Friday, June 17, 2011

Married 27 Years ~and counting!

I have now been married for 27 years! If I had a secret it would be to marry up. Fall in love with someone better. I am serious. I first spotted Lori when she was an 18 year-old freshman at Bethany College. I was smitten. I would say it was her green eyes, smile, laugh and the allure of her traveling life that first attracted me. Then her cocky, punchy personality, together with her love of God and advocacy for those less fortunate, that worked to bewitch me. Mid way through that first year, I fell hard but she wasn't interested in getting any closer than being good friends. So, at years' end I took her out for breakfast to Davenport and told her I was over her (a big lie). After that, we wrote (I was away from the campus the following semester) and life went on.

Then, one day I briefly appeared on campus, and she found her heart strangely warmed by my presence (I played cool but was hoping...). As I was leaving, she walked me out to my car and this is what happened. I said, "Lori, stand here." Moving myself back about six feet I added, "Okay, now, slowly turn around." To which she responded, "What?" "No, no, just do it. Turn slowly like a ballerina, or model. Then stop and face me again." She obliged and, in some mysterious way, in that moment outside Craig Chapel, I won her heart. She already had mine. She was simply perfect to me and I let her know.

Later, she agreed on a status update (thankfully!) and we made it official on June 2, 1984. I was mad with love then. I love her still more deeply today. She makes me crazy but has also made me good. It's not a perfect marriage but ours is a reasonably happy one. I know I've lifted her a bit, as well. She gave up a lot to travel with me. With another, she could have been a religious princess, and would have been financially secure, too. I regret that I have not been kinder, or given her more of that security, but she has always had my heart. And I kind of like her more, now, too, as our days together continue to unfold. Especially on that rare occasion when she turns toward me, slightly embarrassed, that irresistible grin intact, and I am again in my court royal, a duke with his duchess,  just we two, together.

Thank you, Lori Lanei, for saying yes, then and now and for letting me come up there with you, making me a better human being. I know it was, and is, crazy, but you are ever the one for me.

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