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22 Years Ago Today
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HeadCheese
Plano, Texas
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November 18, 2011 - 6:03 am
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Wedding-Day-1.jpg

"What are you doing here," asked Dianne Worthen, my Karate Sensei, with a spreading smile of surprise. She was incredulous that I would show up for class just a few hours before my wedding was to take place. Indeed, the truth was that I had to be there. I was so full of excited energy that I needed an outlet to safely tap off a bit, lest I be reduced to a gibbering wreck.

It was a crisp day, slightly overcast with the silvery-gray glow that comes early with Texas winters. In its plastic cleaner's bag, my tuxedo hung over the back of one of the long-legged chairs that cozied up to the breakfast bar in my apartment. The images of wide-collared, pastel tuxedos with contrasting piping hanging in the halls of friends and family cemented my decision to go with a classic and timeless style that wouldn't induce groans when viewed years later in a dusty photo album.

Purged of my excess energy, I drove to my my parents' home to wash up and get dressed. My grandmother had arrived the night before from New Orleans to attend the wedding, and greeted me at the door with a barrage of kisses in a swirling cloud of rose perfume. After I showered and doused myself with my own cologne, she was a good sport and didn't tease me too much as she braided my eight inch rat-tail, an affectation popular in the 1980's and the only outward sign of subversiveness in my otherwise button-down image.

With an hour to go before the ceremony, I drove my 1978 Datsun 280Z to Plano Bible Chapel and strategically parked it in a spot I thought would make for a fast getaway later. It was my dream car – fast, nimble and sexy. It's only faults were to be found in its cheap Earl Scheib mocha brown paint job and its propensity for electrical problems. I had given it a very thorough cleaning, inside and out, in preparation for the day. After all, it was to be the carriage in which I'd take home my bride.

Inside, I found that some guests had already arrived and took a moment to visit with them before hiding myself away in the Pastor's office. Jim Lewis was a passionate preacher with the sort of face that rarely hid his mood. Intimidating to look at when he was set upon by righteous anger, today his eyes twinkled with an excited joy. "Are you nervous yet," he asked me with a mischevious grin. I wasn't.

For almost eight years I had dated my bride-to-be. We had known each other since 6th grade. She was the best friend of my then-girlfriend, Carrie. When Carrie and I amicably parted company, she suggested that perhaps her best friend would be a better match. She had no idea how right she was at the time. We became friends and would attend events together when my parents would let me invite a friend along, but it wasn't until a trip to the Japanese Gardens in Fort Worth that I realized how much I'd come to love the gentle spirit and radiant beauty that she posessed. There, standing on the arched bridge that stretched across the koi pond, sun highlighting hair that danced lightly in the breeze, she turned to face the camera I held in suddenly shaky hands. The viewfinder framed an angel, and at the tender age of 13, I was forever lost.

All through high school and college we dated. We developed that comfortable familiarity that long-married couples share, and indeed, even among our families and friends there was no doubt that someday, when the time was right, we would wed.

And so it was, 22 years ago today that I stood calmly in my Pastor's office. I wasn't nervous, because there were no doubts, no lingering concerns, no uncertainties about what I was about to do. I wanted her with an aching in my heart that threatened to crush me under the weight of my longing. My older brother served as best man, and together with the pastor, we walked solemnly out to the designated spot we had rehearsed just the night before and turned to face the entryway to the sanctuary in anticipation.

The music swelled and was joined by the staccato rushing of my pounding pulse as the gathered friends and family rose. It was then that they beheld what I had seen all along, as my angel glided into the room and took final posession of my heart.

Wedding Day 1989Image Enlarger

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Mad_Wed
Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city
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November 18, 2011 - 8:07 am
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Congratulations, HeadCheese !!!! coffee Didn't you think about writting a book? Or maybe you did it already? =)

birthday_balloonbirthday_balloonbirthday_balloonbirthday_balloonbirthday_balloonbirthday_balloonbirthday_balloonbirthday_balloonbirthday_balloonbirthday_balloonbirthday_balloonbirthday_balloon

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SaraO
Michigan
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November 18, 2011 - 8:12 am
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Happy Anniversary, HC.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 18, 2011 - 8:25 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Wow, you have an incredible way with words. Congratulations on your wedding anniversary.

I too have been with the same woman since my teens. I met my wife at U of Miami at the age of 19. We have been married for 27 fantastic years. We are just as happy or more with each other as the first years together.

