Over the last week, I have written on some "heavier" topics. Tonight I felt like making it a little "lighter." What is a lighter topic? I don't know. Just sounds really good. It is only one week till I will be getting ready to board the train in St. Louis in order to head north to Chicago. that will be the beginning of a 9-day celebration trip that Penny and I are taking. We will be celebrating our 25th anniversary on June 23rd.
I remember that day. It was an amazing event. If I was to say that I remember everything that took place that day at Trinity Lutheran Church, Decatur, IL, I would be lying. I can remember getting ready, having hairspray on my hair for the first time (that was to keep my fly-away hair in place for the wedding, what we do for love!), and putting on my tux. Was that at my mom's house? I don't remember. Then we were at the church. I couldn't see Penny before the wedding. Oh how I longed to see her. I was able to stand in the "cry room" at church and watch as people were being escorted into church that day. I stood there and told myself that I would remember all that happened. Boy was I silly.
Then it came time for the service to start. What happened to the day? I thought we had plenty of time. We walked into the church - but I sure don't remember walking in. The next thing I remember I was standing there in the front of the church, watching as Penny's sisters walked down the aisle. Where was she? I know that she should be coming soon, shifting from one foot to the other. Remember, don't lock your knees. What does that mean? Don't lock your knees? Is there a padlock on them that no one told me about? I still don't understand that statement.
Then suddenly, there she was, on the arm of her dad. He looked like the major that he was. He marched her down the aisle. But the only one I saw was her. She was so beautiful. How did I get so lucky? Why would she want to marry me? I didn't care. I was walking on the clouds. She arrived at the front of the church. And it began.
I would like to say that Rev. Schrader preached a powerful sermon. I would like to proclaim how great the music was. I would like to say that the service was so beautiful that it brought tears to the eyes of the most harden Marine. I would like to say all that, but I can't. I don't remember it. all I remember is Penny was on my arm. I heard the words and the music, but I don't remember any of it. All I remember is that before I knew it, I was married. She was my wife. I was her husband. And we were walking down the aisle.
And then, we were standing at the door shaking hands. People were coming out. People I didn't know. Most of the guests were her family. As they shook my hand, I smiled, gritting my teeth and saying "thank you." Why did I grit my teeth? Penny had given me a ring for my right hand - a star sapphire. It was a beautiful ring. But it hurt when people shook my hand. I was so thin then. Nothing but skin and bone. And each time one of the men shook my hand, it felt like they were crushing my hand. Ouch! When will it end?
And then, it was over. Pictures came. I am sure that we signed the license, but I don't remember. Where was I? Why didn't I remember? I don't know. Perhaps because I was in uncharted territory - uncharted for me. I had never been married before. But here I was, standing my wife. She was so pretty. She was so precious. And I was her husband. How great was that?
25 years later - and we are still happy. I am still lucky. She still loves me. She looks better today than the day we were married - if that is possible. And I love her more today than I did that day. What else happened that day? That, my friends, is for another day. Perhaps I will write about that later this week.
And that, is "lighter" than some of the other things I have written.