Now you may think that I am speaking of age…but I passed 40 over 20 years ago.
Today is Mary Jane and my 40th anniversary. Forty years ago I promised my bride a beautiful day with no clouds in the sky. It was cloudy and rainy and cold. It is cloudy and rainy and cold today, also.
Sometimes my weather forecast is a little off.
Never have two people, united, that had any less financially or in material possessions than the newlywed Brooks.
We each had a car. Mine was a 1963 Ford Fairlane and MJ’s was a Ford Maverick. A significant portion of the floor, on the passenger side front, was rusted out and you could observe the road as it whisked by, in my automobile. Also, the front passenger seat was broken and had to be braced with a small board to keep it from free falling on to the back seat.
Mary Jane’s Maverick was somewhat better then my Farilane…but I had my pride…and thus I insisted that we take my car when we drove to Carbondale from Elkville, Illinois to eat dinner at the Golden Bear Restaurant. It was winter and I noticed that my sweetheart’s cheeks were a rosy glow from the winter wind that was entering the, decrepit, Ford from the hole in the floor.
I began working at Southern Illinois University, October 10, 1978, and we purchased a new Ford LTD on the 25th of October. Not long after the new car purchase I was still driving my vintage vehicle to work, when one morning at the quitting time of 1:00 a.m….it would not start. My kind colleague, Ray Phoenix, offered to drive me home. As we pulled up to our trailer home, Ray, commented that the new LTD was a nice looking car. I replied that we had, had it for a couple of weeks and that I thought that I had better start driving it to work.
Forty years ago…when the minister pronounced us husband and wife and Mary Jane took my hand…I thought that life had changed for me and that I was embarking on a great adventure.
A few years later came Aaron…with a little blue cap and a lusty cry. Aaron called me Di Da…and it was music to my ears.
Then came Jonathon…who laughed at everything and climbed out of his crib and jumped on to the floor.
Through out the rapid succession to this noteworthy number we have had constants that have helped to remove the rocks in our path and leveled the hills that were before us.
A love and dedication to each other…and fascination with our two sons…and a quiet christian faith that has never failed us…has caused the years to fly by.
We laugh at every opportunity…tears come…when you least expect them.
A good and steady job at SIU was a great blessing to our little family. To have a salary that you can build a life upon and the knowledge and security that it will be there tomorrow…is a confirmation for plans and dreams.
We have traveled, as much a possible, and it is a nice way to raise children and appreciate the diversity of our country and world.
One of the most valuable goals that I am still endeavoring to achieve is to not take myself to seriously. When I can achieve this Zen…all of life problems seem to diminish and importance of love and life and beauty and humanity become paramount.
And, so, 40 down…and 40 to go.