Wednesday, July 3rd, 1968 marked nearly the third year since I had met a very lovely, good looking, young blonde woman at my old high school’s B-team football game in Ingleside, Texas. The previous Sunday, I said, “I do” to the Navy. This Wednesday, I said “I do” to my wife. The Navy commitment lasted 31+ years. Today is the 52nd wedding anniversary with my best friend, Marilyn.
During one of those extended engagements with the Navy in New York City, I was approaching my 25th wedding anniversary. I would be reminded occasionally of some great or very memorable event that the two of us shared during our previous 25 years. After several of these visions, I decided to handwrite 100 things that were most memorable in our first twenty-five years of marriage.
I bought a book with blank sheets. I captured as many thoughts as I could over a two-month period and began to fill out each page. I did not make 100 pages, but I did come close to 80 pages.
Two years ago, we had our daughter and her two children, along with our son and his wife and daughter, spend a wonderful weekend to celebrate our 50th. I awoke this morning and was thinking about what would be appropriate for our 52nd anniversary. We had already discussed and started the preparation for three special meals over the next three days to make this a remarkable three-day anniversary event.
We planned foods that we enjoy but would not make as a meal at home. Yesterday, we bought most of the ingredients and started prepping last night. Meals have memories and are special for special occasions. I needed something else to have a more indelible mark on our distinctive and exceptional day. Transitioning from the wonderful world of sleep to that of being alert, I decided that my 185th blog this year would be about the ‘love of my life.’
I decided that I would identify 52 words (or phrases) that connect the love she and I share with each other. It starts with the ‘true love of my life.’ Then, ‘woman of my dreams’, my ‘soul mate’, my ‘one and only’, my ‘best friend.’
Since our early days of wedded bliss, I have always called her, ‘dear’, as my term of endearment to her. She is ‘motherly’ to the nth degree, ‘fiercely loyal’, ‘supportive’, ‘encouraging’, ‘dependable’, and ‘reliable’.
She is my proofreader and critic for my articles, blogs, books, videos, and speeches. Proofreader and critic, she is! But not in the same category as ‘hot Momma’ (as she was when she had been injected with radioactive sugar for a pet scan years ago), ‘sweetheart’ and ‘lover’.
‘Angel’, ‘princess’, ‘gorgeous’, ‘beautiful’, and ‘wifely’ aptly describe her attributes. However, it is the ‘connection of our minds’ (on so many occasions we are thinking the exact same thing at the same instant), or ‘unconditional love’ (that amplifies simple ‘love’), or ‘totally understanding’ of my feelings and emotions.
The military uses an aviation phrase, ‘check your six’, referring similarly to ‘got your back’ in the vernacular. Marilyn has packed up and moved (sometimes by herself) during those three decades we were shunted around the United States. She has been with me, ‘side by side’, while ‘protecting my back’, and ‘checking my six’, to be my ‘protector’.
She is my ‘defender’, ‘preserver’, ‘bodyguard’, ‘muse’, ‘champion’, ‘guardian angel’, ‘champion’, and ‘Lady in shining armor.’ Marilyn is my ‘number one advocate’, my ‘standard-bearer’, and ‘promoter.’ She is my ‘lobbyist’ for self-improvement, my ‘crusader’ for moral and family values, my ‘campaigner’ for a better life, and my ‘paladin’ and ‘personal hero’ surviving cancer and thriving during our jaunt on the Camino de Santiago a few years ago.
Sometimes, Marilyn is my ‘opponent’ to make me see things more than a simple critic. The devil’s advocate approach can be used effectively when I need to see reality. She is a ‘warrior’ when it comes to anything family, even when the people we see are not related.
She is my ‘advocate’, ‘devotee’, ‘admirer’, ‘fan’, and number one ‘enthusiast.’ As my spouse, I sometimes still refer to her as my ‘bride’ but have never called her an old lady. Marilyn is undoubtedly my ‘better half’ in many ways.
Her strongest traits, as always, belong as the ‘mother of our kids’, and ‘spiritual director’ of our lives. My deepest and eternal love belongs to my wife of 52 years today, Marilyn!
Love and Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com