After writing about the couple who died within hours of each other after 65 years of marriage, I wasn't sure I could handle another story of love and death. But since it's in the spirit of showcasing the kinds of true and beautiful love that exists in this world, we all need to know about Fred Stoubaugh, 96, and his late-wife Lorraine who were married just shy of 73 years, together for 75.
Shortly after Lorraine passed away, a heartbroken Fred sat in the front room of the home they shared and began humming and singing a song that just came to him. He admits he's not a singer or a songwriter, but we cannot debate that he is a romantic. Soon after he read about a songwriting contest in the newspaper and decided to write a letter including the lyrics to his song, "Sweet Lorraine," and see what happened.
Green Shoe Studio in Peoria, Illinois, was having a songwriting contest intended for aspiring musicians to be able to record their song for free. Jacob Colgan from the studio received the unconventional letter from Fred and was touched. It didn't meet the criteria of what they expected for the contest, but it was exactly what they hoped to accomplish -- bring the community together.
Prepare yourself, I began welling up with tears at just 3:35 minutes in before the song even starts.
Their love story inspires me. Fred met Lorraine at a car hop back in 1938. "She was the prettiest girl I ever saw ... I just fell in love with her right there," he said. They married two years later, had children, grandchildren, and as Fred recalls, a dream kind of life together. The love this man has for his sweetheart is so beautiful, you can feel it just watching him talk about her. He shared about his love, "It felt kind of unreal, dreaming or something. But it was real, that's all I can say. It was real."
Real love. Also captured in his lyrics, which include: I wish we could do all the good times over again. Life only goes around once but never again. The memories always linger on. Oh sweet Lorraine I don't want to move on.
Fred not only recalls memories of his life with Lorraine as wonderful, but also the fact that Green Shoe Studios brought his song to life. With his hand over his face, wedding ring on, Fred says the experience of hearing the song is wonderful. And adds, "I really miss her."
You can download the song on iTunes and help support Fred.
How beautiful is this love story?!