June 23, 1972
Don't you dig the "dutch boy" hair and the funky glasses on Rick? And my "parted-down-the- middle-shaggy" hair?
Boy, the stories I could tell. There is not enough time in this life to tell you all about us in our 38 years of marriage. But, I will save you the math and the questions - yes, we got married when I was 16 and Rick was 17!
Let me make one thing clear right up front...I did NOT have to get married!! We put ourselves through college (after we finished high school). And, we waited 9 years before having children. That had to be a God-thing. Back then we were just young, in love, ignorant, and stubborn. I have often wondered over the years, why my parents would allow me to do something so ridiculous. To even think about allowing Matt or Sarah to marry at 16 gives me the shivers! So, in my quest for answers, this is what I do know -
God had a plan. My parents had to sign for me before I could marry that young. Who in their right mind does that for their 16 yr old daughter? (unless there's a very big reason) Only God could have orchestrated their hands to move that pen along the line...signing their only daughter away to a young, immature boy.
My parents loved him like a son. He loved them as his parents instead of in-laws. Their passing was almost as hard on him as it was on me. Have our lives always been a bed of roses? Absolutely not! We have had our share of problems, issues, hard times and dark times, but through it all our love has prevailed...God's love has been the glue in our marriage. Without Him, we would not still be together.
God took us 38 yrs ago, and has been patiently teaching us about commitment, devotion, loyalty, forgiveness, perseverance, dedication, trust, and unconditional love. Some lessons we've learned the hard way and some lessons we are still learning. Marriage is a never-ending growing experience. You can never stop "watering your garden" or it will dry up and wither away. You must work at it...all the time. It is to be taken care of, honored and respected, and most definitely held onto - for better or worse. So many young people today go into relationships with the mindset - "If it doesn't work, we'll just get out." That has never been an option. We took our vows very seriously, even though we were young. There have been valleys, pits, hills, and mountains all along the way, and God has intertwined our hands together with His each and every step of the way.
So, Happy Anniversary to us! I love my DH very, very much and he loves me... maybe even spoils me a little too much! He is a wonderful, caring, loving man and a great father and Poo-Paw! Matt and Sarah, I hope you know how blessed you are to have a dad who loves you so!