Did you ever hear a song that just made you stop dead in your tracks? That happened to me this week. The name song of was “Walking her home”, by Mark Schultz. This song really got me to thinking and I decided to write this blog. Oh by the way I guess I should start by saying that this is not Charlene, but John, her husband. If you have never heard the song, you can listen to it at Rhapsody.com Listen Now for free (you might have to install their small listening program, but it just took me a few seconds to do the install and I think it helps understand the this blog.)
I remember exactly the day I fell in love. It was Saturday, March 17, 1979. I had been asked by to go to a Sadie Hawkins dance. I knew the girl that asked me, but not that well. We had a mutual friend, Gary, and she would bring us munchies from “A” lunch (she had the first lunch period, we had the second) to our biology class. I remember before we could go to the dance, I had to met her parents. I remember going from a work day in the auditorium straight to her house. What her parents must have thought when I showed up with my pants ducked taped together because they had ripped while I was working. But I would later come to realize that that probably helped me bond with my father-in-law, after all duct tape fixes everything – right Don. Well they let me take their daughter to the dance. I did not drive yet, so my parents dropped us off at the dance and her dad would pick us up and drop us off at Shakey’s Pizza. If I close my eyes, I can still see her in her flannel shirt and overalls. The only thing I really remember from the dance itself was that we got married and the preacher said I could kiss the bride-our first kiss.
After pizza and I was allowed to walk her home since we only lived a few blocks from Shakey’s. As I said good night at the garage door, she gave me a quick kiss and swish in the door she went. I don’t know how she was feeling on her side of the door, but I was soaring. I walked home and kept thinking of her. In fact, on Sunday, I walked down to her house and asked her if she would like to be my steady girl. I remember that we were inseparable. We were always getting the look from the principal because we had our arms around each other all the time. Some people even joked that we were connected at the hip. I must admit, there was a dark period of a couple of weeks in the fall of 79 when I broke up with her. I remember being very miserable. I now know that is was my pride that kept me from going back and asking her to go back out with me sooner. We did eventually get back together and never have I ever questioned our relationship again.
As we have grown up together, I have seen this cute girl mature up into an amazing wife, mother and friend. No one tells you how to be a parent, but it just came to her. I am amazed at the amount of love she has for our kids. They may not always see it, cause they know she makes them tow the line, but I see the love it that. She knows what they are capable of and she wants them to excel in everything they do. I cannot begin to count the tears she has shed thinking she was not a good enough mom, but Char rest assured you are the greatest mom I know.
I also realized how lucky I am to have such an incredible wife. I know that so often it appears that I take you and our relationship for granted. I will work at that because I really do not, I actually treasure what we have. When I see you or sometimes when we talk my spirit is lifted. In fact, when she was in WDW training I called her cell just to hear her voice. Unfortunately, I was disappointed because I recorded her voice mail message so instead of hearing her sweet voice I just got me. I was bummed, really bummed.
As I continued to listen to the song I began to realize and get very excited that we still have a very long life together and judging by the past 29 years (24 in marriage), the next 29 are going to continue to get better. I look forward to spending each and every day I have left in this world at your side. Even typing these words I am excited at the thought of what God has in store for us. You once asked me when I knew you were the one and I said when you said I do. When I think back on it now, it was at the Sadie Hawkins dance that I truly fell in love. And every year since then my love for you has continued to grow. So as I wrap us this blog, I have just once simple question to ask you oh friend of mine…will you please be my Valentine?
Love John, xoxo