Douglas Adams got it wrong. The answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything is not 42.
Sorry, Doug, you missed it by that much.
41 years ago today, I did the smartest thing in my life and married Kitty. For once in my life I was doing something that was absolutely right, with no questions or doubt in my mind. Why the most wonderful and beautiful woman in the world would marry me is another question.
Back then, I was a bearded bumpkin with blisters on my hands from working construction. Today, at least, I've lost the beard and the blisters. Back then, I could get lost in the beauty of her eyes and and the warmth of her smile. Today, if that has changed at all, my feelings have only grown deeper.
41 years may seem like a long time, but it really just rushed by. We survived the low-paying, soul-sucking jobs and the slightly better-paying, soul-sucking jobs. We were also blessed by doing some things we really loved doing: we worked in newspapers, at a food bank, at a local cable station, and at an equity theater; we worked at blood drives, concerts, and book signings. We spend years as therapeutic foster parents, taking in unwanted and troubled kids -- sometimes for a few nights, sometimes for years -- and got to help some really fantastic kids.
We had two wonderful girls of our own and they just completed us. We have the knowledge that whatever else we did, whatever mistakes we may have made, our children were proof that the impact we had on the world was real and positive. Our children went on and gave us four beautiful and whip-smart grandchildren who make us laugh and make us smile and make us marvel at the world every day.
We have had sorrows and troubles and tragedy. Through it all, we have had each other. I wouldn't have any other way. And I couldn't have loved any woman more than I love Kitty today.
So, Mr. Douglas Adams, you got it wrong. You were off by one number. At least, for the coming year.