I Hope She Doesn’t Want Parole

     Today, Tam and I will be married twenty years.  Unfortunately, life in Missouri is 20 years, so I hope she doesn’t want to apply for parole.  I’m hoping she decides to keep me around for a few more years.

our-wedding-july-27-1996

Our Wedding on July 27, 1996

     On July 27, 1996, Tam, my mother and sisters prepared the clubhouse for our wedding later that afternoon.  They wisely kept me away from any decorating and sent me to our apartment to watch the Hall of Fame preseason game between my Philadelphia Eagles and the New Orleans Saints.  My cousin Dan, who was more like a brother and one of my best men, was assigned to babysit me.

     God smiled on us that day as it rained for a while in the morning, which kept the day fairly cool for July in St. Louis.  Dan and I arrived, followed by the rest of the family.  As was custom, I was not allowed to see the bride until she walked down the aisle.

     I was joined at the altar by Dan and my other best man, who is the best man I’ve ever known, my grandfather Gilbert Ellis.  After everyone was seated, my soon-to-be father-in-law brought Tam and Caity down the aisle.  We wanted Caity to be part of the service, so she knew we were a family.  She would not be pushed to the side when I married her mom.

     When Bob started to bring Tam down the aisle, my knees buckled.  She looked so beautiful in her wedding dress.  I couldn’t believe Tam wanted to marry me.  For some reason she did though.  After I managed to get out my vows, Tam and I were now husband and wife.

tam-me-today

Tam and Me Today

     Having Grandpa Ellis and my sister Sheri, Tam’s best friend since they were 14, do the toast made the day very special.  I do not like to show too much emotion but I can’t watch the video of our wedding and hear Grandpa’s toast without getting misty eyed.  I told Tam that was the father’s blessing from the Bible to me.

     Twenty years later, Tam is still my best friend.  We have been through the highs and the lows.  We’ve been through child births, graduations, black belts and vacations.  We’ve been through funerals, unexpected emergencies and the growing pains of children.  We’ve had two cancer scares, illnesses and the joys of aging.  We’ve done it all together though.

     Caity and Kenneth are adults.  Caleb is almost there.  Soon we will enter our next phase of life as grandparents.  I’m looking forward to the next twenty years as much as I’ve enjoyed the last twenty years.

     I really hope she doesn’t want a parole.

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