Happy Anniversary to my wife, Kate. Sixty years ago today, we began the greatest adventure of our lives. Well, it actually began with our first date during our senior year of college and a year and a half before the wedding.
We had quite a courtship. Less than a month after that first date, I took a job at a funeral home where I worked 4 nights a week. I was a college student strapped for cash and time to date, so my job played a big role in our romance.
On nights that weren’t too busy, Kate would join me at the funeral home where we cooked hamburgers on a grill in the parking lot. Then we adjourned to one of the empty viewing rooms where we watched TV as we became better acquainted. I also took advantage of the flowers that fell as we moved from the funeral home to the cemetery and passed them along to her whenever I could. One of the things I remember most was taking her with me when I was assigned to pick up a body in another city. I was on the company expense account, and the management let me include Kate. We would enjoy a nice steak dinner without costing me a penny.
Less than six months after our first date, it was even obvious to Kate’s parents that ours was a special relationship. After my dad died, I found a letter Kate’s mother wrote to my parents. Here is a quote from that letter.
“I wish you could be experiencing with us all the fun and excitement of their friendship. Yesterday was the 19th and on Dec. 19th, Richard had his first date with Kate to attend the “Messiah.” So they celebrated a six-month ‘dating anniversary’ with 6 lovely red roses. They have such a wonderful time, and it keeps us young just watching them.”
We married eleven months later, launching a lifetime of joy and adventure. We have two great children, and five grandchildren. We have lived in four different cities, traveled, and enjoyed memorable times with close friends and acquaintances.
Late in life, we have faced a few bumps in the road. The first and biggest was Kate’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s 12 years ago this past January. Then 2 ½ years ago she spent 8 days in the hospital with Covid, and in February a year ago, she suffered a stroke. But through it all, we have continued to enjoy life and each other.
“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away . . . And now, these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”