Thursday, February 15, 2001

We got married February 16, 1989.

November 1987 I mailed a Christmas card to 'Any Soldier' in care of Operation Dear Abby, Abby's program to send cards to soldiers overseas during the holiday. I was 16 and just wanted a pen pal.

I forgot about that card as the days passed. Soon it was February. I came home from school one afternoon and my parents were sitting at the table. Who's Roger? Dad asked. HUH? Roger who? I have NO idea. He said, well, you got a letter from him, you MUST know him......who is he? Again, I said I don't have a CLUE. So we opened the letter together and it went something like this.

maggie, My name is Roger, I am and I got your card. We were in the field over Christmas and I didn't get it until today. Write back and tell me about yourself.

So I went to my room, tossed my backpack on the bed and sat down to write a letter to my mystery man.

That started a beautiful friendship. We wrote about twice a month (it took 10 days to two weeks to get mail to and from Germany). We exchanged pictures in April, both of us nervous of what the other would think. I fell in love with him instantly. ohhhh those eyes........ I sent him my senior picture. He said it was beautiful :-)

I graduated from high school that year. He sent me a beautiful necklace for my graduation and some german money. I thought it was SO cool. (still have the necklace in my jewelry box). The letters came with more frequency. He even called me from Germany. We talked for what seemed like hours. I was laughing each time the operator said something in german and Roger would dump more change into the phone. He said he went through quite a few german ahh, I can't remember what they are called, but the german coin.

I went off to college. He told me to stay true to myself, no matter what I choose to do. I would share with him who my current beau was, it changed weekly it seemed. :-) Never occured to me that he wasn't doing the same. No mention of any women in his life.........but the letters came even more often, at least (at LEAST) one a day. Sometimes more. I remember walking from the postoffice and running into my English prof. She smiled and said that boy loves you......*blank stare* no way. I didn't believe her......not even a WEEK later I got a letter with him saying he loved me........ more than words could say. WOW

He was coming stateside in January (home to California) and we made plans to meet. He was going to drive to my college (in Pennsylvania) to meet me, then go on to Fort Campbell. He spent 2 weeks with his family and friends, bought a car and drove out to PA. As they say, the rest is history.

We met on February 3, 1989. We knew then we would get married, it was just a matter of time. I took him home to meet my parents around the 10th. Dad knew, he could just tell. Must have been the way we looked at each other.....

We decided we'd get married on Valentine's Day. Ended up needing blood tests and had to wait 2 or 3 days for the marriage certificate. So we got married on February 16. The morning of the 16th our car wouldn't start. I ran to find my dear friend Lane, someone who could have had my heart if it didn't already belong to R. I knew he had jumper cables. He came and jumped our battery for us and we were on our way. (he still tells me I owe him big :-))

We got to the court house and the JP said he'd marry us in the court room but he just did a case where the person still reeked of booze, so he'd rather marry us in his chambers. LMAO. He commented that we were young and we'd have many obstacles in our way, but if we stayed true to ourselves and each other we'd survive. Mentioned something about children (we think he assumed I was pregnant, when in fact if I were I wouldn't have known yet! ) then we were married. Our rings were costume jewelry we picked up at Ames the night before, total of $8 for the two together. (they have since been replaced a few times).

The picture to the left was taken when we got back. One of my college pals took it, it was taken in the lobby of my dorm. It's the only picture I have of that day. I don't know what happened to the other one I had.

We called family and friends that night..well, except for my dad. I didn't tell him until a few days later.....I was so afraid to. He freaked out on me, which is what I expected, but not much he could do at that point. I was indeed married.

I packed up in April, quit school and moved to Tennessee.

to be continued later......
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