Some of you may have noticed in my live videos or posts on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/sirwinslowszoo/) that there is a strange man named Andy lurking about. Let me tell you the story of why I know him and what he is in my life.
The story starts back in the spring of 1987. My mom Nelda had been on dialysis for several months and finally got a call that there was a kidney that matched for her. Off to the University Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa! I was in 6th grade at the time and I honestly don’t remember that much. I know our grandma came to stay with the 3 of us and we got to visit mom at least once.
A few months later in September, there was a National Kidney Foundation meeting for transplant patients at the hospital. Mom and dad sat down for lunch and were joined by another couple that they didn’t know. David and Linda McGhee. Linda had been transplanted only for a few weeks at the time but was also doing very well. They got to chatting.
Here is a list of things that our families had in common:
- Both Nelda and Linda were in the same room and the same bed (rooms were shared back then) several months apart during their recovery process.
- My dad and Andy’s dad are named David middle initial E.
- Both Nelda and Linda have brothers named Steve. (There were 6 kids in each of their families)
- When Nelda was 4 and Linda 11 they were diagnosed with diabetes. Nelda’s was genetic and Linda’s due to an illness.
- They were all married in 1972 while serving in the Navy.
- The eldest children, Bethany and Scott were born while stationed there. Bethany in Norfolk, VA, and Scott in Bermuda.
- My brother and my (now) husband are each Andrew David.
- The middle children ( both couples each had 3 children) Andy and I both played the viola.
Bethany and Scott were the piano players of the group.
This is a picture of the 2 Andrews playing a computer game back in the day.
Our parents knew that our families had to meet, so the McGhees invited us to a harvest party that some of their friends were having. We kids hit it off. Over the next 7 years, we were together pretty much all the time. If we had youth group the boys would come down or Bethany and I would join up with them. Andy and I participated in some of the same orchestra events. If there was a school play, sporting event or other thing someone was involved in both families would be present to watch. We called them our twin family for good reason.
Silly suppers were something else we did and I think it was a favorite of all 6 of us. We did this several times over the years with various themes and always included our school friends too. Our parents would serve the meal, just like if we were in a restaurant but with funny names, funny utensils and sometimes funny business! It is actually where the idea of Sir Winslow was born.
This picture is of a silly supper (sorry no boys in this one) with my high school friends.
As each child graduated and moved on with life, we spent less time together. Which is natural, I suppose. I know that Dave and Linda came to my brother Andrews graduation party, but I don’t really remember seeing much of them after that.
This is my high school graduation party. I would like to point out I made my skirt. And Bethany said she made hers. So stylish!
Skip ahead to finishing college and wanting to get out of the town I grew up in, I moved to Des Moines and got a job (yuck). It was February 14th, 1999, Bryan was getting married and my parents decided to attend. Just like back in ‘87 we all sat down at a table together (including Andy and me) and got to chatting. I was attending a Bible study and I invited Andy to join me, it was the next weekend I think. We mostly just hung out for a few months because he had a girlfriend who he was trying to get rid of.
By the end of April, we decided to start dating. On our very first date he asked me to marry him - or rather mumbled it and I didn’t catch what he was saying, so I said “what?” Nevermind was his answer. He finally got up the courage a couple weeks later and asked me for real. And of course, I said YES!
One of the funniest (most incredible?) things about our story. My mom found this a few months before our wedding. She had put this in the lockbox at the bank for safe keeping, knowing she would have to get it out for Andy's wedding someday. She did not know her daughter would be the one getting married to that boy! Oh, the irony!
Now almost 20 years later, we have four children and a pretty happy life together.
To carry on the tradition of all the boys having the middle name of David, Bethany and I have each named our boys with it. Joshua David, Jacob David, and Robert David. Thanks, dads!