It was 1967, forty-three years ago. A virulent influenza was sweeping the Midwest, though that didn't seem to impinge much on my life. I was caught up in preparing for a wedding. My wedding.
I was young--just eighteen--and truly, the entire world centered around my plans. It was a small wedding, but it was my wedding, held in a small brick church in Albany Park, Chicago, Illinois. The church has long since burned down but on that day it seemed a sturdy, forever kind of place to get married.
Less than fifty people attended the wedding. Two of my brothers were sick with the flu and most of my extended family were also. But my father and mother were there and my dad performed most of the ceremony. We made our vows. And lit candles. And exchanged rings. And kissed to seal the promises we made.
The rings are long gone, lost when various hospitals made me remove them when I went in to have our four babies. And we've lit more than a few candles since then, too. But the vows held sturdy through richer and poorer, sickness and health. And here we are forty-three years later, still together.
The children are grown and off living on their own. A couple have even presented us with grandchildren. The hunk is retired and we're settling into a life that echoes the place we started on that snowy day in December all those years ago.
Just the two of us.