( Wow, we were so young. I was only 21 years old. I can't even imagine my daughters married yet and one of them is almost 4 years older than I was then. Oh, and I thought I was fat then too. Body image...blech)
Today I have been married for 29 years. Yes, all to the same man. It's hard to believe that it's been that long. Although when I think back on all we have been through together it's hard to believe we shoved it all into 29 years. Not that we are world travelers or anything like that but we did raise three kids and survived baseball, softball, girl scouts, boy scouts, violin lessons, orchestra concerts, band practices, band competitions, band drama and Friday night football. Not to mention three economic downturns, one firing, a couple of layoffs and two broken ankles (they were both mine at the same time and that's when you find out how much someone really loves you.) Last year I put my children on notice that they had two years to plan a big 30th Anniversary bash....don't know if they remember or not, guess we'll see. So....T-minus one and counting ;-)
Seems like just yesterday we were walking down the aisle, bringing our first born home, taking our son to his first little league game, watching our baby go to kindergarten. Where does the time fly? I love my husband more than any one human can love another. At least that's what it feels like to me. I'm so lucky that I get to spend the rest of my life with this wonderful man. In honor of our anniversary, I give you......
THE STORY OF DAN AND GERRI
How I married my best friends brother
The year was 1972. The Viet Nam war was raging, Watergate became a household word, tragedy happened at the Munich Olympics, Carol King was singing, "It's Too Late" and I was just beginning high school. I also met the man that would someday be my husband.
I became friends with a girl named Debbie. She was interesting and funny, and it didn't hurt that her brother was a senior and played baseball. I would have liked her regardless of the brother thing, but it was a perk, you know? So, all freshman year I smiled at the brother, said hi and went to baseball games to cheer him on. He didn't know I existed. The year went quickly and Debbie and I settled into an easy friendship that we were sure would last a lifetime. Summer came and went and soon we were sophomores. I would call Debbie's house, knowing she was not there, just so I could hear the brothers' voice. Yes, I was a nerd. We were happy in our relationship, Debbie, the brother and I. She and I had great times together and he still did not know I was a living breathing being. Oh, well. I held out hope. At the end of the year both our lives were turned upside down. My father accepted a job 200 miles away and Debbie's mom got married and moved to the other side of town. We got together before the big moves to sign each other's yearbooks for the last time. I wrote in her yearbook that someday I would marry her brother. I was joking. Soon, our only communication was letters (remember when you used to write letters?) and an occasional long distance call. But, we remained the best of friends. I had a boyfriend in my new town and thoughts of the brother were all but non-existent.
In 1976, we graduated and started our lives. Still living miles from each other we kept the friendship alive. Then, in January 1977, I accepted a job back in my hometown. I had no place to stay so Debbie's mom invited me to live with them. The brother was still living at home, working and going to school and fresh out of a relationship. I decided it was now or never. I flirted, talked baseball, flirted some more and finally, he knew I was alive. We started dating on January 22, 1977. For me, it was love right away. I knew within the first few months that this was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. It took Dan just a bit longer. It took almost 4 years, me having to move away, and his mom threatening to just adopt me into the family before he finally decided that we were meant to be (we don't call him the King of Procrastination for nothing!).
On September 27, 1980 I married the man of my dreams. My best friend was my maid of honor and my sister-in-law. The yearbook prediction came true.
Now, 29 years later, I still can't believe how lucky I am. He makes me laugh every day and I still get butterflies in my stomach when I see him. I feel honored just knowing I get to spend the rest of my life with this man. Our life is not perfect and we've had our rough spots but we've loved each other enough to work through it. I thank God everyday for bringing us together and helping us to keep it together. I've been so blessed these last 29 years, I can't wait to see what the next 29 bring.