Friday, July 19, 2013

57 Shades of Gray. :)

My parents were married in June 1945, immediately after my father graduated from medical school. Very soon thereafter, my father was sent to Okinawa as a captain and physician in the Army. After his stint in the army was over (he was not a happy participant and remained a pacifist most of his life), they went "home" to Cincinnati, Ohio. 
There they joined an Episcopal church  called St. Michael and All Angels and became dear and best friends with the rector and his wife; a young couple who themselves had recently returned from five years as prisoners of war while serving as missionaries in Japan. Their names were Campbell and Jane Gray. I would step out and say that they were probably my parents' dearest friends of all time. There is a reason my middle name is Campbell, after my godfather. 
The years pass, children are born, the Grays return to Florida and my parents settled in Wisconsin. Eventually Cam and Jane's oldest son Frank attended  Episcopal seminary at Nashotah House, which is just outside of Milwaukee. He and his wife Karen were an huge part of my life growing up as a child and teenager, and remain as a sort of older brother and sister to me to this day. I love  them dearly.
The miracle comes in that their daughters, Katy and Libby, both of whose actual birth days I remember well, have over the years become "god sisters" to me. (Our words). I was 13 when Katy was born, which is negligible at this stage in life. Having Katy and 3 of her children here was like sharing 2 days with precious family. We talked (a lot) laughed, snorted, shared secrets,called Libby so she could join in, went to Nisswa (Neeswa...as KGW wanted to say) and contined the joy that our families have had together for almost 70 years. She gave me the courage to do a few firsts- I sat in Glenn's chair on the porch and barbecued for the first time since that fated evening. I was safe.
Glenn and I were blessed to spend time with Frank and Karen, Libby and Sam at Emily's wedding in May. 
For all of my 57 years of life,  I have loved a shade or two of Gray. 
Thank you.