Thirty-seven years ago today we stood on top of Lee’s Hill in Fredericksburg (without even thinking to ask) and pledged to love each other forever.  We kept that promise.  (and are still keeping it.)  There was a line in our vows which we wrote that might seem odd to some, but it meant a lot to us.  Stacy loved Omar Khayyam and the line was this:  “Ah love could you and I with faith conspire to grasp this sorry scheme of things entire, would we not shatter it to bits, and re-mould it nearer to the heart’s desire.”  (Part of that quote reworded will be on our tombstone)

We spent almost 36 years remoulding that love.  When we first got married there were some people in Fredericksburg who basically came out and said, “this will never last.”  Boy were they wrong.  They under estimated the deep and abiding love we had for each other.  It was based on mutual respect, and it was always a partnership.  (After I taught him a few life lessons 🙂

Part of those wedding vows included children.  Stacy knew that I wanted them and that was part of the package deal.  He was more than willing to have more children even at age 50 and 51.  So there he was when William and Holly were born, changing diapers, babysitting, and loving every minute of it.  He wanted a third child.  And I said “no” and “count your blessings.”

His one and only regret in life was not having the time to spend with his older three children when they were young.  At that time he was trying to build a medical practice, and dealing with a complicated home front and trying to care for his children the best way he could.

All of those almost 36 years were not all “peaches and cream.”  We had a lot of hurdles, but seemed to withstand them because just like the Bible story, our foundation was strong.   In fact hurdles is putting it mildly, because Stacy had a major chest cracking operation in 1982 that could have been deadly (another story) and certainly my bout with breast cancer was no small thing.  At that time, I was a little surprised that he didn’t retire in 1996, but to Stacy there was something really important he had to do.  He didn’t think of retiring until he paid that last semester’s tuition for Holly in college.  He felt so strongly about education.  That it wasn’t enough to just have children, but you need to educate them so they can take care of themselves and their families.

So he ended up educating five children and encouraged me to seek my dream to get two degrees at Mary Washington College.   (Some of this will be a repeat since one day, I will write the eulogy I gave at Fredericksburg Baptist Church).

So today, on this most beautiful sunny day, I sit there overlooking Carter’s Creek.  I am waiting for Delia to arrive which seems so fitting for this day. It was Delia and I that attended to him daily making sure he had the best quality of life he could have.  (That’s another story).

Yesterday, my brother Jonathan and his wife Leslie left.  We celebrated their 25th anniversary here on Sunday.  They are on their way to drop off my niece’s belongings at Duke.  It will be a sad day for them today as they say good-bye to Josie but the beginning of Josie’s adult life.

The circle of life goes on.  And it is a circle because love never ends.  It changes.  But I know that Stacy and I will be together for eternity.  That he will always watch over his children and grandchildren and great grandchildren.  And that his angel wings were well earned.  Happy anniversary my love.

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