CONGRATULATIONS & HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!
P.S. Michele wanted you to know she helped with this!