Today is Mary Jane and my 41st anniversary!
Forty-one years ago, I was a lad of 20 that could not believe his good fortune in preparing to marry such a wonderful woman!
Mary Jane had a house trailer and we both had, old automobiles, with mine being the most questionable.
I was earning $70 per week and Mary Jane was donating her time, teaching in a parochial school.
On my first night back to work, after a 3 day honeymoon, I was excited to see that I had two cheese burgers in my lunch pail! When I told my new bride how wonderful that they were…she admonished me that I should not get used to them…as our food budget would not allow for them on a regular basis.
In 1981, a tremendous blessing came our way, Aaron David Brooks, and everything about him excited us!
He did not sleep through the night…for the first year of his life!
But, he loved to be placed in his swing, that we would crank up, and he would fall asleep immediately!
Aaron also loved for me to hold him on my shoulder and walk with him…and he then would fall asleep…until I laid him in his cradle.
Aaron is a, natural artist, and a photographer, and a manager of a, bustling, warehouse facility!
He is much more intelligent than I ever was…and I am so proud of him!
Then came, Jonathon, in 1984!
Jonathon greeted the world with a smile and a giggle and climbing out of his cradle and jumping on to the floor!
Jonathon inspected all of the figurines and chochkies that we had…and subsequently broke them all!
Jonathon has grown to be a writer and a reader and a man who cares about people that he meets!
He is loved and respected by his university colleagues and friends and holds a responsible position at Key Control…which appreciates his dedication to them and the university’s mission!
Aaron and Jonathon are the light of their mom and my life!
There have been constants in our 41 years.
We have, always, sought to follow Christ!
The seeking of God’s will has entailed 3 separate changes in churches…with the last change being, almost, 21, years.
The Bible says that, ‘when a man findeth a wife, he findeth a good thing, and obtains favor of the Lord.’
Certainly, having the counsel of Mary Jane has been the key to our families success!
In our beginnings…she counseled me to take the Building Service Worker exam at Southern Illinois University…and I was offended and I balked…and then I took the test…and the rest is history!
When I became a BSWI…Mary Jane told me that she believed that, one day, I would lead the department…and I laughed in my heart…as did Sarah of the Old Testament, when she was told by the angel that she would bear a child in her aged years!
I was the Superintendent of Building Services for the last 13 years of my 32 year career at SIUC!
Challenges of health have hit us…but God has helped us.
Our sons still want to be around us…and we are planning a family vacation to Maine later this year!
Now I eat a hamburger when I desire one…and I weep for those who can not.