I have often wondered what happens to time. Everyone does. Times passes too quickly. It disappears.
One day you see your whole life spread before you. The next day you are looking back, wishing you could do it all again.
I'm beginning to understand what happens to time. It turns into memories that become a part of us forever, molding us into who we are.
I've had a lot of memories lately. Twenty-five years ago this week my wife, Jeanne, and I married and had our whole life together spread before us.
It hardly seems possible. I don't even feel 25 years old, most of the time. Our daughter, Beth, just turned 24 and she tells me she's feeling old.
I wonder what that makes me?
We were married in late July. I was the one who was in a hurry. Jeanne claimed that was because I wanted to be back from the honeymoon before the football season started.
In truth, I was afraid she would change her mind.
I remember our first dinner together and the bone Jeanne sent home for my dog. I remember when my dog chewed up her shoe. Jeanne remembers, too.
I remember hikes through the forest in the Tetons and the breeze on the Irish coast. I remember an outdoor restaurant in an ancient castle and an evening on a hilltop overlooking a river, a village and the German countryside. I remember when we hardly had money for groceries and our living room didn't have a couch.
I remember Christmas trees too big for the house, and one that fell over. I remember the fun we had trying to put it back up. Well, I remember trying to put it back up, anyway.
I remember Friday evening movies for just the two of us. I remember mosquito bites at park baseball games, the plants from our daughter Jenny's science project and the cat who ate them. I remember school open houses, college graduations. I remember vacations in St. Pete Beach, Disney World and Wisconsin. I remember our first new car. I remember our car that had no heat.
I remember it all like a photo album in my heart.
Long before I met you an old fortune-teller at a fair told me I would find love, family and wealth. I didn't understand, then, that you and our family would be my wealth. But I know that now.
I remember, Jeanne, the first time I kissed you. You were surprised. You were even more surprised when my dog, Gussie, kissed you, too. I remember the moment I knew I loved you, and I remember the reasons why. I remember the way you looked the day we married. And I remember the way I felt.
I feel the same today.
For 25 years I've written in this column about our life together, Jeanne. People often ask me if you read it before it's printed. I tell them that actually, you write it.
You have written my life, Jeanne. And it's a wonderful story.
There's only one thing I haven't said to you often enough in this column often.
I love you Jeanne. Happy anniversary.
My time has turned to 25 years of warm memories. My life is filled with dreams for our time to come.
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