Today is our 30th wedding anniversary. It seems like just yesterday that we were fighting with family (neither side of the family was excited about Teresa and I getting married. As a matter of fact, several family members predicted we’d be divorced inside of a year. To them, I defiantly raise a big old middle finger, and ask “how do you like us now?”). The family feud ended with Teresa and I leaving my aunt’s house in Denver on New Year’s Eve 1980 and heading to the airport. In a horrible snow storm, she and I ended up sleeping on the floor of Denver’s old Stapleton Airport. When we returned to Lawrence, much to the consternation of our families, we got married. I was 20, she was 18. Statistically, our odds of success were not great. But it’s amazing what can happen when two people love each other and commit to each other. Marriage, unlike what you see on TV, is hard work. Fortunately for me, she’s one of hardest workers I’ve ever known. She’s also the most loyal person I’ve ever known.
The roller coaster ride that began on that cold winter day in 1981 day has gone on for 30 wonderful years. At least they’ve been wonderful for me. You’ll need to ask Teresa if they’ve been wonderful for her. I’m certainly not an easy person to live with. Just ask my family or friends. I can be moody, irrational, petty and mean. I guess that makes me human. Teresa, however, is super human (my friend, Dan White, kidded me yesterday that she must be a saint if she hadn’t shot me in the past 30 years). She’s everything I’m not. She’s rational. Me? Not so much. She’s patient. Me? No, I’m getting better, but I don’t think she’d ever call me patient. She always looks for the good in people. Me? Hardly ever. She selfless. I tend to be selfish (hey, I’m an only child, so cut me a little slack). She’s very forgiving and hard to anger. If you know me, you’d never use those words and my name in the same sentence. In essence, she’s the personification of how the Bible describes love in Ephesians. Through children, job changes, family turmoil, business downturns, mid-life crisis, law school, and now a grandchild, she’s been my rock. She’s always been there for me. She’s always supportive. She’s been my best friend for 30 years.
Five years ago, we celebrated our 25th anniversary in Maui. That seems so long ago after so many changes and challenges in our lives. I had hoped to take her somewhere special, do something special for our 30th. It’s not in the cards this year for many reasons. I’ll try to make it up to her as soon as possible. But for now, she’ll have to settle for a small token of my undying love for her, a dinner at Pachamama’s and my declaration to the world that marrying her was the best decision I ever made. I can only hope she feels the same way. So, Teresa, I love you more than anything. I sure wouldn’t want to live without you. Thanks for being my best friend and biggest supporter.