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48 Years ago!

On May 1, 1971, Sue and I were married in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This week, we celebrate 48 years as friends, lovers, and parents of two wonderful daughters. It seems like only yesterday that we had our first date at a Christ’s Ambassadors youth rally, followed by a concert with Jonathan Winters and “The Turtles.” Who knew that their hit song “Happy Together,” would predict the future of our relationship?

The night we got engaged, I told Sue that because I was a young minister of meager means, we would probably never be able to afford our own home. It is amazing that she didn’t tell me to go home right then.

However, within a few years, we had built a lovely new home in spite of my gloomy forecast. Many thanks to the faithfulness of God and the excellent craftsmen in the church, who helped make the house a reality.

When we called Sue’s parents to ask their approval of our engagement, they were so caring. In fact, both sets of parents were the perfect in-laws. Never did I tell, or even think, of a derogatory comment of our parents. It was their loving wisdom that helped us through some rough patches of our marriage.

On the night that I gave Sue the engagement ring, we drove to a historic cemetery in Milwaukee for the presentation. Sue was somewhat flustered as to why I chose to give her the ring in the cemetery. But it made perfect sense to me, “’Till death do us part.” Get it? The David reality can be a scary thing.

Our wedding day was amazing. The church was packed, the flowers were fragrant, and the attendants were ready ahead of time. My Dad and Pastor Samuel Peterson officiated the ceremonies, and my brother Douglas was my best man.

Some of the wedding memories have faded, but one moment remains riveted in time. I was standing at the altar when the music shifted to the Wedding March. I looked up the aisle to see this heavenly essence floating toward me on a pristine cloud. Awesome! If Russia had dropped an atomic bomb on the parking lot dumpster, I would not have noticed. My future was coming to meet me and I would never be the same. Behold, the bride cometh!

Now, 48 years later, the awe remains. How a guy like me, who couldn’t pick a necktie to go with his pink and grey plaid suit, could marry the perfect woman, is truly an act of a merciful Lord. Our two beautiful daughters and their supportive husbands have provided five incredible grandchildren. As they all gathered at our Easter table recently, I was overwhelmed at what the Lord has done.

To Sue I say, “Happy Anniversary.” Thanks for loving me and putting up with the David reality. The future looks bright, and beyond that, we will celebrate for eternity.

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