On this day, 45 years ago, my parents were married. 33 years later, Ronnie and I chose to "borrow" their day for our own wedding. Now, 12 years later we are still celebrating on this day (not that you could tell it since today looked just like any other Sunday). We are truly thankful for the years God has granted us and for the lessons He has taught us over the last 12 years. On this special day, I thought I would share a little of our history with you.
First, I want to share just a little about my parents' wedding day. They grew up in the same town and went to the same church for most of their lives. Daddy is 5 years older than Mama and he loves to tell the story that when she was in 7th grade he saw her walking into the church and told one of his buddies that he'd like to marry her some day. Several years later, he and his cousin asked Mama and her best friend out on a double date. The story goes that the guys flipped a coin to see how the pairs would be for the night. Daddy ended up with Mama's best friend ~ who was very happy with the arrangement, and wasn't at all happy when Daddy asked Mama out a few months later. They were married in the summer between Mama's junior and senior year of high school when Mama was only 16 and Daddy was 21. Because of Mama's age, her father had to be present at her wedding. In order to accomplish this, they were married in her Daddy's hospital room where he was recovering from a broken back. Not the most romantic way to begin a marriage, but 45 years, 4 children and 11 grandchildren later, I don't think it hindered anything. As a side note, the other two people who shared that first double date have been married almost as long as Mama and Daddy have. Ain't life strange?
Ronnie and I met while I was in college and he was serving as youth minister in a town nearby. There weren't very many people his age in the church so one of his friends invited him to come to a BSU (Baptist Student Union) function and that is how we met. We met in September and began dating in November of 1995. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Fast forward a year to the night Ronnie proposed to me. I was pretty sure of what he was planning, but I didn't want him to know. I did think that we were going out for the evening, but he picked me up and took be back to his house where he had prepared a candlelight dinner. After we ate, he left the room and came back with a huge vase of roses, which he set on the table in front of me and then got down on one knee and proposed. I would love to tell you the wonderfully romantic words that he spoke, but I don't remember them. I can't even tell you what I said in response because I don't remember that either, except that it included me saying yes. What I do remember is looking at the roses and realizing that some of the decoration in the vase was on fire ... he had set it a little too close to the candles still burning on the table.
Now, if Ronnie were telling this story he would most definitely tell you why the flowers were such an important part of the proposal. Some time early in our relationship, I had mentioned something about the necessity of flowers being present if I were to accept a proposal from anyone. I wish I could remember what prompted me to make such a bold statement, but I can tell you that I would have said yes with or without the flowers. If nothing else, they did provide some comic relief.
I really what to share a few details about our actual wedding day, like how I wouldn't get dressed because my mother wasn't there and no one could figure out where she was. And maybe a little about how I had only met the minister the day before the wedding and how he kept trying to make us laugh during the ceremony. But, right now it is late and I am tired, so those stories will have to wait for another day. I am sure you are crushed, but try to hang in there!
I do want to take the time to tell you that while we haven't had a perfect twelve years, we have been, and continue to be, incredibly blessed. God has brought us through situations that I wasn't sure we would survive. I am thankful for the man that God chose for me. I am thankful for the life we have together and for the future we look forward to. I am also thankful for the example God gave us in our parents. What a blessing. God is good.