On this day, 22 years ago, my wife Teresa became my wife. I remember it was a warm, sunny day, with only a smattering of clouds in the skies above the church in Madison, Alabama. Though there have been clouds from time to time, I'd like to think our 22 years have been mostly sunny.
We were married on a day which almost straddled the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. Just as one season was preparing to transition into another, so were the two of us preparing to transition from one way of life into another.
Looking back, the scattered clouds dotting the sunny skies above us that day seem appropriate as indicators that not everything would go smoothly. We both entered marriage after the age of 30, meaning we'd had plenty of time to develop bad habits and become used to certain ways of living and of doing things.
We also had to learn to merge two different ways of thinking and of approaching things. Teresa is often more of a planner. I joke that the she has a spreadsheet for everything, even a spreadsheet to list all of her spreadsheets. She doesn't like to be caught off-guard or unprepared.
Me, I tend to be a bit more spur of the moment. An idea pops into my head, and I instantly want to act on it. It is the way I write, and it tends to carry over into other aspects of my life. The problem comes when I act without saying anything to Teresa. When that happens, our two approaches clash, and clouds form overhead.
Over time, I think a little of my approach has rubbed off on Teresa, and vice versa. We still have our moments, often caused by what the Strother Martin character in Cool Hand Luke would call "a failure to communicate." Our marriage (and I suspect most others) is nothing like what you would observe in a Lifetime Movie or a Harlequin romance, but it has been life changing. And life affirming.
When we were planning our wedding way back in the spring of 1993, we jokingly (I think) agreed that we would try out being married to one another for 40 years, after which we could call it off. Now that we are more than half way through our "trial" marriage, I am hopeful that once those 40 years are up Teresa will decide to renew the option for another 40 years.
While I suspect there are times when she might think I've made her life a living hell or at least more difficult than it needed to be, I can say that Teresa has made life for me possible. Although I can't say I've accomplished a great deal in my life, I can say I would have accomplished even less without her encouragement and stubborn insistence. For that, I say thank you.
The song itself is not fitting of the situation, but the opening lines of the Little River Band song seem appropriate: "Happy anniversary, baby. Got you on my mind."