Yesterday was my niece’s third wedding anniversary. She was the second of the next generation to marry. (our youngest was the first and her love story is written about here:(“http://dearanonymousfriend.wordpress.com” title=”Once Upon a Time”>)
My niece first saw her future husband in the elevator of the building where they both worked. She referred to him as her ‘tall, dark, and handsome’. She still does. They were married in January (obviously since yesterday was their anniversary) in Indianapolis, IN. A very cold day with a few reminders of snow. She was oblivious to the cold though, as was he, they were too consumed with being married.
Saturday, my dear hubby and I are going to a wedding. We are pretty excited about it as it is our first southern wedding. The ceremony is in a church built in the 1700′s. When we first arrived here in the low country, we visited this church to see if it would be where we attended. It feels like history. Sitting there, a few years back, I looked up at the open balcony of the church. It reminded me of an old movie and my mind wandered to think of who has sat in the pews in the church, what they were doing for this country and what they were thinking. It is an incredible church. The reception is downtown Charleston. I have wanted to go to either a reception or a wedding at this hall as it was to be where our oldest was to be married before her engagement was broken. The hall is almost as old as the church and it too screams of history. I don’t know this couple’s love story, but I will be a part of it. We will be there as they say ‘I do’.
Nestled between these two days is our 38th anniversary. Tomorrow will be our anniversary. 38 years is a long time! But, our story started some 43 years ago. Yes, I was a mere child. Okay, I was in high school. We were friends before we started dating. We would talk to each other in the hall and during the summer of 1971 when he was working landscaping the school grounds (it was a new school, its first graduating class was 1968), and I was taking an art class. He would allow me access to the closed off courtyards so I could sketch things other students couldn’t get to. That was the summer we really got to know one another.
In September of 1971, we went on our first date. To the bowling alley, three games. Big date! I won one game, he won two. No, I didn’t let him win, I just am not a good bowler. He then took me home. Rod Stewart’s, “Maggie May” played on the radio. He was the first guy to ever kiss me on a first date. I thought he was fresh, pushy and was determined it was only going to be a one date thing. Yeh, right.
We dated for the next two years. As it goes in young romances, we fought, we broke up, we made up, we repeated this action, several times. He graduated in 1972. I graduated in 1973. We both went to work as neither of us could afford college and our parents weren’t the type to help us out. I made more money in my job than he did in his. This did not go over well. We fought, we broke up, and we were determined not to get back together.
We didn’t for a couple of months. I went out with my sisters one Friday night. When we returned, my disgruntled father looked at me, told me that my dear hubby had called several times for me. He then informed me that I was going to receive a call in the next few minutes and I would take it. I would also go out if he asked. I never crossed my father. So, the call came, a dinner invitation for the following Monday was issued and like the obedient daughter I was, I accepted.
Monday came. I went to work. I came home and ate a full meal. I got ready to go out. We went to a steakhouse and I ordered a very small salad and a soft drink. Yes, I am obedient, but you can’t make me do something I don’t want to do. I didn’t want to have a meal with this guy!
During dinner he told me he had joined the navy. He asked if I would date him until he left. It was eight weeks away. What’s eight weeks? Sure. No problem.
Those eight weeks changed my life. I went from a high school infatuation to actually falling for this guy. He left for the navy in late November. He was allowed to come home from boot camp at Christmas. That Christmas we got engaged. We were engaged for the next year plus a couple of weeks.
No one gave us long. Six months was the longest bet, I believe. We have surpassed that time by 37 and a half years.
Has it been easy? Absolutely not. Have I had my regrets? Absolutely! Would I do it again? Depends on what day you are talking to me.
But, when I look at this man, a little heavier, a little grayer, a bit slower in motion, I feel at home. When we hug each other, there is still a part of me that is a teenager and my heart flutters just a little. (Of course when that happens, I sometimes wonder if it is the high blood pressure, or just excitement).
We are familiar with each other. I know a hot compress helps his headaches. He knows to go out to the garage and tread quietly when I am starting to slam doors. I know he likes crusty rustic bread for his sandwiches. He knows I like onions. We know we will disagree about our dog. I spoil him and he treats him like the animal he is (the dog, not my hubby).
Since he got sick though, I have thought long and hard about him. A few weeks ago I realized that it has been a while since I actually thought of this man. I have cared for him. I have lived with him. But, I hadn’t thought of our love story. The long love story that we are daily living. I was coming home from picking some things up at the store. I was thinking of my hubby. I was praying for him, and I came to realize that although my faith and security is with our Lord, my hubby is my earthly human security. My hubby is home. In his arms I can relax.
I may struggle and argue and go through fight number 650, the one that goes this way, then that way and ends this way… (When you have been together as long as we have even fights become familiar). But, if I did not have my hubby life would not be the same. I would still look out at the pond in my yard, I would still see the sky and the sun, but I know it would not be as lovely or alive, for a part of my heart would be missing.
Love stories are wonderful things. It is fun to watch young couples meet, fall in love, get married. Romantic comedies are great movies to watch and dream about. But, my love story is at least 43 years in the making. It has been a comedy of errors, and it has been a silent movie at times. When it is all done and gone, though, I pray that my love story will serve as an example of true love, true commitment. I pray that when my family looks on our lives that they will smile and know that the foundation they had for love is a strong one, a sturdy one, that although there were cracks in it, it did not falter.
So, happy anniversary to my hubby and to me. I hope there is a love story for you to think about today. Thanks for stopping by. DAF