Wednesday, May 2, 2012


(from may 2011)

Today, I was privileged enough to witness one of the most beautiful sunsets ever – the celebration of the lives of Mitch and Sue Christiansen.

Mitch’s long time attorney spoke, telling of his history with Mitch, describing the general contractor who took the time to study and learn the law and regulations of the trade. Apparently, Mitch quietly fought off cancer twice…through it all, maintaining his gruff sense of humor and love for his wife and family.

Then spoke the Christiansens' long time neighbors, a couple who lived across the street for years. Best friends, they accompanied the couple on fishing trips and cruises; they told of happy years spent enjoying and knowing one another…laughing and shopping…praying and crying – together.

A beautiful slide show then followed, and all in attendance saw a love story in pictures. 

Mitch and Sue were teenagers when they met and fell in love...a seed planted in the tender green of their youth.  There they were, beaming with joy and love for one another on their wedding day… smiling with uncertain excitement upon the arrival of their children; there was Mitch with a beard, there was Sue cutting Mitch’s hair…a proud grandpa bouncing a grandchild on his knee.

The life and times of a marriage, at once simple and extraordinary. Boy and girl, became man and woman...became husband and wife, and then father and mother. Puppy love. Grown-up love. True love. Endless love.  A love that took them across the miles and time…uniting them -- even unto death, and for eternity.

My husband and I met and fell in love at the age of 15, and have made it through so much together; through thick times and thin...loving and trusting each other, and sticking it out. Thursday, he and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary; I see in the Christiansens our reflection...and visions of what is still to come, and what things may be.

When I first learned the news of their untimely death, I cried with shock and grief; but my sadness is soothed by the beauty of their story...a shared life and love, somehow made only more poignant amidst the woe, and more perfect, despite the tragedy.

How lucky, how *lucky* they both were, to go into that good night together; I can only hope and wish and pray for my husband and I to remain similarly together -- forever.

I am a better person for having made Mitch's acquaintance...blessed by our unique and momentary friendship, and impacted for a lifetime.

Rest in peace, Mitch and Sue.


  1. Melinda, Your words are right-on! The love and friendship Mitch and Sue shared is the very heart and meaning of marriage. They are in a better place, in the glory of our Lord God. We here on earth mourn the loss, selfishly wishing we could have more time with them.

  2. Happy Anniversary