Monday, April 17, 2006

Thirty-five Years Ago!

On this day, thirty-five years ago, my dear husband and I were married. Wow! That’s a long time to put up with each other!
Isn’t it amazing how quickly the years go by? We’ve grown together over the years and are enjoying each other’s company just as much now as when we first met. Probably more, actually. It’s certainly true that you get wiser as you age (well, one would hope that we learn as we grow). How thankful I am to have such a patient, good-natured and loving man to spend my days with. Life is good!


The caption under the photo in the local newspaper read:

U.S. MARINE'S AUSSIE BRIDE


We met at the wedding of friends of mine, as I mentioned in an earlier post. Ross was on R&R (rest and recreation) leave from Vietnam, where he was serving as a US Marine. I was bridesmaid for my school friend, Pat, and her English husband, Alan. Ross had met a girl named Glenda during a cruise on Sydney's picturesque harbor (one of the many activities set up for visiting G.I.’s). She had introduced Pat and Alan to each other and she needed a date for their wedding, so she invited Ross to accompany her.
When we were first introduced I thought he looked about 15 and must be Glenda’s younger brother. His hair was white blond and his eyes a very clear blue. Glenda was explaining about how they met and we began discussing the planned events for the G.I.’s (member of the US armed forces). She was telling me how much fun they were and said she’d give me a call to let me know when the next one was scheduled. I wrote my phone number on the place card at my table and she gave it to Ross to hold for her, as our pocketbooks (handbags for you Aussies and others out there) were stored in another room. This may sound too detailed, but that’s an important part of the story, which I can’t leave out!
The wedding was at a wonderful restaurant called ‘The Rocklily’ and the dinner consisted of seven courses, with wine and finally champagne (for the toasts) served with each course. Then there was dancing! Ross and I ended up dancing one dance together. How this came about is a funny little story of it’s own, but I’m trying not to add too many details (this is hard for me, as you can probably tell).
On the way home Glenda asked Ross to give her my phone number so she could call me as promised, and that wicked young man told a fib….he said he’d lost it! Now, remember, he and I only danced one dance, and not much conversation took place between us, but somehow, there was an instant attraction. Just a spark, you know?
I received a phone call from this young man the next day asking me out on a date :) My mum and I had planned to have dinner at the local surf club so we invited him to accompany us. Those of you who have read some of my previous posts will know that we lived at beautiful Whale Beach (near Palm Beach, just north of Sydney, part of the ‘north shore’ chain of beaches in NSW). So Ross caught the bus out from Sydney, where he was staying, and went to Moby Dick’s surf club for dinner with us. We had a lovely night and he and my mum fell in love with each other :)
There were two more dates after that first night before he had to return to Vietnam. After that we began writing a series of letters that just didn’t stop! Ross extended his tour of duty in Vietnam and was given 30 days leave. He spent that 30 days in Australia and that’s when we really got to know each other, spending all of those 30 days together, seeing some lovely sights and talking endlessly. By the end of his leave we were talking about marriage :)
He was scheduled for another R&R in February and we planned to be married at that time. We set the date and sent out the invitations, but the Marine Corps wasn’t cooperating. They seriously discouraged this kind of thing. Ross did finally make it back to Australia, but not until April 16th, and this was only because he told his commanding officer that he was going, with or without his orders, and headed for the airport. The CO was a compassionate man and a good friend. He followed Ross to the airport and handed him the necessary papers.
I was working in Sydney at the time and talking to my friend, Susie on the phone (yes, I did work, but I just happened to be on the phone at that particular moment) when Ross walked into my office. Imagine my surprise…(you’ll have to, I can’t find words to describe it!)…I had just been telling Susie that Ross had said he might not be able to let me know when he was coming…that he might just ‘show up’. And suddenly, there he was!!
That was a Friday. My mother’s birthday is April 17th, and she had remarked earlier in the week that it would be funny if Ross showed up this weekend and we could be married on her birthday.

Well, we were…and the rest is history ! Happy birthday Mum! Had she still been living, Mum would be 89 today. She died in 1996 and I still miss her.

We had a lovely, albiet, brief honeymoon at a beach further north before Ross had to return to Vietnam. It was just a few all-too-short days together, but we had the time of our lives! And we are still enjoying each other's company! Of course, we’ve had our ups and downs, but here we are 35 years, and 3 kids later, and we’re still blissfully happy. I can honestly say I’ve been truly blessed. When our grandchildren are old enough to appreciate it, I’ll tell them this story :)


Happy Anniversary to us!

26 comments:

Connie and Rob said...[Reply]

That is just a wonderful story. I love all the details. Sounds like you were definitely meant to be! You were such a beautiful bride and your man is very handsome. The picture of your mom and you tells a whole story of how fun she was. You both look very happy.

