Today would have been my Mom & Dad’s 65th wedding anniversary. With Valentine’s Day upon us, it is appropriate toÂ share the following story:
Dad died about four months before what would have been Mom & Dadâ€™s 50th anniversary. My parents raised 12 kids and farmed all of their lives and plans were in progress for a big celebration. Unfortunately, and without warning, dad died the night of my oldest sisterâ€™s 25th wedding anniversary party. That day was a perfect day with many of the kids and grandkids home to help celebrate. I remember giving dad a hug as we were leaving and he seemed like he didnâ€™t want the day to endâ€¦At 2 AM the phone rang and my sister said dad had died of a heart attack. That was just a few short hours after my last hug with him.
Several weeks later, after the funeral and all of the dark formalities were done, I was sitting outside with Dadâ€™s â€śGrand Old Opryâ€ť baseball cap on (Note: Mom and Dad went to Nashville on their honeymoon 50 years earlier). I was thinking about my family when I started to hear words. It was almost as if I had a headset on and someone was talking to me. I grabbed a notepad and started writing the words I heard. The lyrics of this song are the exact words I heard that day. I truly believe it was my Dad wanting to say those words to my Mom. I just happened to be â€śplugged inâ€ť that day for some reason (probably that darn baseball cap!) Those words were the lyrics to what eventually became the song â€śThrough the Years.â€ť
Then, one night about a week later, I woke up from a dead sleep at about 3 AM and heard music. I donâ€™t read a lick of music so I generally keep a tape recorder on the piano for when I get so inspired. I dragged myself out of bed and sat at the piano and started finding the notes I was hearing in my head. It ended up being a real nice waltz. And I remember thinkingâ€”man, dad would really like that!
A few days later I was sitting at the piano playing that waltz when I remembered those words I heard. Didnâ€™t take long to realize that the lyrics and the music were meant to go together! It was a love song for my Mom from Dad for their 50th wedding anniversary. No getting around it. I truly believe this was the love song my Dad always wanted to write for my Momâ€”but he just didnâ€™t get it done before he leftâ€¦
Here are the lyrics (copyright, 2006–Joan Ketels)
Through the years
You were there, my darling
You stood by me and raised our family
And I know it wasn’t always easy
Through the years
You were an angel to me
Your wings were strong
When they needed to be
And so soft when I needed to see
That you loved me completely
And they’re wrapped in gold
on this anniversary.
To hear a clip of “Through the Years,” CLICK HERE and scroll down to song #7.