The Most Married Man In America
Today, October 24th 2013, is our 40th wedding anniversary, so I'm updating this and sending it out again . . .
. . . sorry friends, but this IS my favorite story, so . . .
Let me first clarify; I am not the most married man in America because I've been married more times than anyone else - I'm the most married man in America because I'm more married than anyone else . . . I mean I could not be happier than to be married to my wife, my life is defined by my union to my wife, and I would not be the person I am apart from my wife. I fell for her the instant I saw her, today is our 38th wedding anniversary, and I love her more now than ever. Permit me to tell you just a bit about my sweetheart . . . this is my favorite story.
I was 16 years old, sitting in a car with a friend in our high school parking lot. We were waiting for a gaggle of junior high girls, who were leaving cheerleader tryouts for the next school year, to cross our path so we could be on our way. Just now dramatic, life-changing kind of music should thunder in as I say, then I saw her in the midst of a dozen or more cute girls passing before us. I pointed-out the dark haired beauty right in the middle of the pack and, wasn't really asking, but just blurting out in astonishment "Who is that?!" . . . initiating the most delightfully happy turn of events that ever turned, my friend announced "That's Pixie Wenrich".
After discovering that she frequented a local gymnastics club that featured local band dances every Saturday, I determined to meet Pixie Wenrich. Again with the strikingly dramatic life-changing music, as I entered the dance with my friend I will never forget the image of her sitting there alone, just flashes of her through the room of dancing teens between us. I told my friend to introduce me to her and we made our way through the crowd, stood before her, my pal introduced me and I told him to go mingle.
Now, I must pause here and say, this was not the kind of guy I was. I wasn't terribly shy or anything like that, but I did not just approach girls I didn't know and present myself to them as though they should have some interest in knowing me. But I'm telling you, this girl was so stunning . . . she was like the woman in old Blues songs - "makes a grown man weep and a younger man sing" . . . I couldn't not insert myself into her sphere, she was too beautiful to not be drawn to. I sat next to her and found out she had come with another fellow - a tough guy from school who I was familiar with, but didn't know. He was off knocking about with friends and Pixie and I talked for maybe a half an hour - until he returned.
As her date stood before us he barked "So are you going to stay with him or are you coming with me?". I looked at her and she looked at me, and I said very directly to her, right in her eyes, in a determined voice of resolve amidst a too loud high school band and roomful of rambunctious teenagers and a glaring school bully "I hope you stay with me". She turned to her date and declared "I'm going to stay with him". After being told I would get my ass kicked in school on Monday, we were left alone. The point and purpose of my life, since that moment, has been to be with Pixie and try to make her happy.
Now, this is one of those stories where, we didn't have much, but we had each other. Our names undermine the storyline of our lives together - 'Mickey & Pixie' sounds more like a cartoon show than a struggling young married couple, but we struggled. I dropped out of high school and had one crappy job after another - construction and remolding, etc, until a motorcycle accident took me from labor work to retail work. Times were tough, I never had the same job for more than a year or two and we never lived in the same place for more than a year or two, but we were in love and together - and we never fought.
Then we had a baby - then we had another baby, then another . . . three girls in a row. Pixie didn't have an easy time making babies, there were complications and scares with each of them - but she made beautiful and healthy children. For me, I always wanted to be a father. When I was a little kid I never thought about wanting to be a ball player or a fireman or whatever when I grew up - I always wanted to be a dad. My own father left when I was an infant, and I think 'fatherhood' seemed a heroic endeavor to me, the manliest thing a boy could do. But, I always thought in terms of a son . . . I thought I would know how to be a father to a boy, but a girl seemed a bit scary to me, I didn't know what a little girl needed in a father.
But God knew better than me, He knew exactly what I needed and those three girls are a treasure I cannot explain. And then, a ten and a half pound Mickey Jr showed-up . . . I didn't get my little boy after all - I got a great big one. I remember walking to the grocery store pushing two strollers and the oldest walking with us . . . and then walking home pushing strollers filled with shopping and holding hands with too many kids. No car, still renting, times were very tough. However, we were a happy group. Then a few years later, another boy, and a girl - twins! Pixie and I were getting a bit old for this, and we agreed when they start coming two at a time, that's enough of that.
So, today is our 38th wedding anniversary. My high school sweetheart and I have raised six kids and are now hovering at twelve grandchildren. Times are still very lean, we still rent, we still live paycheck to paycheck - and we are still very much in love. And, Pixie is still the prettiest girl I've ever seen . . . and that's a very peculiar course for someone's life to take - how many men are married to the prettiest girl they've ever seen?! How does that work? But of course the real blessing is, Pixie is also the smartest, the sweetest, the goodest, the kindest person I've ever met. She is a wonder to me. We're approaching 60 now and we've been together since she was 15 years old, and I still marvel at how relentlessly special she is.
I don't know how these things happen, and it happened to me - I married the girl of my dreams and I love her now more than ever. And, what a beauty!
Happy 38th anniversary to us!
And look and what she's given me ~
All of the kids and just some of the grandkids
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