Streater, Illinois. It was 1958. She was 18, he was 20 and they were in love.
Only 9 months after Dick and Rita were married, their first beautiful daughter, Laura, was born and it wasn’t long after until Dave, Sheri and Ricky came along. They lived and loved there for 15 years until they decided to pack up a Uhaul with all of their things (and a whole lotta faith) and moved to the wild-west in 1973.
Over the past 60 years, Dick and Rita have loved and served the Lord faithfully and raised each one of their kids to do the same. Both Dick and Rita have such a sweet, genuine love for other people that has trickled down through three, beautiful, generations.
This past weekend, the whole family came together to celebrate Dick’s 80th birthday and pre-celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary approaching at the end of the year. I feel so lucky to be given a glimpse into the life of a family. To see how they love each other and make memories and it all happens right before my eyes. And then, I get to go home and look through the photos, the memories, over and over again and I think, gosh, I have the greatest job in the whole world.
Then I sit here and think of all of the wonderful things I want to say about the family, to the family. For the Sangston’s I think I can sum it up in one word, gratitude. Though this weekend was officially Dick’s birthday celebration, I think this weekend was a lot more than that for them. It was a time where they came together to celebrate just how good God has been to their family. And he’s been, oh, so good.
Dear Sangston Family,
I can’t look through the photos and write anymore without tears welling up so if there are typos that follow, you know why, ha! My own heart overflowed with joy seeing you all together. I could clearly see how tight-knit you all are and the depth of your love for one another. I’ve been lucky to hear stories from Sheri over the years and am humbled beyond words to have met you all.
You have all been given the greatest gifts any family could ever ask for. Parents who have loved each other through 60 years of ups and downs and a legacy of faith. Being the nerd that I am, I looked up just exactly what “legacy” means. A gift by will. You get to determine the exact type of legacy you’ll leave. Dick and Rita, this gift you’ve created for your children and your children’s, children’s, children I’m sure had challenges. I’m sure that the days were oh, so long but somehow you found the years to be quite short. But through it all, your steadfast choice to continue to pursue your faith in Christ has resulted in blessings greater than you’ll ever realize.