June bride

Ann Swanson

I never thought much about being a June bride, but today is the day. It is June 1 and I am marrying my best friend. For a long time now Don and I have said we were just friends, but friendship turned to love. I cannot explain how it happened; it just did.

We opted for a very quiet ceremony with just our children that were able to attend there. Good wishes arrived from family and friends from out of town. We are taking a delayed honeymoon to Alaska to visit his daughter and her family. She said she told her children that “Poppa was marrying her fifth-grade teacher”. Yes, Meme was in the class where I substituted before a permanent replacement was hired.

I explain to people that Don and I have known each other forever. I did not remember but he actually videoed my first wedding. He was my husband’s uncle, by marriage. It was not until recently that he got to see the video he took. Once he told me that, I hunted it up and we viewed it. It was with some sadness that we watched it. There are so many people who attended that event that is no longer with us.

That is not the end of my relationship with Don. When my husband was sick, he would only go certain places. One of those places was to visit with Diedra and Don. We sat around the little bar in their kitchen drinking coffee and visiting for hours. After my husband died, I continued to visit with Don and Diedra. I was one of the only close family members that they saw on a regular basis.

Sadly, I was not around when she died. I was with my cousin visiting relatives in North Carolina. Although I was sad that I was not around I did not feel guilty. After all, I had spent a lot of time visiting with her. I even called to talk to her when she was in the hospital in Erie.

Our first “date” was a birthday dinner – for both Don and me. Our birthdays are just four days apart. All the while I visited with them, I never knew when Don’s birthday was. I always made sure I visited around Diedra’s birthday in October.

Next came an outing with his daughter to see her children do some ice carving in Hamburg, NY. I had done an article on Melanie and her husband, Ben when they won at the Ice Alaska competition years ago. The trip home turned out to be an adventure. We made a wrong turn on one of the roundabouts and ended up going through the countryside for a long way before we saw anything that looked familiar. The next day his daughter drove and we did not get lost.

I guess I should not have been surprised when love came knocking. By then we had shared many adventures. He had been with my family for birthdays and special occasions. I had attended his class reunions. We attended m grandson’s athletic events.

When I thought of the wedding. I felt inclined to include verses from the Bible. We received a card from my son and his wife with just a hint of the verses that Lori said she remembered me reading at their wedding.

The love chapter is 1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 8, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not boast; it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hope, always perseveres. Love never fails.” I asked my daughter-in-law to read it at the wedding.

I remember when I found that selection of verses. I was already married, but I thought it was so nice that I cut it out and put it into my wallet for easy reference. It stayed there for a long time. It certainly gives every bride and groom something to think about.

One thing that had us worried was the dogs. Each of us has a spoiled dog. Snaps have been coming up for visits. The dogs seem to ignore each other. As I sit on the couch with a dog on each side of me, I have to think they will adjust just fine.

The cat is another story. I heard a big hiss the last time Snaps visited. After that, the two had nothing to do with each other. I guess my cat will probably be hiding quite a bit.

I recently read an article by Kathie Lee Gifford. She gave some words from a song she sang in her new movie. The song is called “Once Again”. The words say, “You don’t find love, love finds you, in the midst of a moment, right out of the blue. It sneaks up on your heart, hardly making a sound, till all of a sudden, you find you’ve been found.” (nice) You do not go looking for love – it finds you!

Now, we begin a new life – for both of us. I am not naïve enough to think all will be perfect, but I look forward to having the opportunity to adjust as needed. I trust the Lord will watch over us as we combine our lives and guide us as we need. Negotiating everyday habits just may be a challenge, but I am sure we are up to it!

Although I am now officially Mrs. Andersen, I intend to keep my name since that is how I am known in the writing community. Incidentally, that was Don’s idea.

Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, PA. Contact at hickoryheights1@verizon.net.