How about posting an anniversary picture of the two of you.thumbs-up

Thanks for sharing your story with us.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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suresh
Tuticorin, India
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November 18, 2011 - 11:18 am
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Vividly written!  Happy anniversary.  Had u attached a photo it would have given us a chance to see how you looked this day 22 years ago. 

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it ..(William Shakespeare in Twelfth Night)

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BCShalom
Seattle, WA
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November 18, 2011 - 1:24 pm
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Mazeltov, HC, way to go.  cheers

 

Shalom Shalom

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HeadCheese
Plano, Texas
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November 18, 2011 - 5:10 pm
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suresh said:

Vividly written!  Happy anniversary.  Had u attached a photo it would have given us a chance to see how you looked this day 22 years ago. 

Done and done

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 18, 2011 - 5:28 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Can't see the 8" rat-tail though. Thanks for posting the picture. Now we want a picture from today with your wife to mark the moment. You can do a new one again in 22 more years.

BTW, do you do something super romantic every anniversary?

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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HeadCheese
Plano, Texas
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November 18, 2011 - 5:38 pm
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Can't see the 8" rat-tail though. Thanks for posting the picture. Now we want a picture from today with your wife to mark the moment. You can do a new one again in 22 more years.

You know, the haircut I got the day before I got married was the last for 7 years. I had hair down to my waist for a brief while... sigh.

BTW, do you do something super romantic every anniversary?

Alas, not so much since the kids came along. We wanted to do something for our 20th, but now are thinking in terms of some big to-do for our 25th.

We are dropping the kiddos at my in-laws tonight, so we can go out to dinner tonight, but since there are early plans for tomorrow, any hot plans have to be dialed down to a simmer… doublekiss

 

I'll see what I can do about a photo. I've got to get the camera out this weekend, anyway … wink


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Robyn.fnq
Queensland, Australia
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November 18, 2011 - 9:42 pm
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Beautiful story, thanks for sharing.

If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're probably right.

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myguitarnow
Laguna Beach
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November 18, 2011 - 11:05 pm
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You are a great writer HC. My anniversary with my wifey (we're not married though) was just yesterday. We've been together for 14yrs and have lived together for 11. Our big night last night was apple crisp, ice cream, a couple Netflix movies and won't tell you the rest 😉 Tomorrow I am getting up to hop a plane and celebrate my grandmas 109th birthday. She still walks and talks...Ya gotta love life! jimi-hendrix

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myguitarnow
Laguna Beach
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November 18, 2011 - 11:08 pm
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P.S. It's not the length of your hair that woman really worry about it's the...

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QuicheLoraine
Nashville, TN
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November 19, 2011 - 1:04 pm
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Happy Anniversary, and infinite blessings!   

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gStretch
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November 19, 2011 - 2:20 pm
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what a beautifully written memory! congratulations! may you both have many more blessed years!

-g

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Mad_Wed
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November 19, 2011 - 2:37 pm
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myguitarnow said:

P.S. It's not the length of your hair that woman really worry about it's the...

...secret corners of your soul...; voice; smell; shape of palmsdrooling =)

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pky
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November 20, 2011 - 1:09 am
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Happy anniversary and congratulations! Wish you many more years to come!

(our 8th is coming up this Tuesday; just past the 7th year's itch, whew!)

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TerryT
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November 13, 2012 - 1:59 pm
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I missed this first time round, but now!
Happy anniversary to one of the most decent blokes I have come across. Your video together makes a whole lot of sense.
Congrats. HC. One in a million!!

Ps I never saw the photo! Post it again!!!

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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HeadCheese
Plano, Texas
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November 13, 2012 - 6:26 pm
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IMG_0040.jpg

(Dude ... it was like 1983, for heaven's sake...)

I won't lie, I get a little teary-eyed every time I re-read the story I wrote years ago and recycle every year. It serves as a reminder that the emotions and certainty I held those years ago are still very fresh and meaningful for me. I may not look the part any longer, but I still feel every bit like the love-struck teen in the story above.

Suresh has effectively commissioned a new story for this year's anniversary, but I doubt I could top the one I already have written above. In every fairy tale, the best ending is always left unwritten - instead opting for the perhaps overly-optimistic "...and they lived happily ever after."

My wife and I are living in our "ever after," and while it has not always been easy or prosperous - even coming close to being cut tragically short, we are certainly living up to the "happily" part.

SANY0045.JPG

heartheart

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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November 13, 2012 - 8:07 pm
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Wonderful moving story, Keith.... Congratulation's. 

 

                      1st-place

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 13, 2012 - 10:31 pm
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Congratulations Keith.
It's something to be very proud of indeed.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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