Thursday, May 19, 2016

May 19, 1984

Thirty two years ago this morning, I was engaged in a spirited full court basketball game at my apartment complex. My groomsmen were making a number of off color wisecracks at my expense, as you would expect from the sort of guys who someone like me would have as groomsmen. But I needed to be playing basketball that morning. I was nervous. Very nervous.

I was about to marry Pam White, the oldest of the three White daughters from a little town in western Maine.

She was a ridiculously beautiful blond, smart, adventurous and funny. I couldn't believe my good fortune to have found someone like her. So, why was I so nervous? Because I was 26 years old and about to make the most important decision of my life, that's why! A million questions were racing around in my head. How could anyone possibly commit to anyone...forever? What happens if you wake up one day and discover that you don't love her anymore? Suppose she turns out to be a communist, a hoarder, or even worse...a horrible cook? Suppose she wakes up one day and realizes that she could have done so much better?? Such were the worst case scenarios running through my head as I paced back and forth in the clammy basement of Winns Baptist Church with my best man, Al Thomason, listening to the organ prelude. The place was packed with every important person I had known to that point in my life, and I was about to walk up the stairs to the front of the church to face them all dressed in a really sharp tuxedo. My palms were sweating, my hands shaking. But then I saw her standing in the back of the church with her Dad.

I remember thinking,...Holy Cow, how did I ever pull this off? For the first time in over a month, I wasn't nervous anymore. I could finally breathe. I knew in that instant that I was doing the right thing, the perfect thing.

Thirty two years later, we are still together. There have been plenty of times when she has thought,...I could have done so much better. Like the time she found out that I had played tackle football with a bunch of high school boys in freezing weather six months after undergoing open heart surgery. Or the multiple times I have been guilty of launching some ill-conceived, bone headed, semi-dangerous plan involving the kids. But, mostly she still loves me. Imagine that?