Tomorrow it will be 28 years since I made a vow before God and a few witnesses to take a Kansas girl as my wife. I was 19. After being married to this girl for 28 year I know why that plains State is called the land of aaahhhss. I use to hear of people being married twenty years and would think to myself, "Wow, that is quite a milestone." Now I wonder where my twenty plus eight years have gone. They are marked by a few big memories and if I sit and think a host of smaller ones, and if I have family and friends around and have my memory jogged it is twenty eight years that encompasses more than I can remember. They have all been spent with this one woman, who I still call Michele. I have never been too much with the "tootsy baby" or "honey bunch" or "sweetie pie". Don't mistake that for an inability to be romantic ;-) "Michele" that is my term of endearment.
I have lived with her over half my life.
I have lived with her 10 years longer than I lived with my parents and brothers.
We have had six children together, all but one is grown, and all but two are on their own.
We have fought together, played together; dissapointed each other, encouraged each other; supported each other, challenged each other; agreed, disagreed (she can't always be right....hehehehe); suffered together, rejoiced together; cried together, laughed together; frowned at each other, smiled at each other; we've had our ups, we've had our downs. Life goes on and every morning we wake up in the same bed and are happy to have it so.....
I have come home every day, and she has been there every day. We have struggled together and we have achieved together. The important thing is that we have just always been together for twenty eight years now.
We are not young any more. We both wear bi-focals and need to lose some weight. We've both had a brief scare or two concerning our mortality. I fear leaving her here, I fear being left here....so we go on living and leave the leaving to Him who knows best.
We have lived the life of a Baptist preacher. There was never a time when the Baptist ministry was not what we were about, whether preparing, preaching, or pastoring our lives have been defined by God's call on my life. She married a Baptist preacher and in doing so became a preacher's wife. We have enjoyed the rewards of that calling and we have suffered the disappointments of that work. We have been loved and we have been hated but most importantly we have experienced it all together. I cannot think of a person with whom I would rather be hated.....
We have filled a 2100 sq. foot house (that desperately needs a coat of paint) to the brim. We have 200,000 miles (almost) on an eight passenger van. We still like pizza even after me working part time in the pizza delivering business for 17 years. (we have eaten a lot of pizza). Nobody knows like Dominos! We like to eat out (always have, always will).
We share the same convictions even if the whole world thinks we're crazy. We love our kids, we like to travel, we live for God, we long to be useful, and we look forward with hope.
I know we are at the very cusp of the "empty nest". The nest is already considerably less crowded and quieter. But even when all the fledglings have sprouted wings and taken their flight this little nest will still, by God's grace, be occupied by two little love birds. Tweet, tweet!
I love you Michele, thanks for being mine!