This Monday, December 23rd, will mark the 36th year that Lynn and I have been married. 36 years!!!! One of my students asked me how I proposed to my wife and I’m always embarrassed to tell the story because it goes to prove how “romantic” a nineteen year old Will Bagby was.
We were both attending Virginia Commonwealth University at the time. We would meet for lunch from time to time and this day it was Burger King. We were casually talking about classes and our schedule when I brought up that I couldn’t imagine my life without her in it and then I asked if she would ever consider marrying me. I know this sounds horrible but I had absolutely no intention of asking her to marry me when I walked into that Burger King. I just wanted a Whopper. To this day I don’t know how it happened but I tend to think of God when I can’t explain things like this so that’s the story I’m going with.
Throughout the years we’ve been married there have been good ones and not so good ones. I used to think that 2003 was the worst because it was the year of Lynn’s breast cancer diagnosis but 2013 is a very close second. This was the year of a major diagnosis, horrible job stress, a broken foot, and an accident. Needless to say, I will not be sad to see this year in the books.
I have written how much I learned from this and tried to put a positive spin on it but the truth is that when it’s all said and done I’m weary of it all. I’ve learned enough this year, thank you very much.
Getting through all of this would have been IMPOSSIBLE if it were not for Lynn. She was there for the accident, the diagnosis, the limping around with a broken foot and listening to me talk about school. I don’t know anyone except someone who has known me intimately for 36 years that could have gotten me through it all.
It’s hard to put into words what it’s like to be married to someone for 36 years. It’s a relationship level that goes beyond what normal words can express. “Love” doesn’t even come close to it. It’s beyond love. Lynn knows me like no other person on Earth. She knows all my many faults. She knows immediately if I’ve had a bad day at work before I even close the front door. She knows if I’m worried or upset. She knows if I’m too excited about something and about ready to go off half-cocked. She knows me better than I know myself. Yet, and this is huge, she STILL loves me!
In the past we’ve celebrated our marriage in differing ways. On our 25th anniversary I tricked her into going to church and got her up to the altar and re-proposed to her in front of close friends and family. I finally gave her the ring I didn’t have in my pocket that day in Burger King.
Monday our celebration of our marriage will be low key. We may go see a movie and then out for dinner. We’ll hold hands and exchange words that only those who have been married 36 years may speak.
Merry Christmas and May Our New Year Be Happy!!