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.


Puritan said...


Joel B. said...

Terry, what a fabulous story! Congratulations to you and Michele! Here's to many, many more wonderful years together.

By the way, you chose a great date. :) Yesterday was also Bob and Audrey Meisner's 25th. (They host 'It's a New Day' in Canada - the show that Steve McVey has been on a couple of times).

It was also my parents' 53rd and my brother's 30th anniversary yesterday!

Again, congrats to the two of you.

Terry Rayburn said...


I really appreciate it.

Terry Rayburn said...


Thanks so much, and thanks for sharing the "coincidences". Congratulations to all.

Terry Rayburn said...

For the "enquiring" readers who "want to know"...

Michele and I had a nice buffet meal with our son Michael at China King .

To my surprise, Michele had raided the local party supply store, and decorated our kitchen with all kinds of Silver 25th Anniversary stuff:

silver striped tablecloth,

white paper sorta-bell-shaped 3-D thing with silver "25" on top of it,

silver anniversary paper plates & napkins,

two white taper candles,

two crystal goblets for a "toast",

a white coconut cake that we cut together, wedding-day-style, while Michael snapped a picture,

two photo albums containing pictures of our wedding and honeymoon, and

the bouquet of roses and lilies
that had arrived a couple of days earlier, and had now nicely bloomed.

I gave Michele a cross necklace (silver, of course) with a Garnet in the middle of the cross (her birthstone).

She gave me a copy of Truth Endures, by John MacArthur.

Actually Mac had little to do with the actual production of this book, as the subtitles imply:

Commemorating Forty Years of Unleashing God's Truth One Verse at a Time - 1969-2009 - Landmark Sermons by John MacArthur - With a Biographical Sketch by Iain H. Murray - Phil Johnson and Mike Taylor, eds..

The "biographical sketch" by Iain Murray is over 60 pages long(!) and is obviously more than worth the price of the book alone (Murray is the terrific biographer of Charles Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, and Martyn Lloyd-Jones).

The hard cover is designed with faux alligator skin with faux leather trim, gold-embossed, looking like it's already somewhat "worn" with age and use.

Very cool.

Knowing me after 25 years of marriage, Michele couldn't have picked a more precious present.

I can picture some of you fellow book lovers salivating.

Praising the Lord,

Joel B. said...

Wow, that's quite a wonderful way to celebrate! Very nice.

For my parents' 25th, my family was living in England, and we simply went out for spaghetti. :)

Bino M. said...

Terry, Congratulations you both! I greatly enjoyed your story.

Terry Rayburn said...

Appreciate it, Bino!