I’m a slow writer. It takes a few days for me to get an idea to get to the page and a few more days to edit and change and then finally, with some trepidation post. There are many reasons to think I should take a few more days in the editing process. Sooner or later I might get the whole quiet quite thing correct.
I started putting this little piece together on January 3, the 39th wedding anniversary of one Marty and Marty’s Husband. We were married 39 years ago in Dalhart Texas on a clear blue sky day. I wore a ruffled tuxedo shirt and a tuxedo made out of what looks like velour with a gigantic bow tie. Marty, she was gorgeous in her wedding dress, white I’ll have you know.
It was a good day, at least what I remember of it.
We were married in the First Presbyterian Church of Dalhart by Jack Pierce, a Baptist minister who was Marty’s one time minister. Standing beside us were Debbie Powell, Ellen Beth Jones, Sharon Hillhouse, Skip Maines, Dean Brooks and Wright Allen. All are still with us today save Wright. We still keep in some kind of contact with most of these amazing people. We were surrounded and embraced by friends and family.
It was a good day.
We took pictures before the wedding which was kind of unheard of in 1976, but it was more convenient. I suspect there were a couple hundred people there and we all moved to the high tone Dalhart Country Club for a short reception after the early afternoon wedding. Marty and I drove to Colorado Springs after the shindig in her 1976 cream colored Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. We ate tuna sandwiches on a red and white checkered cloth Marty’s Grandmother made for us for our ride. It was a nice ride.
It was a good day.
In the thirty years that followed we finished educations, got different jobs, moved to some different towns, had some children, raised some children and settled in our home in Waco Texas.
It was a good thirty years, mostly.
Come on, not all years can be great; sometimes it’s the not so great years that make you stronger.
Nine years ago, on January 3, on our 30th anniversary Marty had her second stroke. We were home, intentionally not celebrating our anniversary because we were tired from a trip to Dalhart and Angel Fire New Mexico. I was worried because Marty, still recovering from the ruptured aneurysm, just seemed off a bit.
That night, right after eating I looked at Marty and she was slumped to her left, her face slack, saliva running down the left corner of her drooped mouth. She had a look of real fear and confusion on her face and I must have gone pale as I picked up the phone and dialed 911, again.
It was a bad day.
Nine years ago, that night, on our anniversary night, I called for children once again, I called to say, come now and they came. I watched as the ICU nurses settled Marty in for her night in intensive care. She actually seemed to be okay as I backed out of the ICU and drove home, without her, again.
I was our anniversary, the 30th; it was a bad day.
Over the next days and weeks the things got much worse and then a little better. Marty walked the edge of life and death too often; we went through months of rehab, years of illness and change. We faced too many things too often too young, but we lived through them and we have found ways to celebrate almost every day.
In the nine years since that last stroke, since those days that shook our core we have learned, we have lived and we have loved. We have embraced each other and our families and our friends and we have learned to live a new life one that is not perfect but will do for now.
On this 39th anniversary Marty got her gift from Kindler’s and we ate a quiet dinner with each other and our care giver. We sat comfortably and watched some football and enjoyed each other’s presence, something that didn’t seem possible nine years ago.
It was a good day.