Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Ruth 1:16 (NIV)
As I type this, I can hear my husband snoring in the next room. I could not sleep as I thought back over the day and the years gone past. Today was very special. At 10:00 in the morning, twenty seven years ago, we became man and wife. He always teases me that he had to give up his Saturday morning cartoons to get to the church on time. Today, we both had to work, though I left at Noon to go get another massage and be pampered. We didn’t really get to celebrate until this evening. We went to our favorite restaurant in St. Petersburg. It is a Spanish restaurant called Pepin’s and as usual the food was outstanding. But, what made the day extra sweet was the conversation as we reminisced about the past. There have been many years that we would just as soon forget. Early in our marriage, it seemed all we did was fight. Years with small children when we were so exhausted we had little time for each other. The teenage years were also rough when canny adolescents knew exactly how to pit mom against dad to deflect the retribution that should have been theirs. We had months when money was tight, and we were not sure if we could make the mortgage payment and then, there were times of plenty, but we were still not happy. Tonight, however, we talked about the good times. We have known each other since we were in the church nursery together. Our first “date” was when I was twelve and he was thirteen. An older couple in our church took us in their red convertible to an Easter Egg hunt. Oh, did we think we were something! He gave me my first kiss on the back pew of the church one Sunday evening. Afterwards, we went with our youth pastor for ice cream sundaes. I used to wear a green plaid school uniform to Handbell practice. I hated that pleated skirt and white blouse, but he remembers it fondly. We broke up for a while and there were other boys, but a church mission trip while we were in High School drew us back together again. There was a bus trip and lots of time to lay my head on his shoulder and feign sleep. There were the four years of a long distance romance as I went away to college. He kept every letter I wrote him even the ones sent from Europe when I was on foreign study. After college, there was graduate school and still he waited for me. Until twenty seven years ago, when I walked down the aisle in a white eyelet dress I made to meet him in his brown tuxedo. He whispered to me, “I love you,” during the first prayer and he has been loving me ever since. Good times and bad his love has been the one constant in my life. I have been very blessed.