by Russ for Anne
I was in third grade and you were in second
your mom, my den mother, our acquaintance was made.
Later through crowded high school halls alone we made,
then Alice's 'lectric underground promenade.
There our paths once more met for our mutual aid,
since then our separate paths together have stayed.
After that dance we began to steadily date,
our lives became intertwined by God's gracious fate.
Unchurched as I was you opened for me God's gate,
to see you on Sunday to come to church was bait.
To church I came to see you 'cause I could not wait,
into the Lord's embrace me you did navigate.
To church, Sunday school, work, and college we
we became and have remained best friends as you know.
Together we've stayed where ever fortune's winds blow,
slowly, steadily our enduring love did grow.
As my beautiful bride you did and do still glow,
our wedding un'Rapp'ed you, now together we 'Crow'.
In a trailer our married life we did begin,
working at Caloric we took it on the chin.
With new jobs, in God's hands our future we did pin,
soon our first house, in Shoey, with a roof of tin.
With loyal cat Sara and Mickey the kitten,
soon we were warmed by our daughter's 'Angelic' grin.
Then West Wyomissing became our habitat,
where hamsters Mickey freed, tough Sara baby sat.
'79 and '80s' winter God begat,
guardian angels... Pappy and Sara the cat.
On our behalf before God they remain at bat,
in our loving hearts there is no doubt about that.
Your dad joined God's angels in 1984,
your mother and brother then needed us much more.
Hard work we did together, it wasn't a chore,
an addition so mother and Mark shared our door.
Then off to college Angela went with a roar,
to see her so boldly go at our heart strings tore.
'97 for us was a year out of hell,
losing my job at Bachman was the warning bell,
and Angela from school they did nearly expel.
Your mother's death in April on us all did tell.
In May your first bout of blindness to us befell,
then lastly at Christmas did Angela rebel.
From these tragedies you and I made lemonade,
my new job, less demanding, so you I could aid.
The duck under our porch... your Mom's spirit remade,
your mom and dad: twin rainbows: that image won't fade.
Entrusting our daughter to the tough course God laid,
Angela matured and is now making the grade.
When first diagnosed, WE have MS, I declared,
and side by side into the devil's face we glared.
To continue to church with the wheelchair we dared,
our fellow parishioners in amazement stared.
They understood how much for Christ's children we cared,
now St. Luke's has an elevator to be shared.
I regret I did not propose on bended knee,
but I was meant to be your help mate God told me.
I have unquestioningly followed God's decree,
devoting my life to you by my own will free.
We unselfishly hold God's light for all to see,
our great love for each other eternal will be.
When we first met I pulled your pigtails so you'd
and I always pushed you much too high on the swing.
Now daily to each other we lovingly cling,
and thus pushed on a wheelchair I do you now fling.
We can look to the future when heavens bells ring,
when through God's snowy white clouds hand in hand we'll wing.