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December 4, 2012

Callie Lorraine Youngman and Wade Patrick Youngman cordially invite you to share their joy in celebrating the 30th year of marriage between their parents, Frank Martin and Shelley Lynn Youngman.

My mom and I went up to Traverse City last week to do our (somewhat) annual Tour de Thrift, and we talked about our family: where we are now, our shared history. When we talked about the future, Shell-Bell expressed concern, as moms often do. She is worried about the world in which Wade and I are coming into; she is worried about the local future of the community in which we live; she is worried about the health and wellness of those dearest to her.

I told a different story about the future; there is so much for which I am excited. My dreams are different from the dreams of my parents’ generation but nonetheless exciting and fulfilling and rich. I am happy to be home in Cadillac, spending time with my parents; we have a good life here and a house full of love. Our family home has been a point from which I can confidently wander but always feel safe in returning; it is a place of certainty and stability in an ever-changing world. And parents and their relationship are not only a foundation on which my world is built but also an example, a standard for the relationship I seek in my lifetime.

I am lucky in this regards: I have deep roots and people that love me dearly, show me how to love. I have parents with a successful marriage. Words fail in trying to verbalize my feelings about this privilege. They have raised a home, a life, a family together. They have raised each other, through losing a child, parents and dear friends, through illness and hard times, through adopting two kids. They have grown up together and into each other, and yet are still entirely themselves. Their unique, loving, open-minded, open-hearted, passionate, intelligent selves.

Thirty years ago today, they were married in an old church, destined for demolition. A poetic start to a relationship built on solid ground.

“Thirty years. Thirty. Years. That’s a really long time, Mom.”
“I know. We did it. We’re doing it.”

And if I didn’t know any better, I would think you’re the most beautiful parents in the world.

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