It was 1955 in Chicago. My sweet grandmother, Carolyn, was heading to church for the Christmas service. It’s that special time of year where snow and icicles decorate everything in sight, and all the ponds are frozen over to create the perfect natural skating rink. Carolyn entered the church, found her seat, and something — someone — caught her eye. A handsome man that had just returned home from the Navy stood in the choir pit, and his voice rang throughout the church as they sang hymns. Carolyn leaned over to her brother, and said, “Who is the new guy up there in the choir?” He responded with a little smirk, and said, “That’s my buddy Harvey’s brother Lou!”And fate began crafting their perfect story.
With the new year brings new hopes, wonders, and beginnings. For this new year of 1956, Lou and Carolyn took their first date to go skating together out on the pond of her father’s house. They shared stories with each other, giggling over the details of their lives, and it was that moment that they just knew this was meant to be. After skating, they headed back inside to warm up with some hot chocolate, and it was then that Lou said, “That’s my woman!” (he seriously did 😉 ). Their love for each other had blossomed, and it only continued to grow infinitely.
It was Valentine’s Day, and widely known as the day of love, when Lou came to visit Carolyn at her home. He had secretly already asked for her father for his blessing, and was given the go ahead. There in her home, he got down on one knee, and proposed to the love of his life.
They married on her birthday in September that year, and began their wonderful family soon after. They are blessed with four incredible and talented children – all different, all loved. As life continues on, Lou and Carolyn are surrounded by joy and love with 14 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren. We are a tribe of our own, and despite any differences or the distance that separates us, we are one, and we will always have each other’s backs. And all because two people fell in love.
Being one of these grandchildren myself, I feel so blessed to have such caring and inspirational grandparents in my life. They have always cheered me on even when I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing, they’ve both taught me so much, and I can only pray to live such a beautiful life as they live. My grandmother has fought cancer like a beast, my grandfather has held her through all her hard days, and pushes her to continue to step out of her comfort zone at times to do something new. They have a sweet little calico cat named Cassie, and the most loving and happiest dog in the world named Rusty. Their legacy is one for the books, and I had the great honor of being able to capture some candid moments of them with our recent visit.
While the idea of having photos taken can feel strange or uncomfortable, it is so incredibly important to capture these moments in life. As time passes on, we all change. Having these memories that showcase the pure happiness that they share will forever be cherished. I love you, Mamaw and Papa!
Still the singer of the family 😉