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Throughout history stories of romantic meetings are chronicled and passed down through the ages.

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So... How Did You Meet Anyway?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Couldn't Be Happier

I was back from the University of Vermont on  break.  Went to visit my high school science teacher in his classroom and saw the “new girl” from Massachusetts.

 She had moved to Vermont when her dad’s company transferred him.  Petite, dark, pretty.  I offered her a ride home.  Her younger sister and brother needed a ride too.  We crunched into my MGA and drove to her house.

Cut to another house, a few years and numerous dates later.  We’re at a party,  home from college on summer vacation.  She’s a sophomore, I’m a senior     Finally she says yes to my request for her hand in marriage.  I promise her father I’ll see to her tuition from college if he’ll let us tie the knot.

With the engagement formalized on Christmas Eve, 1961, I depart for Fort Dix New Jersey and the longest 6 month military training on record.

We are married in late September, 1962, six weeks after my discharge from the Army and three weeks after my father dies of cancer.

We wander – sometimes aimlessly, sometimes with purpose -  through the next 50 years.  Life bangs us up a bit, but soothes the bad times with three wonderful, talented, strong-willed daughters.  They each produce three equally wonderful, talented, strong-willed sons.  The gene pool is a wonderful place for swimming!

Today, with Janet’s early-on cancer scare, my stroke and aorta replacement (the tube, not the valve), we soldier on.  A spotted job journey for me – largely in public relations, broadcast journalism, a stint as a Congressional aide, advertising agency owner and retirement  Janet’s 25 year career in elementary education (reading) continues.  I continue to rise at 4:30 weekdays to oversee a 2 hour classical music program.

We have watched our relationship pass through all of the stages, beginning with passion, moving to the child-raising years when not much thought is given to our own needs, to the empty nest and re-grouping of emotion, to the grandparent years which are every bit as fulfilling as the years with our own children.

As we have stumbled through these 50 years, our marriage has survived largely because we have faced the predictable – and unpredictable  -  vicissitudes with lots of humor, teeth-gnashing, fear, hope and, yes, courage.

We continue to function as the Bank of Brian and Janet, the arm chair-Freuds, the wizened oracles and the home of last resort.
Us?  We couldn’t be happier.  Younger maybe, or richer, but not happier.