Benny wears his Air Force mess dress and I, my oldest sister’s beautiful candlelight-colored Victorian-style gown and my own Victorian riding derby, created by a charming elderly lady who was the only professional milliner in Birmingham at the time. “You must wear the hat, my dear, the hat cannot wear you.” Advice I have taken to heart . . .
Lt. and Mrs. David Benjamin Long, newlyweds exiting the bride’s country church 28 years ago today.
We are toasting each other with crystal glasses presented to my parents as a wedding gift almost 4o years earlier.
Twenty-eight years ago today, I began the adventure of my life, my own somewhat unexpected journey. We really have been through the things we recited in our vows– being wealthier, poorer, living with sickness and good health, “for better and for worse.”
We’ve traveled to wonderful places together and shared heartbreaking moments at one another’s side. At times, we’ve been hundreds, thousands of miles apart, and yet, our thoughts always kept us close.
We’ve had times of largesse and times when it’s truly been a struggle; we’ve dealt with personal health crises and those of loved ones, faced their decline and loss. We’ve cried together and clung together in times of grief and sorrow, and embraced with mirth in happier times. We’ve known success and disappointment together, seen each other at our best and our worst both physically and emotionally.
My husband is my best friend, my buddy, my darling, my sweetheart. I like him better than anyone else I know, and I respect and admire him for being the good, decent, caring human being that he is. And nestled in his arms is the safest, sweetest place I can imagine in this world.
I hope that 28 years from now, we will still be together, perhaps a bit (or a lot) more doddery and wrinkly and hard of hearing, but still just as much in love. One of those elderly couples everyone finds so adorable and inspiring.
I’d like that very much.