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March 4, 2000. It was Sunday, March 4, 1956. Ann and I went to church in the morning and then out to a quick lunch. I dropped off Ann at her apartment to get ready and packed while I drove out to the farm to pick up Ann's mother and grandmother. Leo and Shirley Walsh picked up Ann and we all met at the Southern Pines Baptist Church about two o'clock. There were only about ten people there, just family and close friends, and Leo and Shirley stood up with us. The service didn't take more than twenty minutes at most. We said our I dos, I kissed the bride, and we walked out of the church husband and wife. We said our thank you and good-byes got into the old 1951 Mercury and took off to the mountains for our honeymoon. Yes, it was a very simple and quick service, but the vows we said were just as important to us as if it would have been one of the larger more fancy weddings. Surely, she was my beautiful bride.
That was forty-four years ago today and we are still in love. What a wonderful forty-four years it has been. We have been blessed, blessed, and blessed again by the Lord. When I think back over all His goodness to us I am overwhelmed. There is no accounting for it except that His love for us is beyond all human understanding.
I will celebrate this our special day by trying to tell Ann that she is still my beautiful bride, and that we are still in the love and care of our Lord and Saviour. I wrote a poem for her which I will read to her hoping she gets some of it. Love has a way of piercing through the darkest clouds; maybe it will break through to her today.
Love more than love became my bride.