In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free,
While God is marching on!


Sunday, July 4, 2010


Today is not only the 234th anniversary ouf our nation's founding, it's also the 29th anniversary of my family's founding (well, our little piece of the clan, anyway)! How ironic that Melany Dianne Spendlove and I tied the knot, and thus became forever dependent on each other, on July 4, 1981--"Independence" Day! That just happened to be the only Saturday in the mid-June-to-mid-July time frame that the that the minister and church we wanted for our wedding were available. What a wonderful day! Our families came down to Chattanooga, Tennessee where I was living and working at a law firm at the time, to share the event with us. We put the reception together ourselves, with lots of help from our kin, and stayed that night at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, in a luxurious Victorian railroad sleeping car (on a track by the hotel, not out in some grimy switchyard!). I couldn't tell you whether folks in Chattanooga were setting off fireworks that night, as Melany and I were too busy making our own! ;-)

That was only the first day of a journey together that will never end. Doesn't that give a dramatic perspective to one's wedding day?

I never stop marvelling at how miraculously improbable our union is. How did a the son of a milk truck driver/insurance salesman from western New York and the daughter of an auto worker from central Michigan get together, anyway (it's a long, amusing story)? We're so different--I was a timid, reserved, bookish, somewhat gloomy person, utterly lacking in practical skills, while she was (and still is) sunny, outgoing, optimistic, generous, and amazingly clever. And good. And wise. What on earth did she see in me? The wonderful thing is that we're still growing as people and discovering more and more of each other every day, even 29 years on. We help each other be all that we can be. Each of us feels like half a person when the other is away, and can't imagine life without the other. We've had at least our share of rough stretches along the way, thanks largely to our own shortcomings (well, mine anyway), but somehow we've managed to surmount them with faith, dogged commitment, and all the love we could muster. God willing, we'll have at least another 29 years here on earth to test and grow our skills as spouses!



Anonymous said...

I couldn't tell you whether folks in Chattanooga were setting off fireworks that night, as Melany and I were too busy making our own! ;-)

Such a beautiful post, and then you had to go put that picture in my head.

Happy Anniversary anyways :)


Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary! I loved reading your post, Tom. You are a wonderful writer! I think I've told you that before. :D
Your words to Melany went right into my heart and I had to squeeze back a tear.
Many, many more you two!
Love, Susan Allaire

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute to your wife and life


JoJo said...

Awwwww!!! That was the sweetest entry! You're not a man of many words, but the words you speak say much! I'm so glad ya'll found each other and, in turn, let me have a wonderful wife of my own! Thanks for sharing the love! Here's to 29 more years! I can't wait to see ya'll in 2-1/2 weeks!