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June 1, 1980

June is often thought of as wedding month, and since we are in wedding season I thought I would share a tragic, but very very sweet story. This story is about my sweet parents, who today are celebrating their 31st wedding anniversary. (they dated 7 years before they got married, mom would kill me if I left that out!) Anyways… My mom was oldest of 5, and grew up very privileged with nannies, and housekeepers and the whole nine yards. She grew up in a beautiful home, but always felt  just very different from her brothers and sisters. She was interested in music, and saving baby birds etc. (ha!) and not at all into the froo-froo-ness of a wedding. She didn’t want a diamond engagement ring (pause.. Insert gasp here) she just wanted to be with my dad. Dad had a break in between Med-school and his residency and I quote, mom said “I think this might be a good time to get married” and that was it. 
The wedding was planned for June 1 (I feel positive my Nana was involved in this!) My mom had insisted on making her own wedding dress (which was beautiful might I ad) and everyone came home to Pikeville, KY for the wedding weekend. Wedding was planned for Sunday, and that Friday evening before the wedding, their neighbors were having a dinner for the wedding party etc. My mom remembers not feeling well, and wanting to stay home and nap, but of course no one in there right mind was gonna let the Bride get away with that, ha. 
And then, it happened. Not sure exactly who discovered it, but my grandparents house, that my mom and her siblings had grown up in, was on fire.  There is still debate about the cause-I have heard many things over the years (you know how stories seem to change with time). Everyone ran next door and watched my grandparents home, burn to the ground. The city fire department would not come, as my grandparents house was few miles out of the city limits- so there was nothing to do but stand there, and watch all of their memories go up in smoke. My mom’s wedding dress was inside. My Aunt Lucy was home from college, and all of her things were inside. All of the baby books, pictures, childhood memories that meant so much to my family- were inside. My mom’s suitcase that she had excitedly packed for her honeymoon was inside. The family Boxer, Oscar, was inside. My mom tells me she remembers watching her brothers try and throw the iron pool chairs through the sliding glass doors to save the dog, but they wouldn’t break. The rest of that day, and the days to follow were a huge blur. My mom says she hardly remembers her wedding. The entire family had to go to Dawahares, who opened their doors especially for them early Saturday, to buy new clothes for the wedding, and my parents honeymoon. I know you are thinking, WHY in the world did they not postpone the wedding?? Well in all seriousness I think it is because my Nana was scared my parents would never actually get married if they did that, HA! πŸ˜‰ so they went on as scheduled. My parents left the next day for the Virgin Islands, and wouldn’t you know the airlines LOST all of their luggage, so they had to go by brand new clothes all over again once on their honeymoon. Yep… serious. Icing on the cake right?
This next little thing I have to share, is my favorite part of the story, and I know could only be orchestrated by God. While my parents were gone on their honeymoon, the rest of the family spent time going through the ashes of the house. Guess what they found. A small little box. The fuzz on the outside was all melted away, and the hinge had broken. It was the ring box holding my dad’s wedding band that my mom had gotten for him. The ring was inside, untouched, and untarnished. Just sitting there perfectly. To this day this little charred box sits on my mom’s dresser in her closet, with the ring inside. Is that not the sweetest thing you have ever heard?
Another sweet little tid bit? After my mom got home from her honeymoon, she re-made her wedding dress that she lost in the fire. My  sissies’ and I all plan to wear this dress on our rehearsal dinner nights, just the way she made it. (we might have to add some fabric… we aren’t exactly 95 pounds, HA) Isn’t it just beautiful and timeless? 
Here are some more pictures of the house, and the wedding. Just because… 
Not sure what possessed Aunt Liz and Cam to pose for a pic in front of the remains? ‘Awkward family photo’ for sure right? ha ha
Sweet parents πŸ™‚
My teeny tiny adorable momma!
And last but not least, meet Imogene. I am pretty sure I got my poofin’ skills from my g-ma. I mean look at that volume!
I guess things worked out alright, because my parents have been together for 38, (married for 31) years today, and have a wonderful marriage. They had us three girls, and I bet if you asked them, they would tell you that life has been pretty good. πŸ™‚ Some people have the perfect storybook wedding, and unfortunately don’t make it. It really is about so much more than the “wedding”. My parents had all they needed, and still do. Each other, and love. 
Love you mom and dad! 
post signature
  1. Ack! Damn you, I'm all teary! What a sweet story–even with the sad parts–it proves something so beautiful: how family and friends can come together even in the hard times. And that, yes, a storybook wedding does not a happy marriage make. Happy Anniversary to your sweet parents!

