Mauri and I were friends in high school back in the ’60s, sang together, traveled together with a Youth for Christ Teen Team, but then went our separate ways in life. Mauri married Margaret-Rose, I married Paul, we both added three children to our families. The Macys moved a lot but stayed on the west side of the country; we Carlsons moved a lot but stayed on the east side of the country. During these years our families stayed in touch through Christmas letters/pictures. Little did we know these annual connections would carry the news that cancer would take both of our spouses—Mauri’s in 1988 and mine in 1993.
Through several trips between Michigan and Oregon and a relatively short fax courtship, we moved into marriage with a clear understanding that life is precious and not to be taken for granted. Our six children offered their blessing and over time have come to love each other and embrace our blended family, which now includes their spouses and grandchildren.
We’ve had our share of grief, as all families experience, most recently in the loss of our daughter Rachel in June 2015 from cancer at about the same age that cancer took her mother’s life. We’ve had surgeries to repair our aging bodies, yet consider ourselves healthy enough to still enjoy life.
Mauri retired in 2014 from his long-held role as pastor of worship ministries in our church here in Newberg, Oregon. I had downsized my hours in the church office as a segue to retirement but in July 2017 returned to full time, adding church administrator to my job description. Due to theological differences, all the pastors and many of the congregation left the church. My 14 years of experience made me the best candidate to pull together and organize the many fragments to pass along to a new pastor when the time comes.
Mauri still has a lot of music in him and uses his home studio to create arrangements and record demos (see the music page). He remains faithful to his longtime interests of coffee roasting, meat smoking, biking, watching sports, and spoiling his dog, Mr. Darcy. I spend more hours than I care to admit playing with photographs, digitized and stored in my computer. I use them for projects that record family history or just for my own entertainment, such as matching similar poses or collecting a series of the same theme or individuals. I love Facebook because it allows me to be an introvert and a social butterfly at the same time.
Rachel and her husband and son moved to Newberg just before her death, which means all of our Macy children/grandchildren now live locally. Our Carlson children/grandchildren live in Arizona, Michigan, and Virginia, so I (and sometimes we) fly away from time to time to be part of their lives.
Finally, in all parts of our lives we wholeheartedly acknowledge and value the presence of Christ, whose love we return in the form of worship and submission.