Saturday, October 8, 2005

October 8, 1939

"October 8, 1939, Miss Edythe Irene Stern became the bride of Mr. William Henry Smith in the garden of the bride's parent's home, as family and friends looked on.  The bride wore a lovely navy flared skirt dress and the groom wore a navy suit."  That's the way the account of this wedding written in the Sunnyside, WA paper  read.   I always wonderd why she didn't have a white dess..she told me it was during the depression and they felt it was wasteful to spend money on a dress she would never wear again.  She was a registered nurse by then and he was a telegraph operator on the Milwaukee RR.  Her parent's were hop farmers and didn't have a lot of money and his mother was a single (divorced) woman supporting herself.   Their first home was in Hyak, WA.....up in the mountains.  No running water or power.  She'd haul water in a bucket from a stream and heat it for baths, dishwashing, whatever on the wood kitchen range.  She passed money and their grocery list to a passing train crew and a day or two later another crew would bring back the groceries.  That life only lasted about 6 months however, then they moved to a real city and into a house with electricity and all the things needed to live a normal life.  He had been promoted on the railroad and she went to work as a RN in the local hospital until she became pregnant with yours truly, in the spring of 1941, they became parents of a little blonde girl in January of 1942. He joined the Army and left in July 1942 for Camp Shelby, Mississippi so for a few years during World War II they were seperated on their anniversary.  She was working in a hospital in Yakima, WA (raising a little girl) and he was in various locations in Europe or Northern Africa...doing what he loved...dispatching the trains of the US military railroad service.  After he came home, they settled down...she became a stay at home mom, he continued to work for the Milwaukee RR until he retired.  They had one more "little brother" (they told me I was getting a surprise, I thought it was a puppy & it turned out to be a brother) in June of 1950.  He always fancied "farm life" so in 1952 they moved out of the city onto 10 acres and he became "Farmer Bill" and continued to work on the railroad because we needed to eat, etc.  There were cows, chickens, pigs, ducks (Mr & Mrs Quack) a black cocker spaniel named Skipper and numerous barn cats.  We sold milk to the neighbors and always had plenty of milk and butter for ourselves (thank you Daisy!) they continued to celebrate those anniversaries and the kids got older and left home.  They were active in their church, they dearly loved each other and my brother and I always knew we were loved, even when we made a mess of things. And they loved their 5 grandchildren, with all their hearts.   On their 48th anniversary  October 8, 1987, she passed into the arms of her Heavenly Father. She had congestive heart failure and that big, loving, caring heart gave out that afternoon.  He was devestated as were the rest of us.  He kept saying "but it's our anniversary and we're all going out to dinner."  I know that when she died a part of him died, too. He was still Bill Smith, devout Christian, loving father, devoted grandfather but he was never the same after that day. He was with us long enough to see the oldest grandchild (Julie) married and then 11 months later in Sept 1990, he joined mom in Heaven.  This year, they once again celebrate their anniversary (their 66th) at the feet of their Heavenly Father.  Happy Anniversary mom and dad...I love you and miss you!


jeanno43 said...

Beautiful entry, brought a lump to my throat my friend.  Very similar to my parents who married in 1931. They did not have a white wedding either and to my eternal sadness, there are no photographs because there was dense fog! Mum told me you could not see a hand in front of your face.  Mum went first and Dad was a broken man after that.  She died just after their 51st anniversary but was in a coma on that day. I am sure they are celebrating in heaven.

ally123130585918 said...

Your entry really made me sad, what lovely parents you had...and what a lovely entry from you...may I say Happy Anniversary Mum and Dad as I am sure they are together and looking down on you...Ally

walkinfool51 said...

What a lovely story - what lovely memories for you.

Thank you for sharing. God bless Mum and Da!