  2. Tangles says:

    That is the sweetest story! I love that dress! πŸ™‚

  3. Helen says:

    That is such a sweet story! Happy Anniversary to your parents!

  4. Raquel says:

    Omg this is such a sweet story! I loved it πŸ™‚

  5. Michelle says:

    This is absolutely the sweetest thing ever! Happy Anniversary to your parents! My parent's anniversary is also in June but on the 25th and they will have been married 23 years and together I think 26ish(?).

  6. Caitlin says:

    This is absolutely precious. Not gonna lie, I teared up when I got to the part about your Dad's ring. This story shows that it's not about the material things or the wedding itself, but the love. Love it, thanks for sharing and Happy Anniversary to your Mom and Dad!

  7. so, so sweet! what a great story.

  8. Mrs.Hammar says:

    Such a sweet sweet story! Brought tears to my eyes. Happy Anniversary to your sweet parents!

  9. this is a great story πŸ™‚ it really shows their true love for eachother and how they were there for eachother during such a tough time…they stuck it out!

    i think its adorable your mom still has that little box. i love seeing older people's love for eachother! it's so so cute.

    this is kind of unrelated, but my grandmother recently died in march (95 years old YOWZA!) and she had a cane she used for a few months when she was younger after she had a surgery. my grandfather (who is 90 and still alive) has trouble walking but refuses to use a cane.

    Anyway, my grandmother was always ragging on him to use the cane, use the cane, but he never did. On the day she died, he has NOT put that cane down wherever he goes. It makes me teary just thinking about it because its so cute…its like his little piece of her!

    true love is amazing and your parents really do have it!

    happy anniversary to them!

    xoxoxo

  10. Stacy says:

    WOW – this is such a great story – true love – sorry that the fire had happened, but the whole story, is sooo sweet! I'm sure your mom will love the fact that you and your sissies want to wear that dress…

  11. Holly says:

    What an incredible story! And I love all the pictures. Happy anniversary to your parents πŸ™‚

  12. Such a beautiful story! And that wedding dress is absolutely gorgeous in the most simple, perfect way πŸ™‚ Found your blog recently and love it!

  13. Hannah says:

    Inspiring story πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing… very sweet!

  14. Marcy XOXO says:

    Geez this made me weep! But what a sweet sweet story!!! Happy Anniversary to your sweet parents!

  15. NehkohCat says:

    Your are soooo right when you said that some people have these huge, elaborate weddings and their marriages don't last! Loved the story and HELLO, your grandmother rocks, that hair is awesome! Happy Anniversary to your parents!

  16. Shalyn says:

    WOWWWWWWWW. I smiled and teared up like WHOA all in the 3 minutes it took me to read this. This is a beautiful story…Thanks so much for sharing. Wishing your sweet parents the happiest of anniversaries! Xoxo!

  17. wow what an insipring story! I can't believe that happened-I don't know if I could have gone through with the wedding, it certainly shows how in love they were.

  18. Awww…such a good story! And my grandmother's name was Imogene too…I thought she was the only one!

  19. Aww, I adore a good love story! Happy Anniversary to your parents! XO

  20. Lindsey says:

    Pink Lou Lou you made this girl cry while sitting at work. Such a beautiful story! I hope your parents have a fabulous day!

  21. Ashley says:

    What a sweet story! It definitely brought tears to my eyes! Happy Anniversary to your parents!

  22. Happy Anniversary to your folks. What a sweet post! -e

  23. Steph says:

    aww.. thats sooooo sweet!!!

