Whenever we go to New Orleans, we have the privilege of staying with a very dear older couple who were an integral part of C's dad's youth -- and then by extension our own lives years later.
Belva & Spooky are Louisiana through and through -- incredibly opinionated, beautifully hospitable, and fiercely passionate about life... and totally in love with each other even after 50+ years of marriage. (Spooky is turning 87 next month!)
Staying with a couple of this caliber is so good for my soul - and so good for my marriage. It encourages me and makes me realize that a long & happy marriage (and life!) are totally possible.
From listening to their stories, I hear over and over again tales of best-selling storybook proportion. Tales of dedication, determination, patience, love and just plain old fun. And I totally believe those characteristics in their stories aren't just isolated to fun anecdotes. They're daily parts of their lives. And they've made Belva & Spooky's lives rich.
When you finally end a conversation with Belva & Spooky (which is hard to do, because you never want to), you walk away realizing that you've never stopped laughing and smiling. Their joy is contagious. Their laughter and playfulness are down right deadly (in the best possible way).
Even through their jokes and jabs at each other, there's never a shortage of mutual respect. Sarcasm is not "the angry humor" we've grown so accustomed to, but a legitimate form of flattery and (dare I say?) flirting... The love I've seen between Belva & Spooky knows no boundaries. It's shared with anyone who crosses their path -- and I consider myself fortunate to have found my way into that path.
We hear the term "Southern hospitality" thrown around often - but I can truly say I've never experienced true Southern hospitality until sitting down at Belva's table. She is generous, completely selfless and no one is a stranger in her home. It's hospitality that reaches so wide you can't help but completely drown in it and never want to walk away.
Belva & Spooky are two of my heroes. Through wars, children, football and golf, cancer, Hurricane Katrina, and so many more trials and tribulations, they are still a strong couple - one that I can only dream of one day being compared to.
I look up to them as a model for my own marriage, and I hope that in some way (even though you've never met them), you can too.