Forty-two years ago today my husband and I were united in matrimony. It was a cool, beautiful blue-sky morning in Louisville, Ky. And St. Therese Church at Schiller Avenue and Kentucky Street was the site of the ceremony.
Every June 20th I love to examine our wedding album and relive all the moments of that day. I never fail to notice that both of us looked so incredibly young! My older sister, Martha, was the matron of honor and younger sister, Nancy, was a bridesmaid along with two other girlfriends. They were dressed in long gowns of pale pink and carried bouquets of pink carnations and white daisies. My husband’s best friend, Jake, was the best man and there were three other groomsmen. My wedding dress was an empire waist off-white gown adorned with a lace top and long sleeves. Stephanotis and white carnations filled the cascading bridal bouquet.
A limousine rented from the neighborhood funeral home was my mode of transportation to the church. I was extremely nervous as I entered the car and sat next to my Dad. My father wisely advised me in these words: “Mary, this is your big day. Don’t let nerves ruin it. Just sit back and enjoy every minute of this day that only comes once in a lifetime.” These words really calmed me and I realized he was right. This day was so special. As Dad escorted me down the aisle, my eyes saw only my future husband standing there waiting for me. I thought my heart would burst with love!
Mike was very anxious during the ceremony and developed a nervous laugh. I reminded him a couple of times to relax. It seemed strange for me to be the one who was calm after worrying about every detail of the wedding for six months. He pulled himself together and did a fine job repeating our wedding vows in front of the entire congregation.
Father Jerry Eifler married us and remarked during the homily that the love we felt for each other that day was minuscule compared to the love that would develop between us during the coming years. I didn’t understand that statement in 1970 but I do now. It took a lot of shared ups and downs along with joys and sorrows to perfect our love. After 42 years together, our love just grows stronger, sweeter and more tender. Father Eifler was absolutely correct – I love and appreciate my husband more today than I did on June 20, 1970! Happy Anniversary, Mike!