Thirty-four years ago today, a young woman stood in the living room of a pastor in Alton, Illinois, and married a man in a union that even best friends said would never last.
They said her marriage was doomed from the start. It was a second marriage for both and her new husband was a hard-charging, hard-drinking, hard-partying newspaperman whose concept of a long-term relationship was a weekend fling.
Few understood why she married this man and even fewer thought it had a chance in hell of succeeding.
Today, thirty-fours later, Amy and I celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary.
Today’s celebration will include a quiet dinner out –a marked improvement over the 33rd wedding anniversary celebrated in the rehab unit at Carilion Community Hospital in Roanoke where I was in my 36th day of hospitalization from a near-fatal accident in November.
The long, sleepless nights that Amy spent at my bedside as I lay in a coma in the intensive care unit after that crash was just one of the many hardships she has endured in more than three decades of a marriage that few thought would last. I have no illusions that I was ever a good husband or someone easy to live with.
The fact that we are still together is a testament to a love that most never understood. Some say she could qualify for sainthood after 34 years with me. Few, including me, would argue with that assessment. I hope and pray that, today, I am an easier men to live with and that I will be a better partner as we face of future of challenges from that night last year that almost brought everything to an end.
Happy anniversary my love. It’s been worth every day of the last 34 years and may the best times of our lives lie ahead.