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This blog site will feature essays, columns and musings that deal with the intersection of Christianity and journalism and the American Songbook.

Bob and Lovelia Case 50th wedding anniversary (speech, Ellensburg Daily Record)

April 4, 1992

(Note: These remarks were given at a celebration of marriage in April 1992 at Central Washington University. These remarks (edited) were published in the Ellensburg Daily Record on 4/8/92/ Ah, the benefits of small town journalism. 180 people gathered to celebrate with my folks this important milestone.)

First of all, I want to thank Debby for all the planning and work she has put into this affair. Her coordination of the arrangements has been invaluable.

If we might end on a serious note Debby and I want to conclude the program with a reflection or two.
We are gathered here this evening to honor a specific couple—Bob and Lovelia Case—for a specific achievement: A 50-year marriage. If that is all it were—maintaining a 50 year relationship—that would, in itself, be a sufficient cause for a celebration in today’s culture, and “celebration” is a good word to use with our folks. Mom and Dad out-party, out-travel, out-dance, out-work, and out-serve people half their age. Perhaps the Case/Gregory gene pool is deteriorating, for while they are eternally youthful and have seemed to have found the fountain of youth, many of the younger members of the family seem to be prematurely sedentary, serious and sedate.

But coming back to why we are here, Debby and I believe we’re here to celebrate more than just a 50–year-old relationship. We’re here to celebrate Mom and Dad’s commitment to family. The commitment Bob Case and Lovelia Gregory made to each other in the uncertain and dark days at the outbreak of World War II provided their parents, their children and their grandchildren the security of personal continuity and order for a half century. That is a priceless gift. Speaking as children of theirs, it has allowed us the freedom to have a stable childhood that included financial security; familiar faces, places and names; music and education; sports; chums; family vacations and times of recreation; and having them as our personal counselors and cheerleaders. This commitment of theirs has also allowed us the freedom of using them as a springboard for our own goals and aspirations. In sum, this mutual commitment of theirs has given us the privilege of having them and their home as a central place in our own world for almost half a century.

What strikes us about our folks is that they didn’t ask for a society that was specially kind and sensitive and supportive and understanding and fair to them. They got married, they went to work, they went to war, they went back to work, to build a society coming out of the Great Depression and out of a great world war, and through smaller wars and economic boom times and recessions.

And during it all they had jobs, built companies, helped build a community, and they stayed married and raised a family during the good times and the bad times, during the easy times and the hard times because that’s what they were supposed to do. Like most of their generation they didn’t look for special marriage and family treatment in books, seminars, weekend retreats or other helps. They persevered because that’s the kind of people they are. And through everything it is evident to all that they genuinely enjoy each other’s company. They would rather be with each other than anybody else. And for their kids, that’s a wonderful sight and sense of security.

We’re here tonight to celebrate and congratulate Bob and Lovelia Case (Mom and Dad Case) for their 50th wedding anniversary.

But we would suggest to you that an equally appropriate cause of celebration is that Mom and Dad Case, who have stayed the course together, have set an example of commitment and self-giving that many of us younger folks need to keep before us in the remaining years of our lives.

So Mom and Dad, you know Debby and I love you. But we want you to know how much we and our families thank you for giving us a stable childhood, a sense of continuity and an example of dedication and commitment.

Will you all stand and join Debby and me in a toast to the honored couple?

To Bob and Lovelia Case, may God continue to bless your health, your friendships, your love for each other and your presence among us for many more years.

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