Fifty-one years ago today, we got married. I had graduated college and Kitty was going to Lowell State College (now The University of Massachusetts, Lowell) and was living in Concordia Hall. the girls' dormitory, and decided she wanted to get married there. It was an evening wedding. Some friends of Kitty provided the music (Lowell State had an excellent music program). The lounge at Concordia Hall was large, comfortable, and, near the center, had a statue of Orpheus, which spouted water. Friends and relatives were seated on three sides of us. The fourth side faced the lobby and was filled with girls from the dorm curious and happy to watch. It was 1970 and long hair and scraggly beards were de rigueur for men. My brother Kenny, who was my best man (and still is), had his hair cut for the occasion, after which my mother told him to get a haircut (**sigh**).
It went off without a hitch. Kenny was very nervous, but I was calm and relaxed. I knew that, for once in my life, I was doing something that was absolutely right.
A champagne reception was held at a hall on the other side of the city. Kitty claims she never finished her glass of champagne -- someone kept refilling it. Far more people were at the reception than had been invited, a consequence of having an entire dormitory of girls watching the wedding, methinks, and the venue soon ran out of champagne and had to scramble to find more. A few relatives (well, actually it was my Uncle Arthur -- who seldom drank) got a little tipsy. A good time. And a wonderful start to fifty-one years, and counting.
I look at Kitty today and I see that same young woman from all those years ago. Her smile, her eyes, her beauty...perfection wrapped up in a package of humor, intelligence, patience, empathy, and love. she may have gotten physically older and may not move as gracefully as she once did, but the woman I pledged to spend my life with remains, as gracious and perfect as she was fifty-one years ago, but improved over the years like a fine wine. I look at my heavier, hair-thinning self in the mirror and once again I wonder how someone as wonderful as Kitty could have fallen love with a schlub like me. Not that I'm complaining.
And so the years roll by, some good and some bad, and we faced it all together. She has made me a much better person and I love her for that, as well as so many other things.
I loved her than. I love her now. I will love her far into the future, and beyond.
I am the luckiest man in the world.