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Memorial Day and Love Forever

by Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz

Today, we took off on a journey of remembrance.  Memorial Day 2008 seemed like a good day to embark on this trip down the memory road of love.

We hopped in our Torch Red Mustang Convertible today and headed west out of St. Louis.  We traveled down “winery road” in Missouri.  Highway 94 was especially beautiful today.  The heavy rains of April and May have brought forth a splendiferous display of green colors.  You cannot imagine how beautiful Missouri is in the Spring.  Since Charley grew up here it is natural that he would love it, but Liz, the California girl, is another story. 

Liz fell in love with Missouri and with Charley some 43 years ago.  It was love at first sight, and for the next 43 years this California Girl, Liz, fell in love with Charley and with Missouri more every day.  And for over two decades, we have celebrated the great events in our lives with wines from “winery road” in Missouri.

Today’s trip down the memory road of love brought forth an avalanche of thoughts about the meaning of love – particularly about love on such a sacred day as Memorial Day.

Charley’s Uncle Verney was a war hero.  He fought in World War II, participated in the liberation of Paris, and was wounded at the Battle of the Bulge.  Frankly, that fateful day changed Verney’s life forever.  He took a machine-gun shell through his thigh.  Miraculously, someone drug him to the cellar of an abandoned farm house where he nursed his wound by himself for nearly a week.  Before his death, Uncle Verney recounted many times how good he felt the day he was saved by an American Medic.

Verney was saved and upon his return, continued his 50-year love affair with Aunt Viola – Vi as she is called by those who loved her most.  We remember so well the day Uncle Verney was buried.  There was a 21-gun salute before he was laid to rest in the sacred Missouri ground near “winery road.”

Verney loved Vi and Vi loved Verney.  And contrary to the resent report in the New York Times, Aunt Vi did not suddenly become “unmarried” because Uncle Verney died.  Verney was the love of her life and when he died, Aunt Vi knew she would be married to Verney for the rest of her life.  Aunt Vi is now approaching 90 but she is still in love with Verney.  She is still his blushing bride.

Today, as we culminated our trip down the memory road of love, we visited the gravesite of Charley’s parents.  They are buried side by side though their deaths were separated by eight years.  Standing over the graves today was emotional to say the least.  But knowing that their love will “last forever” made today bearable.

You see, true love does not just last for a lifetime, it lasts forever.  To be in love is wonderful.  To have your love affair last for a lifetime is magnificent.  To know that your love will last forever – through eternity – makes you understand how precious Golden Anniversaries are.  Being married to the one you love for a lifetime and beyond is one of the greatest gifts of all.

On this Memorial Day 2008, please remember to cherish those who served their country in the military.  And please remember to celebrate your Mom and Dad and your Uncle Verney and Aunt Vi.  They will never pass this way again but your memories of them will last for a lifetime and beyond.

Love well.  Love forever!

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