Happy Anniversary Kerri!
Connie

Sue said...[Reply]

Kerri,
What a beautiful love story! Happy Anniversary to you both! Like Connie, I enjoyed reading the details of how you met.
Your wedding pictures are filled with such joy and hope for the future.
I'm glad you have something so special to remember your Mum on this day.
((hugs))
Susie

Mary Jane said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri,

Just loved today's post...so happy for you and happy b-day to your mom.

Dianne said...[Reply]

Happy Anniversary! What great photos and thanks for sharing. We almost have the same anniversary (mine is the 14th), but you beat us by being married 11 yrs longer. I hope you had a pleasant day.

Dianne said...[Reply]

Opps-I mean you beat us by 13 yrs!
I liked the photo of you and your Mum too.

kylieps said...[Reply]

Happy Anniversary Mum! That was a nice story.
Love you,
Kylie

Alice said...[Reply]

Wow-wee, I just love those photos. Your story is so romantic and your happiness shines through it all. Thank you, thank you, Kerri, for sharing it and giving us all a warm glow.

Congratulations, much love and hugs to you both on this wonderful occasion.

God has surely blessed you both.

Alice said...[Reply]

Email on its way - reply to 'Got them' sent Tuesday at 2.55pm.

Reflection Through The Seasons said...[Reply]

Congratulations Kerri & Ross...
Wow! What a wonderful love story and here you both are 35 years on, still enjoying a blissfully happy marriage. That’s terrific Kerri!
I did enjoy seeing your wedding photographs. You both look radiantly happy and make such a handsome couple.
Much love and blessings may you share for many more years.
Birthday thoughts for Mum too.
Marion

jellyhead said...[Reply]

Kerri, what an amazing and incredibly romantic story!!

You two look so gorgeous, and doesn't your Mum look thrilled to bits!

Happy, happy anniversary to you both :)

Tanya said...[Reply]

What a beautiful story. Loved reading every bit of it :)

Happy anniversary.

Sonia said...[Reply]

Congratulations! Happy Anniversary!
I love so much romantic story!
I wish I can write well in English, so I will say much more....

Sonia said...[Reply]

Me again. I forgotten to say that I love so much the photos! Really beautiful!

Zoey said...[Reply]

Happy Anniversary, Kerri. What a beautiful love story. I liked seeing the pics, too.

Karen said...[Reply]

Happy Anniversary! I am searching for gardening blogs and found yours. Your husband in his uniform reminds me of the boy in The Sound of Music (even though it's a very different uniform, I know!). Still, it's quite romantic.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...[Reply]

This is one of the loveliest posts that I have ever read.
In your wedding pictures you don't look much over 15 yourself.
It is truly a blessing when we find that one special person that we are to spend the rest of our lives with and it looks like you found yours.
Happy Anniversary to both of you.

Val said...[Reply]

What a wonderful story, Kerri, and didn't you two make the most beautiful couple. Your post has given me an idea for an October post, when it will be OUR turn to have our 35th anniversary! But having married in California, in the midst of the hippie movement and flower power, our photos will be very different. I hope I will be able to tell our story as well as you have yours. Congratulations, both of you!

Stuart said...[Reply]

Congratulations Kerri & Ross. I love hearing the stories of how people met. It always intrigues me that no two stories are evry the same and that the smallest detail can change a lifetime.

Here I was impressed with our 12 years of marriage and you go and triple it. Way to go and may God bless you even more for the next 35 years.

roybe said...[Reply]

A truly romantic story Kerri, congratulations ! on your anniversary.

Nicole said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri, Happy Anniversary to you both. I think your story has to be the best love story I have heard in a very long time... all we need now is a script writer to jot it all down and make a movie lol Thankyou so much for sharing your romance with us xox

Wendy A said...[Reply]

Kerri,
That is such a sweet love story. I think it could probably be made into a movie. Your pictures are adorable. Sounds like a match made in heaven. Happy Aniversary

micki said...[Reply]

Congratulations! This is my first visit here, and I'm so happy I arrived at this special time in your life. Happy Anniversary!

Alice said...[Reply]

(Kerri - another email sent Thursday 9.30pm - reply to 'Wednesday Morning')

Sigrun said...[Reply]

Good luck for the next 35 years, Kerri!

Sigrun

Marlene Depler said...[Reply]

I haven't responded to your blog in a long time! Crazy busy!
A very belated congratulations on your wedding anniversary. My husband and I have also been married 35 years. And we also have three children. Looks like we have lots in common.

Marlene

Candy Spooner said...[Reply]

Hey Aunt Kerri,

I thought such a sweet love story was only in the movies... So wonderful that it was like that for you and Uncle Dean! This is the most romantic real life story I've heard so far from anyone! :) You both look so sweet together, so radiant and so happy. Happy Anniversary to you both(a bit late though)! Love reading your blog!