There are moments in our lives that begin a domino effect of events. Life-altering decisions that are made; often with the urging of that little small voice in us that guides us rightly if we listen closely. Hopefully, years later, these decisions are looked back on with peace and happiness, without a shadow of a doubt that our small voice was indeed right.

Skip and I recently took the opportunity to ask his parents about their love story, fifty-four years in the making. It all started as a blind date Barb’s freshman year in high school. She was fifteen at the time; Darrell was 18. Their mutual friends were dating and they set the stage for Barb and Darrell to meet.

A trip to the movies aka “the passion pit” didn’t make the best impression on Barb. She openly admits that she didn’t like Darrell and didn’t really want to go out with him again. As is the way of the Wolfe men however, he grew on her. He was persistent and she agreed to go out with him again. The wheels were now set in motion for a great love story.

The second date proved a bit better and Barb decided to give Darrell another chance, and found she actually enjoyed his company…and truth be told, his “bad boy” attitude and reputation. They dated off and on throughout high school and for two years in college, when one night, Darrell proposed. They both got a surprise that night, as Barb wasn’t expecting a proposal and Darrell wasn’t expecting her response. There is debate about exactly what her response was. Darrell says she told him she had to ask her parents and Barb says she told him she would think about it…. though it only took her a day to decide. When I asked her how she knew Darrell was the one, her response was profound and touching as is typically her way.

“I didn’t think about how long I would be with him, or what kind of husband he would be, I just knew I liked being with him. I just always went back to him, no matter what other guys I dated.” When I asked her if she had it to do over again, would she, her response was again simple yet touching. “I would be a fool not to.”

Darrell’s response to this same question was answered with his typical endearing sense of humor, but then quickly followed up with his sincere and genuine feelings.

“I found her when she was very young and didn’t know she could do a lot better! She is the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Over the next several years, they married, finished college, started careers and welcomed into the world two children, Skip and Jenn. They raised their children in a loving environment full of laughter, support, and love.

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Looking back over the past fifty-four years together Darrell had this to say. “We have had a lifetime of happiness. We’ve seen our children grow into wonderful human beings who have found perfect mates to share the rest of their lives with.”

As parents they have been loving, supportive, and encouraging with a bit of real talk mixed in. Skip says he couldn’t have asked for better parents, and I would have to agree with him.

Together they faced challenges and serious illness. The way Darrell looks after and cares for his wife and the love of his life through illness is inspiring, and I now see where Skip gets that admirable quality. They have each cared for, supported and encouraged one another throughout their marriage. The testament of their love and the lasting effects of their relationship are profound and far-reaching.

Fifty-four years ago, a small nudge led to a moment of impact; a life-altering choice that initiated a fantastic course of events spanning decades. With all the ups and downs, the adventures and missteps, they both admit they would, without hesitation do it all again.

I think this is what we all look for; these beacons of true love that shine for the rest of us to follow and learn from. To see their struggles, but then to see them not only survive but thrive with a stronger love and relationship because of what they’ve been through together. It’s beautiful and bittersweet. It’s a life well-lived.

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4 thoughts on “Love Beacon

  1. Hey Elizabeth – I clicked on this story in the Rising Tide because I also recently wrote about ‘that still, small voice.’ What a lovely story about how that can affect your life – I am always inspired to hear about what happens when people listen to it. Also: LOVE the photos. 🙂

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