Valentine’s Day isn’t always a happy holiday for everyone. The internet is overrun with cynical memes about Valentine’s Day as a scheme created by greeting card companies, and jokes about being “forever alone” are particularly popular.
Through all of the cynicism and “cha-ching” sounds you might hear this weekend, true love is still at (excuse our pun) the heart of Valentine’s Day. We invite you to read the story of some of our clients, Brooks and Barb Fetters. The Fetters, among other community involvements, own the Purviance House Bed & Breakfast on S. Jefferson St in Huntington. Clear Elevation was honored to create a website, logo and shoot photography of the B&B for the Fetters. Here is their story:
It was September in 1978, and the first day of sophomore year when Brooks Fetters met his wife. He spotted her from across the dining commons at Huntington College. Barb was a transfer student, and he had never seen anything quite like her.
“I took her to three different events that night,” Brooks said, his voice almost incredulous about the power of that moment even after 35 years. “We paired up and I didn’t let her out of my sight until I went to bed.”
Barb laughed at the memory from her armchair on the other side of the sitting room. “He was wearing rainbow suspenders,” she confided. But it was clear that she returned Brooks’ feelings. The two realized very early on that they had found true love.
“Brooks made me feel special,” Barb said. “He was very creative about date nights… we didn’t just sit in the dorm. He always made sure he took me out. I was dressed up even to go someplace for dessert. He was lots of fun and I knew I could trust him… my heart was safe with him.”
Barb not only fell in love with Brooks, but his family as well. It was a confirmation of her feelings and the future that she would have with him. Brooks also received his own confirmations about the relationship.
“Dad came into the bathroom one night when I was soaking in the tub – he knew he had me in a captive spot,” Brooks chuckled. “He said, ‘I just gotta know, are you going to be dating around any more, or is this the one? Cause I don’t think you can do any better.’”
Brooks agreed. After a year of dating and a year long engagement, he and Barb married in December of 1980. In the three decades since, they’ve had three beautiful daughters, a handful of career changes, a few public elections and new adventures.
“I like our confidence and trust in each other,” Barb said. “There’s been a lot of change in the last year for the both of us. We both brought strength and stability to a big year of change. I need him and he needs me.”
When we asked what Brooks liked best about Barb, he looked over at her and thought for a long moment.
“She’s demonstrated in a practical way what unconditional love is. I don’t look the same as when we first got together –we’ve gone through times of brain tumors and career changes. Her commitment to this relationship has always been without doubt or question.”
The Fetters credit their faith and spiritual relationship to the strength of their marital bliss.
“Paul likens marriage to the relationship between Christ and the church,” Brooks said. “Our spouses are the ones God has put in our lives to show us that relationship on this side of eternity. There’s nobody better than Barb for me.”
“I still like walking behind her from about a half block away,” he added, causing Barb to laugh and playfully swat the air with her hand. “Really!” she giggled.
Brooks returned to a serious tone. “I’ve always lived my life by the ‘long view.’ The three most important decisions you will make: the God you serve, the work you do and the person you spend your life with. If you make good decisions there, life has every potential to be good. I’ve preached it and lived it and advised it… the best decision that I ever made was who was going to be the mother of my children.”
With all the challenges and things that go with relationships and marriage, the Fetters encourage young couples to stick to it. “There are hard times, but then there are great times,” Barb said, glancing over at her husband with a smile. “Yes, yes there are,” he replied.