25 years ago today, November 14, 1980, I went out on my first date with my husband.  He sat behind me in Alegebra II; we were in alphabetical order and Johnson follows Ivey.  We were juniors in high school; 16 years old. Our best friends were dating and they thought it would be fun to fix us up on a date.  We met up at the local hangout after the football game; later he drove me home and kissed me goodnight.  I look back on those 2 teenagers and smile with tenderness…we were so young!  25 years later, I am still crazy about him.

God’s grace and a lot of hard work have brought us from that point to the life that we have created together today.  He is my rock, my laughter, my safety net…the love of my life.  As this is such a public forum, I won’t go into all the private reasons why I thank God every day for this marriage, this man, this journey we have traveled over the past 25 years.  I will, however, share a poem that I ran across the other day that perfectly characterizes the beauty and the unexpected joys of a long-term relationship.  It is written by Wendell Berry.

“The Wild Rose”

Sometimes hidden from me
in daily custom and in trust,
so that I live by you unaware
as by the beating of my heart,

suddenly you flare in my sight,
a wild rose blooming at the edge
of thicket, grace and light
where yesterday was only shade,

and once more I am blessed, choosing
again what I chose before.

I would choose you all over again, my love.  Happy Anniversary!