On this date, thirty seven years ago, I married my best friend. It was on a chilly, rainy Friday evening and the entire event was a blast. We danced, drank a little too much and reveled in the company of family and friends. It’s a memory that I’ll cherish for as long as I live.
I wasn’t sure how today’s date would effect me, and I had a few talks with myself about it. It would have been so easy to just stay in my pajamas, in bed and cry about what could have been. Then I straightened myself out and knew that my husband would have been so disappointed in me if I didn’t see this occasion as a reason to celebrate. Because it is.
I never cared about getting married. My life was good, I had a career that I loved and had worked hard to get, and friends I enjoyed. That was before this guy came along and treated me in a way that no other man had. He was sweet and kind, funny and a little bit shy around me. I liked him before I loved him and I never stopped liking or loving him for nearly 38 years.
I should probably tell you how we met because it’s kind of funny. I was taking the agility test as part of the process of becoming a police officer. He, along with a few other officers, had stayed over from their midnight shift to oversee the candidates as we went through our paces. It was in the middle of July and the heat and humidity that Saturday morning were almost unbearable. One of the tests was an obstacle course which included climbing over a 7 foot wooden wall. Now, I’m vertically challenged and the wall may have been 100 feet for all the progress I was going to make. Realizing I was using up a lot of time, I finally gave up and finished the rest of the course. The next thing we had to do was run a mile. I did that, coming in under the allotted time, but looking rather green around the gills. One of the officers wrapped an arm around me before I passed out or threw up. After getting my feet back under me, he asked the Personnel Director if I could get one more shot at the wall. I glared at him and muttered some obscenities in response. I also told him that if he wanted me to try it again, he’d have to do it first. He laughed at me and showed me how it was done. Well, I just hated being called out, so I took off and threw myself at that wooden barrier – over and over, until I had shredded my hands and nearly destroyed my back and arms.
Again, he asked for another favor from the Personnel Director, that I be allowed to try it from the backside which was somewhat shorter. Given the okay, he followed me behind the wall and laced his fingers together, whispering “put your foot there.” A little pissed off and a whole lot tired, I stared back at him in defiance. So, he raised his voice a bit and growled “Put. Your. Damn. Foot. In. My. Hand” Begrudgingly, I did, and he propelled me over the stupid thing. I doubt anyone was fooled by my sudden Super Woman powers or his obvious help. So there you have it. I passed the test because he wouldn’t let me give up.
We have hundreds of stories – some good, some bad – just like any couple which has enjoyed a lengthy history together. One of my favorites, probably the best one, happened on our honeymoon. It was our last night in Honolulu and we wandered into a club, drawn to the music inside. We sat there for hours, listening to two native Hawaiians playing slack-string guitars and singing their beautiful songs. Before we left, we purchased their first album, a souvenir of a sweet aloha.
Today, rather than shed too many tears of sadness, I’ll play that record and raise my glass to the man who made me believe in marriage, love and lasting friendship. I will celebrate.