Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you with love: Mr. & Mrs. Sorn!
I was smitten with this couple the moment they pulled up to our first meeting. I fell in love with their love story. I had the best time at their sweet picnic wedding. I’ve been anxious to share the story of this bride and groom (both in their 70s) with you all because there are such important life lessons built into it. Then, two months after I helped these two love birds unite in marriage, I received the tragic news that the bride unexpectedly passed away. As a celebrant, I am intertwined in both the life and love celebrations for many families. However, this was a first for me to marry a couple and then 9 weeks later memorialize the bride. I still love Barb and Bob’s love story, and the life lessons are even more poignant now. My heart breaks for Bob, and I pray he finds solace in sweet memories.
The following are excerpts from the Sorn’s wedding ceremony and from Barb’s Celebration of Life for you to read, reflect, and pay your respects privately.
It is a blessing how people come into our lives at just the right time and how the simplest of circumstances can change the course of our lives. God’s plan is so much bigger and better than our own.
When Barb was looking at a new apartment, she pointed out that a screen needed to be replaced. The landlord made a phone call, and the building supervisor came right over. Barb said, “When Bob came in, his arm brushed mine, and it felt like lightning through my whole body!”
From that moment on, Barb kept an eye out for the red pickup truck and the cute man who fixes everything. When she’d see his truck pull up, she would rush to her balcony to wave. He’d wave back. This scene repeated for a long time until one day Bob waved back and then motioned for her to come downstairs by him. Barb hurried down to greet him, and all Bob had to say was, “I need a hug.”
Barb and Bob began cooking together and sharing meals. They started going on all types of adventures together. They both agreed that they are too old to say “someday.” They don’t wait around. They get up and go!
They jump in their orange Dodge Challenger and cruise like the coolest cats in town. They’ve been known to drive to Dubuque, Iowa just to grab some lunch. If they feel the urge to see the world’s largest rocking chair and pencil, off they go! They love the variety of experiences their spontaneity brings them, and they have so much more they want to do together.
After five years of adventuring through life together, Bob finally went to Jared! He picked out a gorgeous and special ring for Barb. When they went to pick it up, Barb was so excited and wanted the ring right away. Bob said that she would have to wait until the right time for him to officially propose. As they walked out, before they had even reached the doors of the store, Bob got down on one knee. With store employees awwwwing in the background and Barb yelling, “Yes! Yes! Yes,” Bob proposed.
This couple is bursting at the seams with love and adoration for each other. I have to say, age has nothing on these two. Barb is the giddiest, most googly-eyed in love bride. It is so sweet and heart-warming to witness.
Know in your hearts that there is so much love and support surrounding you both in person and in spirit. Your loved ones gone before you, especially nephews Floyd and Josh, are watching over this union with joy. With the grace of God, with faith in each other, and in the presence of your loved ones as witnesses, you are ready to be united as husband and wife.
Now for the vows, the promises, the intentions. Bob’s take on vows is that they are a bit unnecessary. He said he’s going to do what he wants anyway. However, he clarified that what he truly wants is for Barb to be happy. Bob is a man of his word, so his word is good that Barb’s happiness will be his daily and lifelong goal. In response to Bob saying that making Barb happy was his job, Barb said that her job is to love him forever. Promises don’t get any better than that, but the couple will still share a few more words of intentions with each other.
(Bob) Barb, I take you as you are, loving who you are now and who you are yet to become. I promise to appreciate you, to grow with you, and to be supportive of you. I will cherish you always. I will love you and have faith in your love for me, through all our years together and all that life may bring us.
(Barb) Bob, I take you as you are, loving who you are now and who you are yet to become. I promise to appreciate you, to grow with you, and to be supportive of you. I will cherish you always. I will love you and have faith in your love for me, through all our years together and all that life may bring us.
Cheers to Mr. & Mrs. Sorn! The newlyweds danced down the aisle to the Beatles, and then the groom was instantly the life of the party with his tie around his forehead while he twirled his beaming wife around the dance floor.
In loving memory of Barbara Ann Sorn:
This summer, I met Bob and Barb. I adored them both instantly. I admired their passion for life and how they embraced their uniqueness and not their age. They would step out of their orange Dodge Challenger like the coolest cats in town. I said to myself, “I want to be like them when I grow up.” I think part of Barb and Bob’s secret, though, was to grow up, to grow wiser, to grow in love, but to not grow old in spirit.
However, our physical bodies don’t always mirror our spirits. While Barb’s spirit was full of life, her physical body was ready to find rest. When God called Barb home, she was ready to follow. While we are experiencing her loss, a missing piece, Barb is experiencing completeness, wholeness. She is home now in the loving embrace of our Lord in heaven. Her journey is complete. She is reunited with her parents August and Evelyn, her sister Carol, her sons Brian and Derek, and other dear family and friends. She is surrounded by love.
The image of Barb that comes to my mind is her on her wedding day to Bob just two short months ago. I had the special joy of officiating their precious picnic wedding. I officiate multiple weddings every month and work with a vast array of brides, and with complete honesty, Barb was the happiest, giddiest, most googley-eyed in love bride. Age had nothing on her. It seemed like she could’ve been 18 years old and smitten with love for the first time. There was no apparent weariness or burdens of years of life and loss. There was only love. Barb exuded love.
It would quickly come to light that Barb had a hole in her physical heart. It doesn’t seem right. It feels very unfair for a body to not mirror the soul. For how could this woman with such a full heart have weaknesses in that precious organ?
While we may find all of that hard to comprehend, may we know in our hearts and souls that Barb was happy, she was full of joy, and she believed in love. And may we savor the happy images of her that we each hold dear in our memories.
At Barb and Bob’s wedding, I talked about what a blessing it is how people come into our lives at just the right time, and that God’s plan is so much bigger and better than our own. Unfortunately, people leave our lives according to God’s timeframe and not our own. However, God’s plan is still bigger and better than our own.
To ensure that Barb’s legacy endures, honor her by making the most of your precious time. Barb had told me that she was too old to say “someday.” She and Bob didn’t wait around. They got up and went! I encourage you to do the same. Go. Do. Be. Because our time here is precious and fleeting. If you feel compelled to drive to Iowa just for lunch- do it! If you want to see the world’s largest rocking chair and pencil- go see it! If you want to be a happy, joyful person- be it! Embrace the characteristics of Barb that you love and miss so much, and she will always be with you.
A kiss can wipe away tears or take away fears. It can provide the confidence to try and let you know someone will always be by your side. The magic is frozen in time with this everlasting kiss of mine.
Barb will be forever missed by many especially her children Marty, Chuck, and Chris and their families, her sister JoAnn, her brother Bugsy, her loving husband Bob, and many other dear family members and friends.
Barb, may you rest in eternal peace knowing you are dearly loved.
My sincere condolences and love, Holly