It was 50 years ago today...
That two teenagers stood at the altar and taught the world to play.
On a Saturday afternoon in the middle of September in 1972, a couple of lovebirds said “I do” on an altar in front of their loving, if skeptical, friends and family.
My parents had only met a month earlier, by happenstance, at Silver Dollar City in nearby Branson. My mom had just graduated from high school. My dad was trying to stay out of mischief.
Standing in that church, her in a wedding dress borrowed from a friend and him, unknowingly, just a few weeks away from a military-enforced buzz cut, they promised to love each other until death did them part.
That day didn’t come until 46 years later. That’s 16,924 days as one of the happiest couples on earth.
There was no argument among their friends about whose love they envied, whose connection had that certain spark, whose partnership after which they modeled their own.
I lived with these lovebirds for 18 years and can tell you that their marriage bore the same marks that most marriages do, but it was their commitment toward making the partnership better is what drew people to them.
Both of them loved to play — music, dancing, gardening, any kind of games — and were into self-help and self-betterment books and audiotapes long before they became mainstream. Tony Robbins, Marianne Williamson and Wayne Dyer were household names growing up, and those put those relationship wellness practices to work. Every day.
I knew how lucky I was.
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