Today is our 32nd wedding anniversary. My husband wasn’t in the military then; it wasn’t even a glint in his eye. We both had a lot more hair and I wore a pearl-encrusted tiara with a full veil and a dress covered in Chantilly lace. We were married in a Baptist church on a bright, clear day with the snow melting everywhere and mud making my life miserable as I tried to keep my dress pristine getting out of the bridal car.

In many ways, we’re exact opposites. In other ways, we’re two peas in a pod. Outspoken. (a polite way of saying “bossy”) Perfectionists. High-achievers. Eldest children in both our families. We clash like literary archetypes because he’s a “Chief” and I’m a “Crusader”. You writers out there will instantly have a picture of our marriage! 🙂

And still…God has kept us together through many trials and many thrills. The thrills of having our two children with Down Syndrome and raising them to become productive adults who love on everyone they meet.

The thrills and sometimes trials of moving four times in six years with the military and having the kids change schools at a dizzying speed. We were so grateful for their calm and steady ability to make new friends, even as we struggled to do the same at times!

The trial of wartime deployment. The trial of being apart and away from family. The trial of re-entry into normal life. But, still…God made sure we got through it all.

​And now the world is thrown into chaos with COVID-19 and countries are caught unaware, in spite of scientists predicting such a global pandemic for the past decade or more.

We are hunkered down in self-isolation because our adult children are so vulnerable to the virus.  My husband is the self-designated person to do the shopping although we don’t need anything for a bit, as he did such a huge preparation shop last week.  They are too precious to risk exposure.

This is our “new normal” (like the rest of the world) for the next few months. This virus isn’t going away any time soon. When we made those vows 32 years ago, the “in sickness and in health” and “for better and for worse” seemed so easy, so noble, so romantic.

As a romance author, I go for the “happily ever after” ending to my books. That’s the hope, the promise, of my genre. And when I’m stuck in lock-down with my husband, and my two beloved “kiddos” as I call them, they are my “happily ever after.”

After 32 years, I know that “for better or worse” means there WILL BE better times. And there WILL BE worse times – but those times will always pass.

So, today, I leave you all with this wonderful song by Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani, “Nobody But You”.

​Happy Anniversary, my love. Here’s to another 32 years!