We hit the milestone of 32 years of marriage, and wondered how that much time could possibly have gone by. I suppose any couple that has been married more years than they were old when they put on their rings wonders that.
Our wedding was a very simple civil ceremony, held quietly in my parents’ back yard in rural Indiana and witnessed by a circle of short relatives (my side), and David’s wonderfully quirky and enigmatic (and tall) mother. It was a second signing of a license for me, and the prevailing custom at the time was to keep things on the discreet side for an encore bride. The county judge lived next door, so he hopped the rows in the vegetable garden as he fastened his robe, and we all took our positions in front of the rose trellis and under the locust trees. (Every photo taken that day reveals that the family cat and dog were also in attendance, although my nervous father had tried to corral them.)
Afterwards, David and I left in my parents’ second car for a short stay honeymoon, and as we made our way through the Indiana summer countryside, we encountered another wedding just finishing up in a tiny little church in a tiny little town somewhere between Danville and Springmill State Park. Because the guests had parked across the road in the ancillary church parking lot, we just pulled over and let everybody spill down the steps of the church and into the road so they could throw their rice and send off the smiling couple.
Later when we pulled into the parking lot at the inn, we left our car next to three others that had wedding clothes hanging inside, and rice in the window tracks. David and I would try to spot the other new couples in the dining room or on the hiking trails, but were never sure who they might me.
I have often wondered how everybody fared — the ones who shared our anniversary date of June 14, 1980. Statistics would say that half of the couples are uncoupled and probably don’t bother looking back at that summer Saturday. But I am grateful that we have made it this far, although the odds would have seemed to have been stacked against it had we paid any attention to predictions and somebody else’s math.
There is a photo I took of David early on Sunday morning, June 15, 1980. He is sipping a cup of coffee on his first day of marriage and is getting ready to tell me something. He is young, his ring is shining, and so are his eyes. Now every day when he picks up his coffee cup and gets ready to expound on his first topic of interest for the day, I remember the bridegroom. And I try to celebrate one more little ceremony — that of the day beginning again, whatever it happens to be.