  24. Michelle says:

    This is seriously the sweetest story! I love cute love stories like this! Thank you so much for sharing! I love her dress! Happy Anniversary to your parents <3

  25. Oh my, Lou Lou! What an incredible lesson at the end of a trying story, they have each other and whatever thats what makes a marriage work, not just a pretty wedding. I hope they have another 38 years of happiness and love. xx, Katie

  26. Rachel says:

    Aw! What a sweet, sweet story! I love it! Those are some great pictures too!

  27. Ashley says:

    Ok so now I am sitting here blubbering at my desk. What an amazing tale of love. I love that you and your sisters will wear the dress she made for your rehearsal dinners. how sweet!
    Happy Anniversary to your amazing parents =)

  28. Lacey says:

    What a sweet story…how amazing that the ring was still in the box unharmed! It's great seeing marriages that last, thanks for sharing!

  29. Mariposa says:

    wow! now that i'm bawling my eyes out at work! that is such an awesome story and i thank you for sharing it!

    "My parents had all they needed, and still do. Each other, and love." – we would all do well to remember what's really important in life. :]

  30. shay says:

    that is such an amazing story of true love… it was sad that they lost the house (and the dog! almost cried at that part) but the fact that the ring was untouched is amazing!

    thanks for sharing girl!

  31. That is an amazing wedding story! My grandparents were married on November 12, 1940, it was a Tuesday afternoon since the church hall was free to rent on Tuesdays (no bingo or bible study). They were married in Minneapolis, MN and it was the day later termed "The Day All Hell Broke Loose" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armistice_Day_Blizzard
    http://www.amazon.com/All-Hell-Broke-Loose-Experiences/dp/188237696X/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
    A massive snow storm came out of nowhere and all of their guests and family could not make it. People got stuck on the side of the roads, camped out in homes with strangers along the way, and the only way my grandparents and the preacher made it was because it was within walking distance of their homes. So in snow boots the trudged up to the church, were married, and proceeded to live off of wedding cake and tea sandwhiches for a few days until the snow melted enough to venture out.
    Crazy!

  32. Shannon says:

    That was such an incredible story. πŸ™‚ Happy anniversary to them!

  33. β™‘ bAs says:

    Happy anniversary to your parents!
    That truly is a sweet love story! I cannot believe they found the ring! That is crazy that they stumbled upon it when they were going through the ashes. I feel absolutely inspired by that beautiful story…<3

    My fiancΓ© and I will have dated for over 7 year when we get married.

  34. French Lover says:

    What a beautiful and sweet story ! Thank you so much for sharing this precious family story.
    Happy anniversary to your parents ! <3
    Bisous πŸ™‚

  35. Such a sweet and wonderful story!

  36. Kerr says:

    this is such a beautiful story, I have tears in my eyes. happy anniversary to your parents!

  37. Jana says:

    such a sweet story! I may or may not have teared up several times reading it… thanks for sharing! It's such a great reminder to us all… the wedding doesn't make the marriage πŸ™‚

  38. Oh my goodness…what a sweet amazing story! And i'm glad you told such a great story of how it's all about the marriage, not the wedding! Thanks!

  39. Vicki says:

    I am your newest follower, and I fell in love with this story …a testament that true love can get you through ANYTHING! πŸ™‚ Happy Anniversary to your parents!!!

    -Vicki http://myvickiliciouslife.blogspot.com/

  40. Laura says:

    what a wonderful and tragic story… but I'm so glad you shared it with us. Such a beautiful dress too- Definitely timeless! <3

  41. JMB says:

    Probably one of thee sweetest things I have ever read πŸ™‚ To persevere throughout it all πŸ™‚
    Happy Anniversary to your parents Al! Beautifully written child.

  42. Kristen says:

    That is such a sweet story. They went through so much but came out strong in the end. πŸ™‚

  43. What a sweet sweet story! The dress you mom made is truly gorgeous! Happy Anniversary to PinkLouLou's parentals! πŸ™‚

  44. CafΓ© Moka says:

    What a story!!! It made me almost cry!!!
    Happy anniversary to your parents!

    http://www.ilovecafemoka.blogspot.com

  45. Such a sweet story and congratulations to your parents! It's my parents' anniversary today too – same year and everything!

