40 years ago today

On Halloween night in 1967, my parents got engaged. Daddy had just gotten his papers to send him to Vietnam after having been inducted that previous February. He called Mom from a pay phone on Fort Sill in Oklahoma to tell her. Mom: "Well, what do you want to do?"

Dad: "I think I want to get married."

They were married the Friday after Thanksgiving less than a month later. Whenever I worried that maybe Rich and I hadn't planned ahead far enough for our own wedding, I always reminded myself that Mom planned their wedding in under a month and even made her own dress. She's always worked well under pressure.

I called Mom yesterday on my way home from dinner and she sounded upset. The water heater had burst in their house for the third time since she's owned the house and it's directly over their dining room which serves as their office. It ruined her expensive speaker phone, may have ruined the computer and soaked tons of important papers - and we were lucky we found it only an hour or so after it happened.

She started to get choked up when she said she thought all her pictures of our wedding were ruined. Thankfully, her quick thinking saved most of them and the others are easy to re-print from digital images. It was odd timing that 40 years after their nuptials she was concerned about losing her photos of our wedding. Maybe I can convince them to get a family portrait of all of us this holiday season before time gets away from us.

Daddy in Vietnam Mom in 1967