Sometime around mid-morning today, I'll catch myself, no matter where I am or what I am attempting, remembering where I was and what I was doing thirty-six years ago when the most beautiful woman in the world made me the original fortunate son and married me.
The last twelve months have borne little resemblance to the picnic I promised Sigrid I would offer her everyday of our lives when I asked her to marry me (unless you count the ants). Some days have been diamonds and others more like coal under a lot of pressure and yet, sechs und dreizig jahren danach, hier sind wir.
For such a wordy guy, I sometimes lose the power of speech when I think about all the twists of fate that had to happen for she and I to become we. I'm smiling as I type this right now remembering that poor elderly German woman on the other end of the phone number I dialed she had given me the night we met that was the wrong number.
Never one to take a hint or read an inference correctly, I didn't draw anything like the obvious conclusion and persisted in dialing the wrong digits every night all week long until I next saw 'that girl' again the following weekend and her first question to me was 'why didn't you call me?'. I probably should've invited that lady to the wedding.
As it was, we had Chris, Moni, Rick and Evelyn and Franz and Anni together with Beate, Klaus Peter and Gabi and every once in a while I remember the look on your Dad's face as I'd catch him studying mine trying to appreciate what his oldest daughter saw in the Ami. I'd like to think before he passed he felt about me the way I always felt about him. Moni is an absent friend but both Sigrid and I keep her in our hearts.
When someone asks as they always do, 'how many years have you been married?' after I answer I always add, in a feeble attempt at humor, 'my wife says it feels longer...but that's because the German use the metric system."
And then I remember a lyric from an underheard Don Henley song, "I dream, and my dreams are all glory and light. That's what I've wanted for my life. And if it hasn't always been that way; well, I can dream and I can pray on my wedding day." Angel Eyes, I will always love you.