The year was 1958, I noticed this cute girl in church. My brother was going with her sister and he and her got this cute girl and I to double date. That's when it happened. I began to chase her, hoping she would catch me. By the way, her name is Claudetta.
I was in college at the time, the weeks seemed to last a lifetime before I could get home to see her. We weren't going steady at the time so she was free to date anyone she wanted, I had no claim on her. I remember one time calling her to let her know that I was home for the week-end and if she would like to go out with me. I heard her shout to someone, "I can't go out with you, Aaron's home". Music to my ears, maybe she was going to catch me yet. We had a great time dating for awhile and I asked her to marry me.
July 16, 1960 we were united in marriage. Fifty-one years later, we are still married. Being a minister, I have the opportunity to counsel young people before I preform a ceremony. I often-times ask if they would like my secret of a long marriage. Of course they would, I then look the guy right in the eye and say, "Shut up and do as you're told" Of course, I am joking! then I explain the reason marriages don't last this long in most cases.
The real secret is committment! If we remember the words of most ceremonies, they begin with and announcement of uniting in the presence of God. I believe that my marriage and all marriages should be founded on God's principle and with His blessing. Then the officiating person (minioster, JP, etc.) will ask if we take each other to be our spouse. This means do we, on our own accord purpose to be together as husband and wife, to which we said, "We do".
The most serious part is the vows we make to each other. The vow is something like this, - - -
I take you to be my husband/wife to be my spouse. To have and to hold, this means that we give ourselves to each other. We no longer just consider ourselves as individuals but also have to consider the needs and want of the other. To love and cherish, this is a serious statement. Love is a word thrown around, sometimes carelessly. We love so many things and then throw them away. Love and cherish should denote our affection toward this other person above any-other being or thing. We would give our lives for them. Til death do us part, this is really the serious part. This is the commitment that has kept us together for fifty-one years. Divorce is not in our vocabulary.
Here, I can only speak for myself, but Claudetta has demonstrated to me, she feels the same. There is nothing she can do to cause me to divorce her. I want you to know, (I am sure this will be a surprise to those that know me) I can be hard to live with. There have been many trying days for the both of us. Sometimes we would feel like, what's the use. But our love was commited! sometimes fast, sometimes There have been good times and bad times! We laughed, we cried, we spoke softly and tenderly, we shouted and fought, but we were commited.
We have been blessed with six children (one girl died before her first birthday), fifteen grand children, and six great grandchildren. It has been a great life, all in all. It seems as though the years have flown by, (although it probably seems longer to Claudetta).
Stay commited! I would recommend it to everyone.