Writer’s note: As I have written before, some of these posts that you will see, from time to time, are being posted to see where they fit in the final draft of Where The Popsicles Are. This is still a work in progress. I’m not sure where this might be included, or if it only serves as a point of departure. We will see.
September 30, 1989
The temperature got to 95 degrees that afternoon, and the place we had the reception was probably as hot or hotter. It didn’t matter. It didn’t matter to me, nor did it matter to Joanie. This was her day, and there was nothing going to spoil it for her, and nothing did.
25 years have passed since that Saturday afternoon in Bismarck. Yesterday doesn’t seem as close as that day does.
Joanie had told me during one of our long Saturday lunches at the Ground Round that spring, “I’m not going to get married when I’m 40.” She was 39 at the time. We decided that day it would be done later that year. She had made her point. We had been engaged long enough, and had been living together for a few years, and she was going to make a move one way or another. She put the hammer down, and even though it was a velvet hammer, I got the message. We decided on the 30th of September.
It turned out to be a glorious day. She was absolutely radiant, something I guess you could say about any other bride on such a day, but she definitely was, despite the late afternoon heat. There she was, at 39 surrounded by family and friends, basking in the moment, a moment she had waited for too long, her cheeks were red, her smile was permanent and I had never seen her happier.
When I look at the photos from that day, I see in her eyes and her smile the hope and promise she held for what her life would become. It was to be the same hope and promise I would see during more difficult times in later years.
We mark the important moments in our lives by dates on a calendar. This date is one such date for me.
This date marks the beginning of a journey with a woman I loved, admired and respected for her humanity, her strength and her courage in the face of adversity.
Twenty five years later, I can say it is a journey I never regretted.