A Very Fortunate Man
Tomorrow, if she doesn't file papers today or tonight, Linda and I will be celebrating our 44th wedding anniversary. As you can see, barely, by the age stained picture above we were just two kids in love that day. Both scared shitless about what lie ahead but caught up in the moment of excitement and the knowledge that massive quantities of alcohol were just minutes away.
When you say it out loud, forty-four years seems so long, but as you look back it seems like a blink of the eye. When we tied the knot we were one of the last in our group to get married, at 24 (me) & 23 (she) years of age. Today people wait until they are in their thirties to get married and are having kids in their forties. By the time we reached out forties we had already been married twenty plus years.
It has been a crazy forty-four years with many highs and a few lows, just like any marriage. We have gotten to see some fun places over the years and we have certainly done our share of moving and reinventing ourselves.
For way too many of these years I travelled for work, a lot, and was gone on average about 140 nights a year for twenty years. Many of those nights away were on the weekend for shows, events, company meetings, etc. making it even harder for Linda who was stuck at home taking care of things. I have said this hundreds of times and I mean it, I don't know how many other women would have put up with this lifestyle like she did. I am a very fortunate man.
Early in our marriage I made a decision to take a promotion with Panasonic and move to New Jersey. It was a wonderful opportunity and I probably should have talked it over with Linda before I said yes. To say she was less than thrilled would be an understatement. I was pretty sure the marriage was going to end there and I think she came close to calling it over.
Ultimately we made the move and it turned out that we both did not like New Jersey, or the greater New York City area. Neither of us was ready to move back to Chicago for a myriad of reasons so I accepted a job and we moved to Manhattan Beach, California. Both of these moves came in a ten month period. Chicago to New Jersey to Manhattan Beach between June 1984 and March 1985. Yikes!
We fell in love with the South Bay area of Los Angeles and our first neighbors there are still great friends. My drive to and from work each day took me along the ocean from Manhattan Beach to Marina del Rey, not a horrible view. Eventually we moved back to the Chicago area and bought a house one block from my high school which was weird.
We lived there for over thirty years, made good friends, and reconnected with old friends. It was a pretty decent life except for all my travelling. Eventually we moved, and retired, to Palm Desert, California where we currently reside. We have settled into our next chapter nicely and are enjoying the quiet and peacefulness of living here.
Here is me taking a picture of us while I am in my hospital bed awaiting stents to be inserted just in case it was the last time she saw me and me her. A nice picture to remember each other by. Who lets her husband take a picture like this? I also have a couple of her in the hospital for various things looking like something the cat dragged in. She just shakes her head.
I tell this story about her whenever anyone asks me how she stands me for all these years.
Back in the day, my office was upstairs in one of the spare bedrooms and as I closed up shop and turned off the lights and was walking down the hall, I yelled down to Linda in the living room, "Hey, blondie. What are you making me for dinner?" She replied immediately without taking a breath, "I'm making you go out and get us something." You can see why I married her.
It has been an interesting journey for us and while most people would write something like this for the forty-fifth anniversary, at our age we are all day to day and I didn't want to let an opportunity go by without letting you and her know what I am thinking.
Happy Anniversary Linda and thanks for being there for me all these years.