Sunday, June 14, 2015

June 14 – Flag Day and my wedding anniversary

I photographed the pictures in my wedding book and there is a glare on each one. 

June 14 is Flag Day in America. 
Barry and I were married June 14, fifty-one years ago, in the First Methodist Church in Albany, Georgia. I could not possibly forget my anniversary because flags are always flying on that day.

I remember being so nervous and anxious that I cried all morning. I could not quit crying no matter what. The more I cried the more I feared that I would be bawling my eyes out as I walked down the aisle.

Finally someone gave me a tranquilizer that calmed my jitters so I could go on with the wedding. I loved my wedding dress with the layers of lace and the mantilla over my hair. Mother and I found it in Moultrie, Georgia. On a school teacher’s salary, I had little money to spend and wondered if I would find a pretty dress, but the perfect dress was waiting for me and it had a very reasonable price tag.

My sister, Gay, was my maid of honor and Barry’s brother, Richard, was his best man. The day is still a blur to me. But once we were in the car and on our way to Gatlinburg, TN where we spent the most marvelous week, I was the happiest bride on earth.

Isn't my sister beautiful? She is helping put on the blue garter I wore. Every bride had a picture posed this way in the sixties. 

When I remember how young we were and how unprepared for marriage, the ups and downs we would face, the stresses of making ends meet on two small salaries, learning to live with someone who had habits different from mine, and getting to know the families we were now a part of, I am so grateful that my parents never interfered or tried to give us advice. We worked out our problems on our own. His parents seemed to be very happy for us, and my family had fallen for Barry early on. Why not? No one could resist him.

My sister, Gay, me, Barry and Richard Beall. Were we really that young? 
To me marriage was a commitment for life. “For better or for worse, till death do we part.” No matter how upset I became, I knew we could compromise and work things out. I never let the thought of divorce enter our conversations or enter my thoughts. 

Communication is the key to solving most disagreements, I believe. When two people love each other and want their marriage to work, if they can speak in rational terms, an agreement can be found. Each one must be willing to give 100 percent. 

Barry has been gone from me for six years, but his spirit is here all the time, in this house. Someone asked me if having his pictures around me didn’t make me sad. No, they bring me pleasure. They bring back wonderful memories. Making memories that live on when loved ones are gone is part of being human. If a photo brings tears to my eyes, that is Okay. To cry is to show the love we have for one who is gone. We can’t be afraid to feel love, to feel grief and pain. To live is to know joy and sorrow. 

In the picture above, we are dressed to leave the wedding reception at the church and start our new life together. What a life we had! If only that young girl had known what I know now, but she had to learn on her own that life will not always be as perfect as it was that day. She survived losses she thought she couldn't endure and difficulties of various kinds, but in surviving she grew stronger. She knew happiness she had never imagined she would experience. 


Pat Meece Davis said...

Beautifully written!
Your wedding dress was gorgeous and the two of you made a great-looking and wonderful couple. Your "going away" outfit was cute. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to meet you and Barry and spend some time with both of you at the NCWN meeting in Winston-Salem. Thanks for sharing your wedding story and photos on this special day.

DJan said...

Well done, Glenda! I enjoyed seeing this part of your life, and I too know that having pictures of loved ones who have gone doesn't cause sadness but joy that we were together for as long as we were. Wonderful pictures and what a beautiful dress! :-)

Anonymous said...

Loved this post Glenda! My you and Barry looked like movie stars : ) I'm glad seeing his photos brings you happiness he was such a sweet sweet man and you are such a sweet sweet lady : )

Lise said...

Wonderful memories! You look so radiant and I love those photos and the style. Thank you for sharing.

I hope you are well, I think of you often and enjoy reading your blog!

Glenda C. Beall said...

Hi Pat,
Thanks for your sweet comment. I, too, am glad we met in front of the elevator that day in Winston Salem. Barry enjoyed making photos of our group. Although he wasn't a writer, he was always there to support me and that weekend, he drove me over to Winston-Salem and watched sports on TV while I was attending the conference. I'm glad you enjoyed my story.

Glenda C. Beall said...

DJan, I knew you would understand about the pictures. So glad you liked my story and the pictures. I love your blog, Eye on the Edge.

Glenda C. Beall said...

Tipper, I love what you said. "you and Barry looked like movie stars" If only I had known I was cute back then, but I, like most young women, saw only my faults. If I had a wish that would come true I would wish that all young women and men recognized their strengths, their abilities and how special they are instead of only seeing their short comings.

I did feel pretty on my wedding day, however, in my beautiful dress and, for a short time, felt like a "movie star" being the center of attention.
Thanks so much for stopping by.

Glenda C. Beall said...

My dear Lise,
So good to hear from you and know you are reading my blog. I miss your posts and hope you are very happy in your new home. Thank you so much for stopping by.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

What a beautiful bride. I love your wedding dress. You and Barry made a lovely couple. So glad you have these wonderful memories. Glad you had a very happy marriage. Barry was a fine man!

Abbie Taylor said...

This brought back pleasant memories of my own wedding. I was married to Bill for seven years before he passed. During that time, I never thought of looking for another man. It's too bad that a lot of people don't take marriage seriously.

Maren O. Mitchell said...

Glenda, what a pleasure to see beautiful you and handsome Barry, both so happy and young. Thanks for posting.

Joan Ellen Gage said...

Glenda, I loved this post! What wonderful memories! The photos are lovely of the two of you!

Glenda C. Beall said...

Joan, thank you so much. I am glad you liked my sharing memories on this blog. We had a good photographer and I have many more photos of that day. I'm sure in Barry's slides that I still have not yet made digital, I'll find more memories of our early years.