One Week Before January 27, 1978
“Let’s call the preacher who officiated at our friend Sticker and Patty’s wedding. He’ll marry us,” he said.
So I searched the phone book for Edgewood Lutheran Church on National Road. The preacher answered the phone.
“Be here Friday night at 6:00,” he said.
Did we know what we were getting into at ages 19 and 25? Does anyone at that age?
My sister had said, “Don’t date that guy. He’s trouble.”
My brother had said, “You have no business going out with him.”
My dad threatened him.
My mom really liked him. So did my friends.
My head was in the crush of my life, and my heart knew nothing but how he made me feel when I was with him.
“Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?” the preacher asked, as least I think that’s what he said.
My heart was beating so fast, the vibration plugged up my ears. My knees were shaking, too.
But I had said to myself earlier that day, as we were getting ready to elope, that the ten minute ceremony and the marriage license were not going to change anything.
And that comforted me. I didn’t want anything to change. We’d been a happy couple for a solid year, despite my siblings’ warnings. Even Dad came around.
My siblings became cordial towards him, too, for the most part.
There’s not enough space on this page to recount the trials we have been through these past 43 years together, one-day-at-a-time. Like the life-changing days at year 8, in 1986. From January 12th to February 14th, we separated. Gifted counselors and small groups helped us take stock of our lives as individuals and as a couple. By the grace of God, we got our acts together, and we’ve lived sober lives ever since.
The details are recounted in my memoir, AS A RESULT.
The best phase is the one we are in now, with three charming granddaughters who don’t give a hoot about our past. And they think their Pap Pap is hilarious.
We bless the day they came into our lives.
And I bless the day I first saw him on January 27, 1977.
A total stranger, laughing at a table with his friends across the crowded bar, he sat facing me.
I caught his attention with a smile. He lifted his gaze to me and our eyes connected.
Moments later, he got up and walked over to say something to me, and made me laugh. He’s been bringing his quick wit to the table ever since.
Here’s to many more wonderful years.