I should have been a June bride, but circumstances beyond my control caused my wedding date to be changed from June to October — my favorite month of the year. I chose a Saturday for the wedding, the 24th day of the month — one month following my 19th birthday. Back in those days, couples in love got married.
Marriage seemed the right thing at the time and in the years since then, I’ve discovered that it was not only a good decision, it has proved to be a happy experience–one with no space for dull moments.
On the eve of our most recent anniversary, the second of our four children–all of whom are grown-up now–telephoned to wish her father and me a happy anniversary. “I’m proud of you for being married so long,” she commended. “Not everyone can say that to their parents.”
Her attitude interested me. How could I tell her that I owe the secret of my marital success to her father’s helpful, willing ways? For example, during disagreements, when I have threatened to move out, he has always agreed to help me pack my belongings.
Not only that, when I relayed her message to him, he smiled and said that actually he deserved hazardous duty pay.
He’s retired from the Air Force; he served in the Viet Nam War from a relatively safe distance — the Philippine Islands. And I have never hurled anything at him heavier than a few words, but –some of them were possibly dagger sharp.
Most of my words receive little attention from my husband, like those in poems and stories which I hope will be published.
I tried once to get him to read one of my poems. I chose the wrong time; he was on his way out the door to repair one of our two vehicles, which if one doesn’t need repair, the other does.
“Would you like to read my poem?” I stammered, in my eagerness to share with him, then quickly added, “It’s about love!”
He gave me a disinterested look.
“You know how I’m always falling in love with you — again and again?” I asked.
He grunted an acknowledgement.
“Well, I’ve written a poem about that. Would you like to read it?”
He took a deep breath. “How long is it?” he asked, his tone of voice sounding like a busy editor swamped with a packet of poems.
“Never mind,” I said, and placed the poem in my files.
Whether or not that poem gets published is anybody’s guess. But I decided then to send my precious poems to editors first and let others read them published.
I can only wonder if my marriage might have been more exciting had I been a June bride. But I doubt it!
c Copyright, 2012, Freeda Baker Nichols