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A Letter From Fred {Sweet Lorraine}

For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul ~ Judy Garland

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True Love

For my entire life I have believed in true love. My parents certainly loved each other, but they didn’t always show it. In fact, often times it looked like the opposite was more true… However, during the last few months of my Dad’s life I saw it first hand: TRUE LOVE. My dad really wanted to make it to their 50th anniversary. It was really important to him and he did. Through a long illness my mom took care of him at home – truthfully, it didn’t always thrill her, but she did her “duty”.  After their 50th anniversary, he lasted for another 6 month. He became too sick to stay at home, so he went to a long term care facility. That’s where the magic happened and it was pretty cool to see.

After 50 years of ups and downs, tons of drama and baggage, they let all the past bullshit go and fell in love again. You see, my dad got dementia and when he looked at my mom, he saw the young beauty he fell in love with again. It oozed from him – the sweetness, the love…

That affected my mom deeply. She could not resist his charm. I watched her remember why she so deeply loved my dad. During those last few months she chose to see the man she loved, the charmer who loved her.

It wasn’t only the two of them it affected, it was me. I saw them do all the things we do when a romance is new: hold hands, kiss, cuddle up in my Dad’s bed and dance. Boy did they dance. They danced a lot when I was younger – like Fred and Ginger – but when they danced during those last months, they danced the dance of love. You could feel it. They would look at each other like it was the first time. They would lock eyes. When they touched each other while dancing, it was tingling. True love – yup, that is certainly what it was.

It was that magical love – that kind of love that comes out of nowhere, that knocks you off your feet and takes your breath away, the  kind of love portrayed in a movie like “Sleepless in Seattle”. You know, that moment when you are blindsided by true love… Only this was a couple who had been married 50 years, and for much of my life didn’t seem to really like each other. These were my parents.

But throughout my entire life I have believed.

“I Want to Believe”

Those were the words uttered by the X-Files Fox Mulder. Like that TV character, I want to believe, I really do… Love that magical thing that when done right can bring butterflies to your tummy and tears of joy to your eyes. It happened at the end of my dad’s life, but what about all those other years? I want to believe that “True Love” is out there if you are willing to really look for it. True love also takes a bit of work. It is important to take the time to remind yourself constantly why you fell in love with your “True Love” in the first place. Make sure you tell them how much they matter and how deeply you love them, every day. It reminds them (and you too).

It took me 45 years to find mine and you better believe that I remind her every day. We do pretty much everything together – we work together, play together, eat together, sleep together… And every day, I am thankful that I never gave up on the idea of “True Love”.

You can meet her here: http://www.elizabethlaprade.com/

Who is Fred?

Fred is the reason I wrote this post. Fred reminded me that  love is really cool and his story is pretty great (and sad).

When Green Shoe Studio ran an online singer-songwriter competition where they invited talent to upload YouTube videos, they received something entirely unexpected and wholly touching: a large manilla envelope in the mail with a hand-written address.

A Letter from Fred

That envelope came from a 96-year-old man Fred Stobaugh. Fred’s wife of 72 years Lorraine died in April 2013. Fred sent the song in the mail – Fred isn’t a musician, he can’t sing and he didn’t know how to make a YouTube movie, let alone upload a song he couldn’t perform. So he sent them a letter.

When the folks at Green Shoe Studio read the letter from Fred, they realized that the had something special in their hands.

Fred remembers the song’s origin. “Well, after she passed away, I was just sitting in the front room one evening by myself. It just [came] to me. I kept humming it. It just seemed like it fit her.” It just came to him – see, that’s how true love works. I speaks to you – you just have to listen.

Moved by the song’s touching backstory, Green Shoe Studio chose to record it. “We decided we were going to do this without even meeting Fred,” says Green Shoe founder Jacob Colgan, who now talks to his new friend Fred “every day.”

So they made Fred’s song for him, with professional musicians and singers, and recorded this touching video about his story and his life together with Lorraine.

In fact, at 96 years old Fred has become the oldest person to crack Billboard’s Hot 100 – Surpassing Tony Bennett for the honor.

True Love Lives!

Listen to the track and watch a brief documentary below:

Available on iTunes HERE & Google Play HERE

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