  46. Samantha says:

    What a sad but super sweet story. I wish my mom would have saved her wedding dress so I could wear it to my rehersal dinner.
    xo
    samantha

    betterblondesam.blogspot.com

  47. Petchie says:

    Aww that was really sad and sweet at the same time! Your mom looks so beautiful. My wedding is going to be a June wedding too, I'm having it next year though.

    xoxo
    Petchie
    http://itsallofthelittlethings.blogspot.com/

  48. Wow! Incredible story! Thanks for sharing with us!

  49. MissTexidor says:

    Aww I love this story.. its so cute.. Happy Anni to your lovely parents! xo

  50. Katy says:

    what a sweet post.
    xo
    katy

  51. Aww what a sweet story! Thanks for sharing

  52. Tricia says:

    Oh my goodness. So sad and sweet at the same time. I can't believe the ring in the box. I love how she kept the box all these years. Happy Anniversary to your Mom & Dad!! What an amazing story!

  53. allison says:

    this is just the sweetest thing ever!! thank you so much for sharing this story!! it really makes ya think about what is important in life:)

    ps – your mom's dress is so beautiful!!!

  54. Lp says:

    This is the most depressing and sweetest story all at the same time! That is definitely something that not many people can recall without breaking down! How precious that the ring was still intact. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! πŸ™‚

  55. The Mrs says:

    Beautiful story! I love the dress she made. πŸ™‚

  56. Katie says:

    This is just the sweetest story, Allison! Congratulations to your parents on 31 years of marriage πŸ™‚ I absolutely love that you and your sisters will each be wearing the gown for your rehearsal nights– so sweet!

  57. Jen Watts says:

    Sweetest story ever! Thanks for sharing!

  58. Ashley says:

    Such a touching story! Thanks for sharing! Congrats to your parents!

  59. Lindsey says:

    This was such a sweet, sweet story – especially the ring box. MELT MY HEART why don't you? I LOVEEEE that dress and that you and your sis are going to wear it. Seriously, I'm jealous.

  60. Brittany says:

    What a great post, this is such a sweet, sweet story!! Thanks for sharing!!

  61. fifi says:

    wow! what an incredible story!! but most amazing was the ring was untouched! happy anniversary to your family!

  62. Raven says:

    LOVE this. So totally awesome and the ring being saved? Coolest thing I've ever heard. LOVE that you parents have been married for 31 years (together for 38, don't wanna leave that out and make PLL's momma mad heehee) I love hearing stories like this.

    Gives us all HOPE!! πŸ™‚

    p.s. I TOTALLY see your mom in you πŸ˜‰

  63. Tiffany says:

    Such a beautiful story! And what a wonderful surprise that the ring was perfectly untouched by the fire! Not going to lie–my favorite part is your grandma's volume. LOVE IT!

    ~Tiffany
    http://tiffanyd22.blogspot.com

  64. Lauren says:

    This story is SO sweet, yet so sad. Your parents' story is such an inspiration!

  65. MJ says:

    What a sweet and also sad story. The wedding band being perfectly untouched is amazing…

  66. Mateya says:

    What an awesome story!

  67. Hannah says:

    I need to raise my hand and tell that this moved me to tears. Such a sweet and heartwarming story amidst the sadness. Happy Anniversary to your two sweet parents!!

  68. Jamie says:

    What an amazing story! I LOVE the re-made dress…it's beautiful!

  69. Trashy says:

    what a story!!!

  70. Hi PLL! I found your blog randomly the other day and have been obsessed ever since! This story was truly inspiring to me. My house burnt down last September in the Bastrop (Texas) wildfires, on my birthday nonetheless. Luckily we didn't have any pets in the house or anything like that but this story helped me realize that life still goes on, even when something happens we cannot control. This was the perfect example of that.. a great story!

    I also love the dress she made! It's beautiful!

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