Today is our anniversary.

Today is the 28th anniversary of the day I married my beloved. Unfortunately, the marriage ended last year.

I remember my wedding day. It was a Monday. The sun was shining, and it was a beautiful warm day in the town we were in. Originally, the wedding was planned for the summer of 1983, but I had moved about 380 miles to the west a few months earlier, and we decided that we didn’t like being apart, and didn’t want to wait, so we made plans to elope. I worked on that Friday, and then got on a commuter plane to a town about 120 miles from where we were, so it saved a few hours. At the last minute, her father said that he was not going to let us do it, and he was going to give us a wedding, albeit a small one.

Her aunts threw her a shower on that Friday, and her mother and grandmother were able to arrange for flowers, a cake and a photographer for the Monday wedding. I was able to contact a dear friend to be my best man, so we were set. Most of her extended family was at the wedding, but only my grandmother showed up. My father decided that he was too busy to make the 90 mile drive to see me get married (I still hold that resentment today). We were also surprised that a friend of mine that I knew from high school competition happened to be in town, and he was also able to attend, much to my delight.

I had to borrow a suit from my father in law, as I forgot to pack my suit pants, and the wedding went off without a hitch. We hopped in her car, drove to Lubbock, Texas for a honeymoon night, and started our life together.

As I look back at my marriage, I know that we had what most couples had… we had a few disagreements, and there were times that I certainly wanted to give up on her. I think she probably felt the same way at times, but we persevered.

No, I’m not going to go into the details of our time together, but suffice it to say that we both grew during those 27 years of wedded bliss. I always referred to her as my blushing bride, or just my bride. I was not the perfect husband, and she was not the perfect wife, but there was one thing that never wavered, and that was that I always loved her. Sometimes I loved her more, and sometimes less, but always loved her. I admired the way she grew and came out of her shell. I can’t tell you how proud I was when she finally decided that she would go to college, because I knew that she had it in her, and I knew she finally started to believe in herself.

Unfortunately, it all started to change in late 2007. I could see her change, but I was hoping that it was only temporary. I had high hopes in the fall of 2008, when she returned from a separation, but people around me saw something I didn’t. They saw that she no longer loved me, and that I was blinded by my love for her. Finally the couple that many of our friends never expected to split up did exactly that.

Our divorce was final last May, and we have gone our separate ways. I still see her a lot, but I can tell that she is gone, and will never return.

I’ve started slowly to move on, and put that part of my life behind me. It still saddens me, because I honestly thought that we would be one of those “til death do you part” couples. I see her, and I get very sad, because I know that we can’t have what we once had.

I know that now.

I still love her, and I always will love her, but its now time to move on. I’ve joined a couple of singles groups, and I’ve started to participate in them. I haven’t met anyone yet, but time will tell. I’ve not dated in 30 years, and I really don’t have a clue how to do it. I also have no clue of what I want. Do I want a long-term relationship, or do I just want to have some fun dates?

I still want her. I want to hold her in bed, I want her on the back of the motorcycle, I want her next to me on the couch, I want to dance to a slow song with her.

But she doesn’t. And as they say, it does take two to tango. So on this 28th anniversary of our wedding, and 32 years and 3.5 months after our first kiss, I think I can finally say goodbye. That may be a good thing, as she informed me a few nights ago that she is moving away to live with her mother. She will no longer be close, but about 5 hours away.

Someday the hurt and pain will go away, but for now, I will remember the good times, and my love for her.

Happy Anniversary!

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