Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dear Roald & Else Margrethe,

I am using an online translation tool, so please forgive me if the words are not 100% proper or correct. More than 25 years ago you were introduced to the idea of your oldest son marrying an American, he was 23 years old when we met, just the exact same age Levi is today.  I was sure this was a perfect match, but you had never met me or my family and you had to put a lot of faith into Holger’s decision making skills; the skills you had been teaching him since he was just a little boy.  I cannot believe 25 years have passed since we welcomed you on the 4th of July to our country, our culture and our family. How did this happen so fast?  We each took a huge risk by marrying a person from another culture, another country in another continent, but we knew that we had more in common than not.  We were both the second born child, we were both wild children that were hard to control or tame. We were both driven to succeed. In fact, we have compared a lot of other things too. We grew up with traditional parents in similar sized homes (mine in the country and his in the center of the island) we both loved the family getaway too. Mine was on Lake Huron Michigan on Lighthouse Road and of course his was on a Fjord in Malangen Norway.  And although we have so many things in common, we still struggled at times to make this marriage work.  The loyalties to family, culture and nation are never far from our minds. Luckily for us, the world has evolved in positive ways (the internet and globalization of humankind) that has allowed for us to feel like pioneers now, instead of the ‘unusual’ couple like it was long ago when we first were married.  Indeed, the world has grown smaller and our love for each other (and our families) has grown immensely bigger.  The struggles we faced early were enough to break any typical family and if it weren’t for Holger’s incredible positivity and consistency my family would maybe never have healed quite as well as it did.  My father battled a lot of issues and there were many times we were on the brink of disaster both emotionally and financially, but we persevered and pushed ourselves harder to take more risks and grow as a couple and as a family.  I proudly report to you that as of today we are happy, satisfied and extremely proud of the life we have created …the role models we have become and being the leaders in our families.  We are full of gratitude to both of you for being the example to follow…always believing the best, accepting the differences and embracing our children and American culture as something worthwhile.  For that we owe you a huge thank you. We wish we could have been together for this Silver Anniversary Celebration, but your lovely daughter Trine-Lise delivered an eloquent speech that would have made you both so proud. Your wishes and congratulations were represented by her (and Holger) and it was both heartfelt and lovely. Thank you for the gift, but more importantly, thank you for being amazing parents, in-laws, grand-parents and soon great grand-parents. Your dreams, goals, visions (and contributions) as the young couple with the 6 kids has spread to all places of the family and to the corners of the globe!

We love you!  XOXO ~ Lisa

Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

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