A few weeks ago, I’d received an invitation to the Luchtenberg’s Golden Anniversary party. I immediately decided that anything that may have been planned that day was to be scrapped–there was no way I was missing this celebration.
The Luchtenbergs had been a part of my life since 1997. I was roommates with their son Dave, and I frequently ate dinner at his parent’s house. Patty’s Cooking. Best.Meals.Ever. She could totally trademark her food.
After he broke up with his girlfriend (who was also a roommate of mine), I kind of fell out of touch with Dave. You know, you drift away, live your lives, etc.
Well, God certainly had plans to reconnect me with them.
Years later, Chris and I started attending Heritage. I remember, during the Christmas program, a family came up to give a testimony. The girl had glasses and long blonde hair and said she was not happy about moving to Ohio. The following weeks, I’d see her, worshipping her heart out, and pray that she and I would become friends. God answered that prayer with a YES, and I later found out that this girl–Katie–was their granddaughter!
It doesn’t end there. We’d met up again with the Luchtenberg’s for some spiritual counseling in 2003. Chris showed me the card, and the name rang a bell with me. “I know them,” I’d said. “They’re Dave Luchtenberg’s parents. I used to go there for dinner.” Memories came rushing back to me as soon as we went to their house, and it was an amazing reunion. I’d begun to remember other family members; people I’d seen around church and thought they looked familiar but couldn’t exactly place them.
So now, there were at least three connections.
One night after church (we used to go to the Saturday service back then), Katie’s aunt Nancy came up to me and asked if the name Vera rang a bell. I had to think for a minute and the first thought was “spankin.net!!” Yes, that rang a bell. She and I had posted together on Dodo’s message board a long time ago, and we were sister domains at one point. Then I remembered that she’d emailed me a few months prior and mentioned that her boyfriend’s family went to my church and perhaps I knew them.
Guess who her boyfriend is related to?
He’s her brother.
Oh yes, I knew her boyfriend’s family. Very much so.
So tonight was the party. The first incredible thing that happened was when Chris and I walked up to the driveway. I saw this gorgeous Asian girl and smiled at her. She smiled back and then said “Ronni?” I said “Yes,” and she said “I’m Vera!” HUGE hugs all around! Her boyfriend was gobsmacked the entire night about how Vera and I had met randomly on a message board then met in real life, unexpectedly, tonight. It was a very good surprise.
She said she’d recognized me from all the pictures I post on my website(s). I wonder if anyone else around town ever sees me and looks twice, wondering if I’m that girl from anywhere-is.net. That would be kind of neat, huh?
The second incredible thing was seeing how this family appreciated and loved their parents so much. Dick and Patty raised eight children and created a legacy that touches more people than they could ever realize. Their grandchildren are amazing musicians. Their family is wonderful. I felt like a part of them when I was there and was loathe to leave. The amount of LOVE there was overwhelming. It had been a long time since I’d felt that.
They sang two songs that they’d written. One of them was about the day of the life of the Luchtenberg Family Tree. It was hilarious!! It totally reminded me of a Brady Bunch type thing. Then they sang one called Legacy which was awesome. The children all sang, and the grandchildren played. It was beautiful and made me cry (just a little bit!) Pastor Jim arrived late, so they did an encore just for him.
Aidan connected with a cute little girl named Alex. They even danced together! It was adorable. Chris said “Hey, if they get married, we’ll be a part of their family after all!”
Oh yeah, I promised you pictures. Okay…here goes.
Me, waiting in the car for Chris to get the directions.
Me again, still waiting.
The guests of honour – Dick and Patty.
I thought her face was super adorable here!!
It’s me and Vera!!!
David and me. I wonder if I can dig up some pictures of us from the college days….
NOTICE how my hair is losing more curl in each picture? HAH!
Tonight was really, really good. God is good. Amen.