On January 1, 1936 Robert V. Beery and Helen Hildebrand were married at the Salem Church parsonage in Magley, Indiana. On January 1, 2006, with their family and friends, they will celebrate 70 years of marriage at the Evergreen Apartments in Decatur, Indiana.
I love pictures of my grandparents. In many photos of the two of them together over the years they are looking at each other with a look of tenderness that melts my heart. I remember a few years ago taking a picture of them and hoping that Colin looks at me like that in another 45 years.
Part of what makes that look so special is that I know that there have been times when the last thing they wanted to do was gaze into each others' eyes. I've heard the stories about them not speaking for days at a time. I know that the determination (a.k.a. stubborness) I inherited came straight through my mom from them.
Things weren't always easy. During the Depression my grandpa dug ditches. In the early years of their marriage they did without many of the things we consider necessities, let alone luxuries. There are the things that they can laugh about now, like their failed attempt to raise nutria for fur, that I know weren't funny at the time. And of course they've suffered the heartaches that are common to man.
But they've also had lots of good times. They had a pretty, comfortable home on a little land with beautiful flowers and a wonderful garden and the best raspberries and peaches ever. They've travelled both inside and out of the U.S. They did a lot of fishing. They were active members of the same Salem Church that Grandma was baptized in and that her ancestors founded, until a few years ago when they could no longer remain due to the positions of the United Church of Christ.
And, by the grace of God, they have lived together and loved each other for 70 years. They are a unit. It is unfathomable to imagine one without the other.
They have four children and four granchildren, of whom I am second oldest, and seven great-grandchildren. This picture was taken around 1949, before my mom's younger sister was born. My mom is the cutie n the middle.