Saturday, June 21, 2014

45 Years of Marriage Never Looked So Beautiful....

This is a picture of my parents - 45 years ago, today.

On June 21, 1969, Paul Rischer and Carol Corbett had a wedding in Winnipeg, Canada.  They had just turned 20 years old.  Carol sewed her own wedding dress and in the ceremony, Paul and Carol sang a song to each other.  

8 years earlier, Paul and Carol had met at a Province-wide music competition.  Paul had won 1st Place in the 12 year olds Vocal Division.  Carol had won 1st Place in the 12 year olds Piano Division.  They stood next to each other in the Winners Photo.  4 years later, at age 16, Paul and Carol found themselves at the same High School and were cast as the 2 Leads in their school's production of "Brigadoon."  When Paul asked Carol on a date to "practice their lines," it was an amazing coincidence that the scenes he had planned for them to rehearse were all of their kissing scenes.  ;)  4 years later, these high school sweethearts had a wedding.  

Their wedding was beautiful. They were madly in love. They were surrounded by family and friends.  It was exactly what every young girl dreams about as a little girl.  

Over the next 45 years, their marriage brought them 3 daughters, then 3 son-in-laws, and eventually 11 grandchildren.  Over the next 45 years, they taught around the world on marriage.  How to have a healthy marriage... How to keep a healthy sex life... How to love and respect and serve your spouse.  Over the next 45 years, they continued to date.  And "practice their lines from Brigadoon" - even in public - even when their teen-aged daughters acted disgusted. ;)  They knew the best gift they could give their kids was a solid marriage.  And so they invested in it.  A lot.  Over the next 45 years, they took romantic get-aways without kids on a regular basis.  They held hands.  They put the other person first.  Their marriage was a picture of love and grace.  

For 45 years, Paul and Carol planted their roots. 
They invested time.  
They watered it.  
And the roots grew deeper.  
They spoke words of love and affection.  
Words of affirmation and encouragement.  
Deeper and deeper the roots grew. 

45 years later, these roots are so deep that they can withstand even the fiercest storm.

45 years ago, my parents didn't just have a wedding.
They began a marriage.

A wedding is sequins and lace.
A wedding is flowers and candles.
A wedding is pretty.

A marriage is sacrifice and service.
A marriage is hard work and dedication.
A marriage is beautiful.  

A wedding is pretty.
A marriage is beautiful.

Let me explain.

This is pretty:

This is beautiful:

3 years ago, at the age of 62, my mom was diagnosed with Frontal Temporal Dementia.  Her personality has become that of a young child.  She has lost about 98% of her ability to speak.  She cannot take care of herself.  So my dad does everything from wiping her mouth to shaving her legs.  My dad loves her and cares for her as if she was the exact same High-School-Sweetheart turned Bride he said "I Do" to, 45 years ago.  


The roots.  Those roots.  They are beautiful.  Roots of courage.  And sacrifice.  And love.  And romance.  They have never been more beautiful.  

Single friends:  Don't settle.  Who you marry matters.  You are choosing the person you will raise children with.  The person you will chase dreams with.  The person you will grow old with.  Be choosy.  Don't settle.  It matters.

Engaged friends: My mom always said, "It's not official until you walk down the isle."  If you have doubts or hesitations, explore those.  Be thorough.  The things you think will just work themselves out after you walk down the isle, won't.  It's never too late to call it off if it's just not right.  And you'll never regret being courageous enough to do it.

Married friends:  Invest.  No, not financially.  Invest in the stuff that matters when money can't fix it.  Love.  Grace.  Service.  Compassion.  Support.  Encouragement.  Patience.  Those are things that water and grow your roots deep.  Remember to date.  Re-fuel.  Fill up each other's tanks.  Kiss.  Hold hands.  Grab his tush as you're walking past it.  Believe in each other.  Go to marriage counseling if you need it.  Trash your pride and embrace humility.

45 years later, my parents would say one of the best decisions they've made was to commit their lives to each other.  But the best day of their lives has been each day since - learning how to take something so incredibly pretty, water it, invest in it, and experience the most profoundly beautiful expression in relationship that God has ever created: Unconditional Love.  

Happy 45th Anniversary, Mom and Dad.  

Marriage has never looked so beautiful.


  1. Thank you for sharing their beautiful love story! I have enjoyed watching you & your sisters grow to beautiful women at Hume. Your mother was always so inspirational to me.

  2. Awesome! They are an inspiration

  3. Deanna - Of course I'm tearing up! What a sweet inspiration and legacy. But you know what else...on my fb feed an old friend from college that now lives somewhere in middle america shared your blog with one of her friends that I don't know. Your words of truth are far reaching. God is like that. If you allow him to use you, he will blow you (and others) away with his glory!
    Thanks for being faithful to your first love (and your second, too)!

  4. What a lovely, lovely tribute to God's love in them and their testimony, Deanna! I am Jeaneen's sister, and when she was in the hospital she shared with me how your parents came to visit after her surgery. It was such a blessing to hear of their amazing love and how your Dad cares so well for your Mom in dressing her, and doing her hair and everything! And that they would come and minister to Chris and Jeaneen in the midst of their own challenges was so encouraging. (and so crazy that Jon would follow Jeaneen so closely into surgery with a similar situation). Please congratulate and thank them for their incredibly valiant example of true love! It spurs me on in my own marriage. Love, Eiley

  5. Deanna that was so beautiful! I had no idea that your mom had been diagnosed with that form of dementia. I was always in awe of your parents and the wonderful marriage and beautiful family that they had. What a beautiful legacy they have given all of you! I will always remember the Rischer family with the very fondest of memories! Thank you for sharing this very beautiful love story!