|A rare photo together--we're both photographers (Keith's a pro; I'm strictly amateur) so we have few photos of both of us.|
(And I found tonight that I can get around the Blogger image issues by using Internet Explorer rather than AOL...a pain, but it works...thanks be to God!)
Today, June 15, marks 26 years that Keith and I have been married. Yep...26 years. Earlier today I computed that I've been married to Keith for 57% of my life...and I'm so glad I have!
We married when I was 19 and he was 25; we met when I was 17, were engaged at my senior prom less than six months later just after I turned 18. With a 19-year-old daughter now, I give total respect and awe to my parents for NOT freaking out (at least in my presence!) over how young I was. I think it helped that Keith was older and already set up in business. My parents did make us commit to two promises: 1. I would graduate from college (and I overachieved and received my Master of Arts...and still dream of a Ph.D. some time), and 2. We would have a year-long engagement. We kept that one too, marrying a year and a week after Prom night.
That Prom night remains a blur to me...mostly because I was far too vain to wear my glasses, so I truly saw everything in a blur. I wore my mother's prom dress from the early 1960s, a beautiful white satin and tulle with a sweeping pink bow and rhinestones; it outshone my wedding dress for certain. My parents took picture after picture before we left for the prom, my ring firmly in place (despite the fact I secretly wore it throughout Grad Nite at Disneyland a few weeks previously).
My English teachers were there at the Prom checking tickets, and their shock made a memory, but not in a good way. Their fear seemed the same as my parents': if I married, I wouldn't graduate from college. But being a married college and graduate student was far easier for me than living in the dorms. Keith worked so hard to enable me to complete my education, and I so appreciated his doing so, both then and now. And when the stress of classes overwhelmed me, he'd let me cry on his shoulder, or he'd kidnap me for a day at Disneyland so I could de-stress a little.
We waited until our seventh year of marriage to start a family...only a week after I completed my Master's degree at USD, in fact. I worked at a downtown bookstore both before and after my Master's program, until PLNU had an adjunct instructor position ready for me. Keith again helped me to balance teaching and parenthood by working at home, watching Elizabeth while I taught. Then he would go into his office when I took over at 11AM, grading essays feverishly during the baby's afternoon nap. I still remember Keith's drafting board with the pack-n-play next to it, both set up in our dining area so that Keith could work from home three days per week while I taught.
As more babies joined the family, I felt the pull to stay home full-time, but I've kept busy tutoring, home schooling, teaching online and at our Class Day co-op throughout the years, and Keith has always supported my teaching. Although I'm sure he would like me to slow down from time to time, he has given up holding me back as a "lost cause."
I also have supported Keith in pursuing his artwork, especially his stained glass and photography, in addition to his design and drafting of custom homes (which unfortunately has disappeared over the past three years). We've always been each others' best cheerleaders and support systems, a fact that has kept our marriage strong through the years.
So here's to the past 26 years, and to at least 26 more!!