TSL MHL Wedding pic

Through God’s guidance and grace, forty years ago today, Stacy and I stood on top of Lee’s Hill on Lee Dr. And pledged our love forever.  We wrote the ceremony ourselves.  And we chose Lee’s Hill because it was near our home, and for our love of history.  We asked Reverand Davies, and a minister/therapist, Kenneth Johnson to perform the ceremony.

I had 3 weeks to plan the wedding, and only members of the family were invited (those that chose to come) and the office friends.  My dad and mom, Aunt Theresa, Aunt Lil, and Carol came from Cleveland.  The day before, Stacy enjoyed showing them around town, and giving them a jeep ride in his used Toyota jeep that got him to the hospital in the winter. We chose August 23, because it was Aunt Lil and Uncle Jack’s Anniversary and I admired them so.  And that year it was a Friday and about 95 degrees up there.   He wanted his boys to stand by him and they did. Philip was 15, and Scott was around 20, a student at VMI.

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Stacy was so proud of that white linen suit, and he fit into it many times after the wedding.  Here are some family pics.  The first thing Stacy did after the kiss, when the ceremony was over was light up his pipe.

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Here are some more family pics of the day.  Aug 23 wedding pics-2Aug 23 wedding pics-3Aug 23 wedding pics

After the ceremony, the reception was at The Lebanese restaurant downtown at the time, and we all sat on pillows.

We started our married life with travel.  I told Stacy after the stress of the previous two years, we needed a really nice honeymoon. So, we went to San Francisco where I came down with a GI bug and was so sick we had to delay the trip to Hawaii a day.  Then we  spent a week in Hawaii, and ended up in Las Vegas where I sprained my ankle.  Life as we know doesn’t always run smoothly.

Through the last 40 years, I hiked up many times to Lee’s Hill, but it has become harder and harder.  So this time, I asked Will to make sure I got up and down safely.  Will, Peyton, Carter, and Meredith came over, and I showed them the wedding pictures, and explained how we were going to walk to Lee’s Hill where General Lee watched the Battle of Fredericksburg.  And explained that is where Opa and I got married a long time ago.  I knew once the kids got up there, their fascination would be the cannons, and rightly so.  But they humored Oma and posed for  pictures.

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IMG_2523 Meredith took some also, and was very attentive to the exhibits where we explained how horrible war really was, and that Lee said that on this hill.

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The  boys at that point were throwing rocks and it was time to leave, but I so appreciated Will going up there with me several weeks ago.

I did the reflecting of those events of 40 years ago after my time on the hill.  Stacy and I were very well matched.  We had the same values, we were raised by practically the same age parents, (my grandfather and father had their first child at 39), and we loved doing the same things.  Our life together was a life of children, their activities, and many pets.  Our home was well lived in because of that fact.

We loved intellectual pursuits, and would have deep conversations.  We enjoyed going to the beach, and travel of any kind.  We regularly went to the movies, almost once a week when he retired.  But most of all we respected each other’s space, and didn’t interfere.

Stacy gave his all to his work, and his public service, but when at home,  that was our time with him.  I cherished every minute!  All we both wanted was for the person we loved to be happy, and that was our secret to a good marriage.  Because in making someone else’s life the best it could be, the benefits are 100 fold. Jack Nicolson’s character in the movie, Somethings Gotta Give, said in response to the love still felt for him by the Dianne Keaton character, even though he gave her a really hard time, “If it’s true, (you still love me) my life just got made.” For Stacy and I that just about sums it all up. Our life and love were made!   I miss him everyday.  But it brings me a lot of joy to remember just how much I was loved, and how much Stacy was loved in return.  Anyone that really knew us could see this and feel this.   It was the greatest gift to give to our children.  Love like that gets a marriage through not just the good times, but the roughest of times as well. And that type of love lasts for an eternity.

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An earlier blog tells a different slant to the story.  https://copingmhl.wordpress.com/2011/08/23/happy-anniversary-my-love/  Here are some pictures of  our 30th Anniversary with Will, Kara, Holly, and Jeff, going on the cruise on our beloved river, The Rappahannock.

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