Forty-four Year Ago Today

by DanWolgemuth on April 8, 2022

April 8th.

The year was 1978. I was two weeks away from turning 23, and Mary was a couple months from being 22.

Kids. Especially in today’s math.

Franklin, Michigan.

A small, but classic church with a center aisle.

In anticipation of this day, I had written a small tribute that I planned to recite as I looked down the aisle at Mary. To date, one of my most significant writing assignments.

“Mary, I’ve waited a long time to look down this aisle and see you in that beautiful gown, and it’s been well worth every second…”

I met Mary during her freshman year, my sophomore… at Taylor University.

A concert featuring the band Styx at Ball State University had been our opening date… three years later, I was looking down the aisle at my bride.

Mary was wearing the gown that her mother had worn over 30 year before.

She looked beautiful. Radiant really.

I looked overanxious. Giddy. Relieved. And delighted.

At that point in my life, I had a shallow context for what that day would mean against the backdrop of a lifetime. In fact, in a statement that I authored that was part of our wedding program, I wrote… “Each part of our being is alive today and more full of joy than at any other point in our lives.”

That may well have been true, but it would be a great tragedy if that was still true. In other words, if that day, 44 years ago, was the most joy filled day of our lives.

April 8th, 1978 was a trailhead. But without a map. An invitation to an adventure. The initial surge of adrenalin replaced by a more reliable sense of relational muscle mass. Fitness birthed out of the realities of relational transparency and uncharted experiences.

44 years.

A wiser joy.

A deeper joy.

A resilient joy.

An informed joy.

More joy.

Real joy.

Another waypoint.

No satin dress. No brown tuxedo.

Just two, in the process of working to live as one… flaws and all.

“… I am so very full today and so very proud to have you as my bride.” Then and now.


With gratitude…

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