She was just a teen when they met.
Loud, obnoxious, rude. You could hear the two of them coming from miles away -- the loud rumble of the car, shouts as the car doors slammed, and then two bodies leaping off the edge of a dock into the waters of Dana Lake, coming up shouting with cold.
That is what I remember of their courtship from my grade school perspective. They were crazy together.
They fell in love.
They got married.
People said it wouldn't last.
"They are too young."
"They don't know what they're doing."
"What will they do for money?"
But they said, "'Til death do us part" and sealed it with a lucious kiss, just to show everyone that they could.
They had a baby boy and they named him Thomas James the IV. They had a baby boy again, and named him Joseph. And then a little girl, Valerie.
They were crazy together. Playful, loud, silly and strong. You could hear the family coming from a mile away -- the loud engine of a car being driven too fast over gravel roads, car doors being slammed and shouts of bravery.
"I can jump farther than you can!" and three spindly little bodies hurled themselves off the dock into the waters of Dana Lake. The parents, now grown, stood on the shore and smiled.
The kids grew up and grew wings. They moved away to Florida, to California, to school and jobs and girlfriends and boyfriends.
The kids had kids -- a baby girl and a baby boy, sweet, towheaded grandbabies.
And the kids flew home on their wings to visit, to go boating on the lake and make memories together, their clan. They visited Dana Lake, where two little toddlers played in the sand by the shore, too little to jump off the dock...yet.
Way back in the beginning, they said "til death do us part."
And that is how it ended.