This is a digital photo of a photo. We don't have a scanner that we know how to use. LOL!
Actually I'm 45 years old and if you do the math, that means that Geoff and I started dating when we were 16 years old! That's right. We were HS sweethearts. And the road to matrimony was a long and hazardous one. We began dating the summer between Junior and Senior year, and even though we were deeply in love with each other, we decided to go to different colleges to pursue our educations. We knew we loved each other and wanted to be together, but we were realistic enough to know that we needed to follow our own paths and hope that we could make it work. And we did. For four years we were 8 hours away from each other. We did see each other summers and school vacations - except for the summer he spent in TX after Freshman year (THAT was tough) and the spring break he went to FL. We did manage to visit each other occasionally. And our phone bills were through the roof. (No cell phones, email, or IMing in 1982-86). And we wrote each other LOTS of letters. How I wish I still had some of them.
After graduation I planned to go to graduate school at Northeastern and Geoff was going to find a job. Right before graduation that all changed when he decided to take a year off and bar tend in Lake Placid, NY (near where he went to college). He asked me to join him. I deferred my admission to Northeastern and while he spent the summer backpacking around Europe I was spending the summer living/working on Cape Cod with a girlfriend, just waiting for this new adventure to begin.
Well, he came back from Europe with a different plan. His Dad didn't like the "year off to bar tend" idea and so Geoff came back from Europe with a sweet claddagh ring from Ireland and a proposal. He was moving to AZ to open a branch of his family's manufacturing business and he wanted me to "come with him and be (his) wife". I started to giggle (much to Geoff's chagrin. Even to this day it bothers him that I "laughed") and said yes.
Well, as I said the road to matrimony was full of obstacles. We actually planned and cancelled one wedding before finally getting married in 1987. Like all marriages, we've had our share of difficulty. We weathered some very difficult times during our childbearing years. The road to parenthood was full of hazards, too. And the early years of child rearing were no picnic either.
But through it all we knew we loved each other deeply and were even more deeply committed to each other. And there were plenty of good times, too. We have an amazing life together. My life would not be as full and comfortable and satisfying if I weren't married to Geoff. He is a kind, gentle, devoted and patient soul. (He needs to be to be married to me!). He is a wonderful husband. I thank my lucky stars that we were able to make it on that long, hazardous road to matrimony. I'm a lucky girl. I found my soul-mate at 16. Who says young love can't last? We're proof that it can.
Happy 22nd Anniversary, Geoff! Here's to the next 22. Everyday I'm thankful that you asked me to be your wife. And I'm looking forward to the next chapter of our fabulous life together. I love you. Forever.