March 19, 1977: No #1 Song: “Evergreen” with Barbra Streisand (from A Star is Born). The final episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show aired. Once again, the swallows flew back to Capistrano on the Feast of St. Joseph.
And oh yeah. We got married.
Looking back, I realize I was just a baby: 20. We’d been engaged three years. It seemed like we’d been a couple forever, the wedding itself a logical punctuation mark (!?) in the Story of Us. It was a small, but lovely, ceremony. We took off for NYC and our short honeymoon that afternoon. I am amazed at the details I recall (that last episode of The MTM Show? We pulled off the highway for the night just to watch it. Priorities!) In a few days, we saw three Broadway shows, ate several splurge dinners, and arrived home on gas fumes. And the future stretched endlessly before us.
1997. We observed our 20th anniversary with four days on Nantucket Island. We had no business going anywhere at that point. Our theatre company was struggling and we were too. Common sense tells you that when you have to track the grocery money to the dollar every week, it may not be prime time for a long-distance fling (not to mention leaving your five young kids, watched by saintly sister C). But 20 is 20, after all, and the future still stretched before us, though maybe not so endlessly.
March 19, 2017. 40 years today since that young couple joined hands on an altar in Atlanta. World events too depressing to recount, though the #1 Song is “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran, which gives me hope. Meaning, I hope I figure out who the heck Ed Sheeran is. I take inventory: Five grown kids. Two incredible grandsons. Our theatre company has not only survived, but (kinda) thrived. I’ve spread my tentative wings to become a Lutheran spiritual formation director and a freelance writer. Who knew, the morning we said, “I do”, exactly what we WOULD do? The future stretches before us still, but we see the end of the runway, and it’s an unsettling feeling.
Will we make it to March 19, 2037? What will the world be like then? Impossible to imagine, and at that point our future will no doubt stretch before us only day by day. But I have this constant, as I have had for the past 40 years: my partner, my husband, my very best friend, Steve. Whatever the future holds, I pray it holds us together still.
So here we are. Tonight, March 19, 2017, we are going out to dinner, at a little spot in suburban Philadelphia. We aren’t counting the dollars quite as closely as we once did, but it’s still nice that it’s a BYOB. On this almost-spring Sunday evening, may we cherish the years, months, weeks, days, and hours ahead. And may we celebrate this longest (so far) and happiest of anniversaries. I love you, honey.