Family, Memory, Real Life

Forty-six Years Ago

Forty-six years ago tomorrow, I began a new life. It was the Viet Nam era. I was not quite eighteen. And my fiancé was in the U.S. Army. So, like many young couples of that time, we got married. Three weeks later, my brand new husband left me—under military order.

31 August, 1967

We were lucky; they sent him to Germany, not Viet Nam. And I found myself caught between two worlds. I was married, but I had no husband. I was still a teen, but I no longer fit in with my old friends. I still lived with my parents. I had no car—in fact, I’d not yet learned to drive—so I got a job caring for a neighbor’s children while she worked.

I no longer thought about going to art school. I dreamed only of moving to Germany to be with my husband. A few months later, that became reality. In a country nearly 5,000 miles from my hometown, I set up my first household—a two-room apartment on the ground floor, below our German landlord. By the time our first son was born, we’d moved to three rooms on the third floor, above our landlord.

The next year, I moved back to Indiana, just in time to see the first man walk on the moon. My husband returned a couple of months later for a brief leave before being shipped off to Texas. One year later, just after the end of our army days, our second son was born. We increased our family with two more sons in the next six years. We two had become six.

Have all these forty-six years of marriage been blissful? Of course not. We’re human. We’re opposites in many ways; clashes are inevitable. But we also complement each other. And we’re both too stubborn to give up.  We grew into adulthood together. We grew into friendship. We love each other in the true sense of the word. We have what matters most.

Happy anniversary to us!



41 thoughts on “Forty-six Years Ago”

  1. Thank you for sharing this Linda. For various reasons I have been MIA recently and have missed my blogging friends. Congratulations on 46 years Linda. We were married for 41 years when my husband died and 15 years later there is still a hole in my life. And congratulations on the second book. I have read Brevity of course and now will get a copy of Illusions.


  2. I smiled as I read this and looked at that photo of the young, skinny kids who really didn’t know what they were doing. I could have been you, almost was. I dated a fellow to whom I thought myself to be madly in love. He went in the service (the Viet Nam war was raging in 1970) and broke up with me. Broke my heart for awhile. I wouldn’t have gone to college, I wouldn’t have met the man to whom I’ve now been married 37 years, I wouldn’t have my amazing daughter or fabulous grandchildren. Life takes strange turns, doesn’t it? Oh, and that boy that I thought I loved? Lost complete track of him. I just hope his life turned out to be as amazing as mine did.


    1. Thanks for commenting, dkzody. I visited your blog and it seems we live in the same town. I’m happy to hear the one that got away, wasn’t the best one for you. 🙂

      Yes, for as little as we knew what we were doing 46 years ago, we turned out all right. Whenever I get the urge to ponder what might have been if we hadn’t married, I try to write it as fiction. 😉


  3. lord, you look impossibly young in that photo. made me shake my head that the norm in those days was it was ok for children to marry and go off to war — but heaven forbid they vote…. :0)

    I’m eversoglad for you that the journey you began 46 years ago turned out to be a life worth living together. this posting made my day.
    Thank you for sharing– happy belated anniversary — and many many happy returns of the day!


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