Monday, June 15, 2020

Forty-Five Years and Counting


Today is a special day. Forty-five years ago on June 15, I said "I Do" to my very best friend. The best decision I ever made was to marry the girl who stole my heart when she walked into Mr. Brost's History class at the beginning of my senior year of high school. I know that high school romances are not supposed to be forever and that when kids get married when they are in their teens the marriages aren't supposed to last, but we have proven those things wrong. It is still awesome to go through each day with my best friend.

A Senior in High School

This is the girl that took my breath away when she walked into class that morning. I was too shy to talk to girls, so it was almost a year before she had any idea that I was interested in her. I think that the good Lord knew that I needed all of the help I could get so he made it so that our paths crossed in a number of ways that year. Mr. Brost selected five students to work together each week producing learning packets for History class. Gina and I were both in the group. We both worked at the Harris Pine furniture factory. I worked on the dresser jig, and she made drawers. I would spend my breaks back with the drawer makers, but she still didn't catch on.

It came time for our High School graduation and I still had never gotten up the nerve to ask her out. Finally, I mustered up every ounce of courage I could find and asked her if she would march with me when we graduated. She told me that she would like to but she had already told Russell she would march with him. If I would talk to Russell she would march with me. Once again summoning up every bit of courage I had I talked to Russell. He was very gracious and bowed out. I was on cloud nine.

The rest is history. After a year of a long-distance relationship, five hundred miles, we were finally in the same place at the same time. I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this girl. On June 15, 1975, we were married in the Denver First Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Last year, on our anniversary,  we attended the National Park Radio concert at Steel Creek near Ponca, Arkansas. We arrived at the campground early in the afternoon. So early, that we were the first to set out our chairs in front of the stage. We spent the afternoon swimming in the Buffalo River and picnicking while taking in the incredible scenic beauty of the area.

All afternoon people streamed into the concert area, and by the time the show began, the field was a teeming mass of people. When the first strains of music filled the air, everyone in the audience cheered as they settled down to watch the band play with the beautiful bluffs above the Buffalo River in the background. During the intermission, I was able to talk with the leader of the band, singer/songwriter Stefan Szabo, and asked him if he could acknowledge our anniversary and told him that we considered, “If the Rain is Fallin” our song. The song begins, “If the rain is fallin', it makes me think of you. And when the birds are callin', it reminds me too.”

Before the band played “If the Rain is Fallin',” Stefan let everyone in the crowd know that it was our anniversary and that we had chosen to spend our special day at the concert. He then dedicated the song to us. It was a special moment and came as a big surprise to my wife.

If the rain is fallin'
It makes me think of you
And when the birds are callin'
It reminds me too
But any moment now
Lord knows I'll be gone away
Oh please remember how
Our hearts still beat the same

And I was young when I first saw you
We held hands and I was scared
But now the only fear I go through
Is living life without you there

I have a version that I sing while I am at work.

When I'm sanding
It makes me think of you
And when I'm painting
It reminds me too

Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart!

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