Thomasville Scene February / March 2019 - Page 47

| love stories | my mom I was getting married. She thought I was crazy. Remember, I was only 16. We set a date for June 26th. He went back to Florida with my brother and I stayed in Georgia and went back to school to finish my junior year. In January, I received a call and he said he had received orders to transfer to Sigonella, Sicily. We had a conversation with my mom, and she decided to allow me to get married on January 24, 1981. She later admitted she was afraid if she didn’t say yes she thought I would run away. (Never would I have done that! I was a good girl!) January 24, 1981, on a Saturday evening at 5, my pastor performed the ceremony at my small church in Crawford, Georgia. No one was there but my mom, little sister, my brother and his fam- ily, a friend of mine and her fiancé, (I was supposed to sing at her wedding). I did not have a wedding dress, but a knee length creamy white dress. My mother bought me a few pink silk roses, (that I ac- tually still have in my cedar chest). Gerri had on a blue suit, and we stood before God and our small group and professed our love. I had no clue what he liked to eat, what his favorite things were, what he did for fun, who his parents were, did he have siblings, where was he born, what did he do in the Navy . . . the list goes on. I married a stranger. But, I knew, he was the one. We had kissed once, twice after we said I do. Yet, he was the love of my life. After our ceremony, our church had a Youth Rally scheduled at 7 that night. So, we stayed. No one knew we had gotten married. After church my pastor announced it and the whole church, (almost), went to Shoney’s and ate. Did we have a honeymoon? Well, if you consider spending your first night married, sleeping at your mother’s house, with your brother and his family scattered about, while you are in your mom’s bedroom a honeymoon . . . then yes. We got up that Sunday morning, got dressed and did what every newly- wed does, we went to church! Ha! (That has to be why we’ve made it this far.) We left that afternoon after church and headed back to Jacksonville to his apartment to begin our love story. Three months later we came back to my church and our sweet church gave us a wedding shower/ reception. It was perfect. A cake with a fountain, photos, lots of food, friends and wedding gifts! We left for Italy that following May, actually it was the day after I turned 17. That trip was an adventure in itself. We laughed, we loved, we rarely fought. We were blessed to spend our first year anniversary in Taormina, Italy. (That made up for no honeymoon). We always say we are going back, maybe when we’re married 40 years. Three years later we had our first born son, then four years later a baby girl, then another boy . . . there were several kids in between that were not ours, but we took care of and nurtured. Then God blessed us with another boy, then another boy, then finally another baby girl. That was 6! He said he wanted 10 . . . well, if you count all the ones that came and left I’m sure there was at least 10! Ha! We have had many ups, some downs, some roses, some thorns, some smiles, some tears, some battles, some victories, but I would not trade one single adventure for a different life. He still makes my heart go pitter patter, he still gives me chills when he looks my way, even with his hair full of salt and pepper (he calls it ultra blonde). He is my one and only true love and I see everyday the depth of his love for me. He makes me feel safe, loved and cherished. Now this is not the end of our story . . . it con- tinues. I would not want to do forever with anyone else. There is a song from many years ago, “Like Two Sparrows in a Hurricane,” by Tanya Tucker, (I told you it was old), fits our life perfect. People thought we wouldn’t make it, but love said we will . . . and we have. I can’t wait to see where forever takes us now. Thomasville Scene February - March 2019 47