Victor and Laura’s Love Story
They had four years of courtship, then four years of married life before starting their family. They were living far from their families and their many young friends, and of course, she did not work. She did work hard at becoming a dedicated homemaker. Even after four children, Laura took classes in cooling, sewing and candy making. Her house was always lived in but clean! Married during the depression, Laura was good at making do with very little. Neither of them would complain about their lack of money, but worked as a team to stretch what they did have.
We children took their love for each other for granted, but I can see now that they had a playfulness that not many couples experience. Dad often used teasing innuendoes, and I can still hear her warning voice, “Victor!”, but it was always delivered with a smile. They enjoyed each other, and enjoyed sharing good times with their kids. They took us on picnics, beach outings, fishing or just Sunday drives. In the car, she always sat close to him. Family dinners at our house with visiting aunts, uncles and cousins were a Sunday staple; we had home made ice cream (turned by hand) and played volleyball, croquet, badminton or bocci games in our big yard. Many times, we would sit around the living room and have sing-alongs with Dad playing guitar. He loved country songs like Red River Valley or the Crawdad Song and an occasional favorite hymn. Some songs were romantic ballads and Dad would sing them to Mom as she was working in the kitchen nearby.
They had been married for 61 years when she passed away. They were in love all those years. They held hands, said I love you a lot, especially when they knew their time together was coming to a close. They definitely endured some roller coaster years, financially and emotionally. They saw their children grow into capable, independent adults; grandchildren and great-grandchildren arrived to their great joy. They grieved over the loss of a son and faced up to Dad’s alcoholism and recovery. Finally, they bravely fought together the kidney disease that claimed her life at age 78. He missed her dreadfully for four long years. The first year she was gone, he would hear her call his name, sometimes stroking his arm as he dozed on the living room couch alone.
Victor and Laura gave their children a rare gift. They were committed and loving to each other; their family was their highest priority. They gave us not only the necessities, but a safe, happy childhood in a loving home. They also gave us the encouragement to reach for a better life, to lead independent and meaningful lives. They gave all this not out of duty, but out of love.