I feel like we’re close, after all these years, meeting every other week in this column in the paper as we do. We’ve probably shared many coffee breaks together, and by now you likely know me pretty well. So, I’ve decided to share a little secret with you. Okay, so here goes. You see, in just another week it will be Lorna’s and my fiftieth wedding anniversary. Yes, you read that right. It’s not our fifth, or our fifteenth, it’s our fiftieth. Whew!
I know that sounds like a really long time to most of you, and it does to us too. It’s probably hard for you to believe that an energetic young couple like us could have been married so long ago, (ya, sure,) and it is for us too. In my case that’s because I use a twenty-year-old picture in my newspaper articles. I must change that soon. In Lorna’s case it’s because she is the prettiest and youngest looking woman our age I have ever known. (So, what’s wrong with having a pretty, young looking wife?)
Sometimes it seems impossible that fifty years have passed, and other times that the day when we ran off and got married must have happened in some other couple’s lifetime, long, long ago, in a galaxy far away.
That’s right, we eloped on that long ago day in August 1972. It was August 17th, to be exact. What happened was that Lorna had been after me throughout high school, and finally wore me down. (You shouldn’t believe me when I say stuff like that. You should just know not to, after all these years.) I pursued her, and prayed, literally every day for a year, that she would come to love me. Yes, we really did elope. The reason we can still be so young and energetic (ya, sure, again) after all these years is that we were both barely eighteen when we did so.
It did later come to light that a few of the older church ladies were counting the months until our first child was born. Shame on them. I think they must have stopped counting by month twenty-four, when Chrissy was born. And a few other people thought our marriage wouldn’t last longer than six months. Next week, we will have made it to one hundred times those six months, which, to me, is a REALLY spooky thought.
For all the young men out there, eager to ‘pop the question to your special young lady,’ I do have some advice. For a long and happy marriage, make sure the young lady you’re going to marry is absolutely perfect in every way. (I don’t personally know anything about that, but maybe you can find one?)
In all seriousness, and that’s a mode I have trouble staying in for very long, my wife Lorna was, on that day, and still is, the perfect girl for me. We’ve shared a wonderful life together, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ll love you forever, Norn.
My cousin Donald, who was also our minister at the time and did a public service for us (actually for our families) the very day after our elopement, did give us a bit of advice that has helped us from the day he said it. He told us to always communicate with each other. He said that when one person or the other in a couple won’t talk it’s not good. When neither will talk it spells real trouble. So, talk to your spouse. (Thank you, Don.)
I have also heard that for a happy marriage, a husband should always treat his wife just as he did when they were first dating. Still, lately it’s getting hard to take her to dinner and a movie and then drop her off at her parent’s house after.