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photo: Martha G. Brady

Happy Birthday Ron!

Can you believe it has been this many years? I remember when we started dating…I guess you would call it that. We didn’t get to have very many dates because we were far apart much of the time. But during one of my breaks and after a 2 week mission trip in Costa Rica, you seemed to think we might be headed for a future together. I had figured it out earlier than that. We were sitting in the moonlight on the beach in Ft. Lauderdale. You were thinking out loud that if I was 21 and you were 29 and you followed in your dad’s footsteps, I would be a young widow. (He died of heart disease at age 47.) I blithely said, “If I don’t care, I don’t know why you should.”

My response took you back a bit. You laughed and said, “I didn’t expect that response!” I went on to tell you that I didn’t think we should second guess our future based on something that might happen. You might live to a ripe old age and miss out on a good marriage and happy family.

It wasn’t many months before you came to visit me in Philadelphia and eventually proposed before your visit was over! By the time a year had passed, I had graduated and we were married!

Although it wasn’t a totally intellectual decision, one of the wisest decisions I made was to marry you!

Today, you are 79 years old and in September, we will celebrate 49 years of marriage. Marrying Ron was one of the wise decisions of my life, for sure! Our years together have been full of everything. Excitement, grief, fun, pain, lots and lots of laughter, the joy of children, the grief of losing some, the joy of serving together in ministry as well as the agony that goes with it.

At this point in our lives, we have 3 daughters, 3 sons-in-law and 7 grandchildren. Ron has been retired for a few years. It is almost 2 years since he had a stroke that changed him, but did not take away his humor. Our lives have slowed down a bit, but we are still active.

Your kindness and respect for people has been a wonderful example for me over the years. You have been a great illustration for me of someone who will reach out to people who treat him like an enemy at times, but he still honors them with respect and the willingness to hear their side of the story. It is a gift that is less and less common these days.

Yes, I loved your preaching, but your life underlined and reinforced what you said from the pulpit in ways that were much more powerful than what you said on Sunday mornings.

Your life at home reinforced what you said from the pulpit in ways that were much more powerful. Click To Tweet

You have been the steady one we could count on all these years. Thank you.

You were the calm one in a family of all women. At times, we weren’t always thrilled with you for that, but usually we appreciated it. Having someone all these years who is an island of stability when I am not always that way, has been a wonderful ground.

It has been a difficult adjustment to have to be in charge of new areas recently as you have been unable to carry the load you once carried. I have been a blessed woman because of you. So has our family.

Happy, happy birthday Ron. I’m so glad you were born 79 years ago! You are loved by many…in Florida, Jamaica, Texas and Illinois…as well as Wisconsin and other places in the US and Canada.

I love you and am so glad to have been your wife and partner for all these years!

O God, from my youth you have taught me,
    and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
 So even to old age and gray hairs,
    O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might to another generation,
    your power to all those to come.

Psalm 71:17-18