I’m married to a quiet man, a smart man—philosopher, writer, psychologist/therapist, father, grandfather (known as Pops.) On June 13th, we celebrate our 62nd anniversary.
We met at a Jewish Community Center singles dance, each of us determined to meet the other in defiance of a mutual friend who had offered to fix us up and rescinded. Marv was from Detroit, a Wayne University engineering major and activated air force guardsman stationed at Fort Williams in South Portland, Maine. I was a Simmons College sophomore.
The original plan had been to meet at the dance. I was home for winter break and in between boyfriends. Marv was new in town; there was no sweetheart left behind. I wore a white wool suit (skirt, not pants) with strappy black shoes. Marv wore his blue air force uniform with the short-cropped jacket and nipped waist. Twenty-three years old, he had a full head of curly hair, broad shoulders and the romantic allure of a serviceman.
There was swing music, dancing. I stood at the edge, scanning the crowd. He was my mirror image, the handsome young stranger in uniform also scanning. Our eyes locked. We met in the middle, arms seeking to dance, in the spell of Night & Day or was it The Very Thought of You?
Commonality in background and values, our mothers were like sisters, mutual respect, a bent towards history, and its effects. We married, went to graduate school, found jobs, became therapists and partners in our own mental health clinic, and raised a son and daughter during the seventies era of Rock and Roll. Both of us now in our eighties, Marv has a small practice and teaches courses on our early presidents at an independent learning in retirement program.
I am grateful to have chosen a life partner who has as much regard for creativity within the human spirit as myself. When I made the turn from therapist to poet, Marv supported my wishes to attend a summer workshop. To my surprise, the morning I prepared to leave for a two-week stay, he marinated a chicken. Mom had not approved of my decision. “How can you leave for two weeks, who will cook, what will he eat?” I laughed and still do about Marv’s message—no need for worry, when it comes to my stomach, I’m resourceful.
Marv’s support deepened when I closed my therapy practice and enrolled in the Solstice MFA program. It helped our mutuality in that I had supported Marv through writing and editing two family therapy books and in the years that followed, three more— his most popular, Tool Kit for Smart Living, a compendium of insight and knowledge accrued over his lifetime as a family therapist.
So many decades—some all good, some peppered with ill winds, illnesses among those we love, deaths, family challenges. Through it all, we have continued to partner, grateful for health and friendship, devoted children and grandchildren, and the continued thirst for learning and creativity.
loved the story of how you met and felt chills reading how you two connected at first glance/dance. This article left me feeling a warm glow.
Feeling a warm glow from your response. Thanks, Carol!
Thanks, Faye for this story.
You are most welcome, Kathi.
Beautifully written. You married quite a guy.
Happy anniversary and keep it going.
Meant to tell you that I resonated with your previous blog
About your mother. You write letters to her
and I have conversations
With mine especially during trying times. My mother’s love
Is still with me. Your mother was handsome and had a wise look
Thanks, Hy. Our annal celebration with you & Sheila, friends on the path, helps to “keep it going.” I am moved by your comments about our moms.
Such a calm, but clearly emphatic, tribute. I like that supporting the other person’s creativity is put at the center of this piece, and also its inclusion of details signaling not only steadfastness (the Air Force uniform), but also surprise (a marinated chicken)…
I enjoy how you link the themes, and especially highlighting the other person’s creativity. Thank you, Rosemary.
65 years! Wow! Congratulations on a life of mutual respect and love. You and your husband are a wonderful example of how to live and thrive within a marriage.
Thank you, so much, Heather, for your warm note.
Truly amazing … Love your tribute to a truly fine man…and love the dress, hope u still have it ! Greatings from Lisbon Portugal!
Hello Pat, so thoughtful of you to comment from across the seas. I cherish the dress in memory–unfortunately, it faded away years ago.
What a sweet comment on what marriage,at it’s best, can be. This piece
is beautifully written, sweet, loving and fun to read. I love the picture of the beautiful
young bride as well Thank you for this.