Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Our Silver Anniversary
In 1981 I heard Michele's voice before I ever met her, or even saw her.
I moved from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Dallas, Texas, shortly after Michele moved from Upstate New York to Dallas.
She got a job at the Dallas Times Herald newspaper (now defunct) in the Classified Advertising Department. Lo and behold, so did I, maybe three months later. By the time I started there, she had already been trained, but when I was being trained, I had to monitor ("listen in on") an already experienced ad salesperson. This was done anonymously by remote headphones, and the person I was assigned to monitor was...Michele. I loved her voice even before I met her.
Days later, I was standing in line for a vending machine during a break, and this beautiful girl in front of me turned around and smiled and said, "Hi". It was "the voice". And whether it was "love at first sight" or not, it wasn't long before I knew I wanted to marry this girl.
I called her One-In-A-Billion as a nickname, and I still think she is.
By the time I met her family in Long Island, I felt like I knew them. They were New York Italians, one generation from Naples. I felt like I was in The Godfather, minus the crime. Her mom grew up in Jamaica Queens, New York, and says "berl" for "boil", and fuh-get-a-bout-it! (honest). I loved it.
Her dad had heard about my being a Christian bible-teacher, and when I met him, he asked with his Roman Catholic influenced thinking, "Do you bless houses? 'Cause we could use a blessing." What a special guy, who lit up when we talked about the Lord with him, sharing with him the gospel, with some hope that he was born again before he passed away.
We had our wedding in Long Island in an Evangelical Free Church. Evangelical churches were few and far between in an area mostly Roman Catholic or Jewish.
Michele's mom threw us a wonderful ITALIAN wedding party/feast, straight out of your cliche Hollywood Italian movie.
It was in a Knights of Columbus hall. We had Baked Ziti for dinner, vino flowed, and we danced the Tarantella. You know, where a whole bunch of people hold hands in a big circle and the lively accordion music plays while you circle around one way and then the other.
My mother and my Aunt Carol flew in from Michigan. If you knew what it would take to get my mom on an airplane, you'd know how much she loved me :)
For our honeymoon Michele and I drove from New York down through the beautiful Appalachian mountains, through Tennessee, and back up to Grand Rapids, Michigan.
On the way we rode a paddle-wheel riverboat, toured one of those big caves in Kentucky, and rode horses (mine was a wildish one who wanted to leave the trail and eat bushes, Michele's was a well-behaved Tennessee Walker). We loved Tennessee, and two years later we moved there...here.
Well, 25 years after that wedding day (seems like yesterday, as the saying goes), I still love Michele with all my heart.
She has been a great gift from God to me. And she gave me the gift of a wonderful son, Michael, now 15 years old.
Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart.