Saturday, March 31, 2012

50 Years of Marriage

In two short months my parents will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary (June 1st). It's hard to believe. I can remember both sets of my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversaries (1974 and 1985-ish).

Frank in 1950

Frank Patterson was born in 1940 in a small town called Ivylog, just north of Blairsville, GA. About 1952 his family moved to High Point, NC.

Vanza in 1945
Vanza Davis was born in 1939 in Greensboro, NC not far from High Point. They met in 1961 while dad was in the U.S. Air Force stationed in Brunswick, Maine, and mom was working as a nurse at a hospital in the High Point/Greensboro area. Frank's father (Clint Patterson) had a heart attack, which in turn placed him under the care of a young nurse named Vanza. Dad was given a leave of absence by the Air Force to visit his father in the hospital, where he met Vanza for the first time.


By the end of the week they were engaged to be married, which took place a year later on June 1, 1962. After another year, my brother Chip (Frank Jr.) was born on May 27, 1963. It was another five years before I arrived, rounding out the family on Feb. 5, 1968. Chip was born in Goldsboro, NC where dad was stationed at Seymour-Johnson AFB. I was born in Decatur, GA - a suburb of Atlanta.

(L-R) Wes, Vanza, Frank, Chip - 1971
In 1971 we moved to Winston-Salem, NC so dad could attend Piedmont Bible College. He finished his five year degree in Theology, graduating in May 1976. Later that summer we moved back to Atlanta, GA. That became my parents base while raising financial support to become missionaries - to Brazil. However, in 1978, the political climate between the U.S. and Brazil waned, eventually causing a change in plans.

(L-R) Wes, Jalal Ahmed, Frank (ca. 1986)
At the home of Mr. Ahmed in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Mr. Ahmed was the Secretary of the Bangladesh Parliament
We moved to the S.E. Asian country of Bangladesh in 1979, arriving there on July 4. I remember my mom's 40th birthday the following month. I find it strange that I am now 44. It doesn't seem possible that 33 years have gone by so quickly.

Our family of 9, plus my 1st cousin George Davis
(L-R) George, Kaity, Frank, Vanza, Wes Jr, Ginna, Wes Sr, Morgan, Chip, Jully
Today our family has grown even more. Chip and I both are married. I have a son age 21, while Chip has two daughters, ages 22 and 20. The nine of us are scattered across NC and VA these days, but that's better than being scattered across two hemispheres - like we were for so many years.

I am very grateful for the parents and family that God has given to me. I love you, Mom and Dad. Thank you for everything! I'm looking forward to celebrating 50 years of marriage with you in a couple months.

Love always,

Wes