Cookin', Critters and Chillun

An anniversary tribute to my sweetie

I knew when I met him I’d never be bored. It’s been 45 years now, and I’m not bored yet. That doesn’t mean our lives together have always been fireworks, champagne and roses.

But the 45 years that Bill and I have been married have definitely been interesting.

Our wedding day on the Ides of March, 1969, outside St. Paul's Episcopal in Macon, Ga.
Our wedding day on the Ides of March, 1969, outside St. Paul’s Episcopal in Macon, Ga.

We progressed from the early days of being newlyweds in the Washington, D.C., area. Both of us were so busy fitting into our new jobs in a fast-paced metropolitan area, it’s a wonder that we had time to get to know each other in those three-and-a-half years.

Unlike so many couples these days, we hadn’t lived together before we got married. So there were the inevitable rubbing off the sharp corners of new relationships: sharing a bathroom – we only had one in that little rental house in Kensington, Md. – figuring out who liked any of the other’s favorite foods, adjustments for a husband who was a night owl and definitely not a morning person, with a wife who fell asleep at 10 p.m. and woke up bright-eyed and ready to hit the world.

Both of us wanted something less anonymous, less frenetic than the Washington scene, and gladly moved to the Lynchburg, Va., area. We thought, with Bill’s job as director of the area planning district commission, we’d only be there two to four years. Twenty-six years later, I was the one offered the chance to move, here to Salem to be editor of the Salem Times-Register and The New Castle Record.

In between, we traveled, made friends, birthed and raised three outstanding and intriguing children, and watched them become the young adults they had been working to become all along.

And we grieved together eight years ago when we lost our firstborn, son Rex, at age 30. Bill and I were together at breakfast when that horrible call came from Virginia Beach Police telling us our son been found dead in the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. It was six hours before police told us he had been shot.

With lots of prayers, support and love from friends in Salem and Lynchburg, we survived, grew stronger and are able to remember Rex with happiness.

I’d say these last three years might have been the hardest, because the two of us and most everybody else is so busy making a living. There’s not enough time for fun. But there will be. We’ll make sure.

Happy anniversary, Wildcat.

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