Celebrating 64 Years of Marriage: A Daughter’s Reflection

(Reflections by Becky Brown, for the Siblings)

July 28th, 2015

Today is Papa and Mum’s 64th wedding anniversary, the first anniversary they will be celebrating separately; papa still here on earth with his family, and mama in heaven with Jesus. They started ‘going steady’ when mom was 15 years old which means they’ve been together for 68 years! Wow, that is a long, wonderful time.

It is a tenderly-sad day to think of mama not being here to celebrate with her beloved and us all… but we are grateful for the many years they did have together… and for the model of faithfulness, love and marriage that they left for us all to follow.

Thank you mom and dad for… (in no specific order)

  • kissing each other in front of us, it made us feel secure in your love for one another (and even times when you ‘snuck off to do more than kissing’ (we realized as we got older)… even that set a good example for our own marriages
  • saying “I’m sorry” when you hurt each others feelings
  • taking time for ‘just you’ away together (maybe not that often with a busy family of five, but enough that we knew you loved to be together and we as kids would benefit from your ‘oneness’ once you were back again
  • always staying together. I’m sure there were times when things were difficult and you didn’t get along perfectly but we always knew you would be together, forever and ever… through the good times and the tough times.
  • your teamwork in so many areas of life. Praying together, playing together, planning together. For example the effort of skiing as a family together; the cost and mom packing all the kids clothes and the food and the ‘stuff’ each weekend… and papa patiently teaching us all to ski (and buying one more pair of gloves ‘cause one ‘got lost’ on the way to the slope!)… just one example of teamwork for the betterment of family-life.
  • The effort of making a house a home together… from the double-lot at 35th street, which was always full of adventure, love, laughter and much fun; to the restoration of the Fox Island house and making that home a ‘haven’ for so many; to the wild wonderful adventure of Drommegaard, your Dream Farm… papa reclaiming the fields, mama planting and caring for the plethora of flowers and both of you loving the cows!
  • for just loving to do things together; whether it was cutting letters to make money for a Norway trip, or watching a Netflix, or going out for a ‘treat’, or attending a grandchild’s sporting event, or going to church… and especially for baking all your Christmas cookies together! We will surely miss the lefse which was loving hand-made together by you both.
  • for the support you gave each other in your interests and passions, whether papa singing in the Norwegian chorus or mama loving her ladies through the Cancer Care group to name a very few.
  • the list could go on and on… but most of all, thanks for loving Jesus together, loving each other, and loving us kids… and then our families that came… along with so many dear ones, close to your hearts, all over the world.

We miss you mama on this day. But we say thank you to Jesus for bringing this amazing couple together so many years ago… and we know the legacy of their love and their marriage will have a lasting impact, not only on their family, but so many others as well.

Memorial Service Videos

The following link will direct you to three videos from the memorial service: link

It is in 3 parts:

1.  The granddaughters singing “On Eagles Wing” (look for dear papa the end who stood alone to give them a standing ovation and a big hug… so sweet!)
2.  The entire service
3.  The slideshow of Grandma Rosy (that was shown at the service)

Some things I have learned from Grandma Rosy

Guest writer: Mali Jane

Earlier this month I was reflecting on my 28 years with Grandma Rosy and decided to make a list of things I have learned from her….

1. How to pray for and anticipate my husband

When I was 16 my first longterm boyfriend ended our relationship, leaving me heartbroken and devastated. Everyone was very encouraging and understanding, but Grandma Rosy took it upon herself to ensure I didn’t become bitter and that I still held a vision for my future husband. She invited me over and sat with me as we created a list of “needs and wants” in a future husband. This is something she did with each of my aunts when they were younger and still has copies of those lists. We wrote things about the kind of husband and father I wanted him to be, how tall he might be, the sports he liked to play, and even the kind of relationship I wanted him to have with my family. I remember giggling when she made me end the list with “good lover”. She was never shy about the importance of a good sex life. I held onto this list for 7 years until my wedding day when I gave the list to Rylan and let him know I have been praying for him and waiting for him since the day I sat at Grandma Rosy’s kitchen table at age 16. When I think back on that list I realize it allowed me to give my dream of a husband to the Lord and trust that He would provide the perfect person. And he did. Rylan embodied every single “need and want” on that list…. except for one thing: he isn’t very musical. But I have to give the Lord credit because Rylan sure does try… it just doesn’t always sound that great. I guess that’s a good lesson on praying for specifics 🙂

2. The importance of morning quiet times

Anyone who knows Grandma Rosy has heard the importance of having time with the Lord in the MORNING. She was forever diligent about her quiet times each morning and passed this routine onto her family members. I now love and benefit from time each morning with the Lord reading, praying, and journaling about my thoughts and concerns. This is a lesson that will impact me every day for the rest of my life. What a gift.

3. The love of snail mail

After years of receiving and sending mail with Grandma Rosy I have learned to love the thoughtfulness of a hand written card. Emails are nice and text messages are ok, but getting a letter in the mail means someone took special time to send you their love and thoughts. And although Grandma Rosy’s handwriting was challenging to read at times 🙂 I could always sense her warmth and genuine care.

4. How to keep romance in your marriage

I wont go into too much detail on this one, but I will say that I never doubted Grandma Rosy’s passion for Papa and the importance of enjoying and pursuing your husband intimately. This has been a gift to my marriage, and I am sure many others.

5. An appreciation for my Norwegian heritage

Whether it was the unique spelling of my name, special desserts, or holiday traditions, I have always loved the way Grandma Rosy celebrated our Norwegian lineage. Grandma Rosy’s lefse was always the first thing consumed at family parties and I loved when she showed up in her bunad. Even though I have never traveled to Norway, I hold a lot of pride for being Norwegian and hope to continue some of those traditions with my family as well.

6. The power of prayer

I think it’s safe to say that Grandma Rosy has been our Prayer Warrior. Everyone knows that when you have a need or desire, to come to Grandma and she will join you in prayer. For some reason, it always felt that if Grandma was praying for something… it was more likely to be answered with yes from the Lord. She would also have a list of verses or a bible study concerning the topic you were struggling with. What an amazing example she was for taking your concerns to the Lord and seeking His word for guidance.

7. The importance of leading others to Christ

I wish I could get an approximate number of the people Grandma Rosy touched throughout her lifetime. What I do know is that it was worldwide, spanning generations, languages, and faith backgrounds. She was involved with Young Life, Agros, women’s groups, retreats, Moldovan ministries, Soup and Surprise, cancer care groups, and numerous other groups of people wanting to gather and learn about God’s love for them. This example is what sparked my desires to lead others through bible studies and also be involved myself. Today I have a wonderful group of women in my life that meet weekly to encourage each other in life and in our walks with Christ. I also lead a group of college women who had the privilege of hearing from Grandma Rosy last Spring. It was through her example that the Lord called me to live in a similar way, gathering together to encourage each other in the Lord.

8. How to set a beautiful table

Whether you were visiting Grandma Rosy for tea, lunch, dinner, or just a quick hello, the table was always set. The napkins matched the table setting and the middle of the table was always adorned with a lovely centerpiece (usually flowers from her garden). She always knew how to make someone feel welcomed and special in her home. This is a tradition I enjoy carrying on in my home today when hosting guests for dinner or just dessert. Although my centerpiece comes from the store since I didn’t pick up her gardening skills, I think of her as I set the table in hopes of making everything lovely.

This short list only includes some of the things I have learned directly from Grandma Rosy. So many more things have been/ will be taught to me through my dad and mom, aunts, uncles, and cousins, as they bless me with the things they learned from our sweet Grandma Rosy.