Today, February 13, begins the anniversaries of an eventful ten or so days in our lives. Many of you know of our "long" engagement that started on the 13th of February and culminated with our wedding on the 18th. If you know our story, fast forward and skip the next few lines or stay with me as I have fun remembering.
Tom came home from an almost three year tour of duty in Munich, Germany on Christmas Eve, 1966. His tour was curtailed and he was on the "fast track" to Vietnam. He was a captain in the Army artillery and he was needed in the war--or so they said. Mom and I didn't think so. We communicated all the time he was in Germany and by the time he came home we had been having an on again, off again courtship for six years. Never, in a million years, did I think I would marry him! Seeing him again after his years away, I knew he was the one God had chosen for me and we began talking about getting married either at the end of his preparation for Vietnam or when he came home from Vietnam. He thought we should wait. He didn't want to marry me one week and leave me the next, but his mother told him, in so many words, that he was crazy. So, on Monday, February 13, he told the superintendent of the school where I was teaching that I would be quitting that week. We went to the courthouse to apply for a marriage license, got a blood test and he put a ring on my finger. Saturday, the 18th, we were married, complete with a dress my mother made that week and we left the church headed for Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. Five months later he was on a plane to Southeast Asia. I'll always be thankful for Mom's insistence that love shouldn't be postponed by a war. Every year this time we reminence about that week, how hectic it was and how much fun it was. Six years later our second child was born on February 24.
Valentine's Day has always taken a back seat to our anniversary and Marty's birthday. They are such big, important days of celebration. They are days that remind us of some of God's greatest gifts to us--our marriage and our children. I remember like it was yesterday, standing in the front of the church, holding Tom's hand and hearing Dr. Sims pronounce us man and wife. Now, here we are forty one years, two children and six grandchildren later still counting our blessings and being astounded that life continues to get better! You should be so blessed!
Today has also been special because it was Elisa's first day back with us since we went to North Carolina to greet Christopher. It's been almost three weeks since we've kept her and we've missed her. She entertained us throughout the day with her smiles and "talking." Tom is smitten with her deep blue eyes and long dark lashes! So am I!
We could not have designed a better life if we had tried. I wouldn't have known where to begin to create the lives of our children and I would know even less about putting together the personalities of our grandchildren. They are all truly God's creations. It is our privilege to know and love them and to pray for them.
We are celebrating God's goodness!