Well, she must not have cared because I had none. I was a blue-collar nothing with a nothing-future ahead of me. I had no high-school education. No achievements. No pot to you-know-what in, and no plant to pour it on. And not much confidence.

The sun was coming up. We rode toward Charleston, doing sixty-five miles per hour in a two-seat truck.

“I can’t believe we’re married,” said my new wife.

“Me neither.”

In my wallet: two hundred dollars cash. It was all I had. I earned it by selling my guitar, one week earlier.

My late father told me once, “If you ever get married, marry a woman who don’t care about money. Happiness and money are of no relation.”

Well, she must not have cared because I had none. I was a blue-collar nothing with a nothing-future ahead of me. I had no high-school education. No achievements. No pot to you-know-what in, and no plant to pour it on. And not much confidence.

Until her.

She unfolded a roadmap on the dashboard. My truck radio played a Willie Nelson cassette. I was married.

Married. Things were looking up.

We arrived at a cheap motor-inn. She took a shower while I watched the idiot box. Andy Griffith was on.

I’d seen the episode a hundred times. Barney makes Otis jump rope to prove he’s sober. You know the rest. Crisis. Cliffhanger. Andy saves the day. Roll credits.

I made reservations at an upscale restaurant where the waiter pulls the chairs out for you. I wore the only necktie I owned.

We ate food I could not afford. I paid a hundred bucks—plus tip. We walked the streets, arm in arm.

“I can’t believe we’re married,” she said.

Then: the sound of horse hooves. A carriage. A man stepped out and groomed his animals on the sidewalk.

My wife remarked how pretty the horses were.

I asked how much he charged for rides.

“Hundred bucks,” he said.

I handed him my remaining wad of cash. “How much will this buy?”

He thought about it. “How’s ten minutes sound?”

We covered ourselves with a blanket. He carted us through the streets. We saw hotels where George Washington slept, buildings older than my grandaddy’s grandaddy’s grandaddy.

That nice man gave us an hour ride.

Later, that night, my wife said, “I feel like ice cream.”

We stopped at a grocery store. I was out of cash, so I wrote a personal check while whispering The Twenty-Third Psalm.

My wife sat on my tailgate, eating from the carton. I laid in the pickup bed, watching the moon.

“I can’t believe we’re married,” I said.

And I still can’t.

My life has changed considerably since that night. So have I. And I don’t want to be melodramatic here, but it’s because of my ice-cream eating bride.

She’s done things for me. She let me cry on her shoulder when my boss fired me. She held my hand, in an ambulance after I totalled my truck. She tutored me in college algebra.

She helped me piece together my education. She told a fatherless flunky he was every bit as smart as anyone else. She loved me.

It’s not our anniversary. It’s nobody’s birthday, either. I just felt like telling you about the reason I believe in God.

Her name is Jamie.

27 comments

  1. Howard Yeager - May 19, 2018 6:51 am

    Good night!!!!! When yall are near Auburn, give us a call. Anytime. Send me a PM and i’ll shoot you my phone number!

    Reply
  2. Gary - May 19, 2018 8:22 am

    You’re a lucky man, Sean. Don’t ever forget it. Your wife sounds like a wonderful person.

    Reply
  3. Lisa Perkins - May 19, 2018 11:09 am

    God is good and blessed you two with each other. It’s funny how life works out sometimes in ways you could never imagine. I love your posts and would love to meet you guys (Thelma too!) someday. Hope you have an awesome day!

    Reply
  4. Connie Havard Ryland - May 19, 2018 11:19 am

    You are blessed to have each other. Have a great day. Love and hugs.

    Reply
  5. Barbara Pope - May 19, 2018 12:01 pm

    God is good and Jamie is a keeper!

    Reply
  6. Linda D - May 19, 2018 12:02 pm

    Reading this while watching the Royal Wedding. Ain’t love grand? It can move mountains when you find your “person.” Here’s wishing you and Jamie many more magical moments.

    Reply
  7. Michael Guilday - May 19, 2018 12:15 pm

    Sean, my old man always said to “marry up.” He wasn’t referring to marrying someone of greater wealth or social achievement, he was referring to “up” in the eyes of God. I’m in my thirty-seventh year. I definitely married up.

    Reply
  8. Sharon - May 19, 2018 12:39 pm

    He blesses us with what we need when we don’t even realize what we need. And because of His great love he gave you each other. My husband And I met when we were young dumb kids! Married when we were 17 and 19. He put us together and we have been blesses with 40 years and still going. Best friends. Thankful, like you, to have each other. God’s plans for us are good. Better than we can imagine. All you have to do is look at your sweet ice cream eating bride, your peeing dog, beautiful blue sky, and a big old plate of cornbread and beans!!

    Reply
  9. Jack Darnell - May 19, 2018 12:56 pm

    Watch that girl, I think we married the same woman! Imma keep an eye on her.
    Very good post my friend, very good. It can last forever, so far 61+ years and growing.

    Reply
  10. Donna Johns - May 19, 2018 1:35 pm

    Love conquers all!! God bless you and Jamie!!

    Reply
  11. Jack Quanstrum - May 19, 2018 1:43 pm

    Your lucky and blessed beyond belief! What a privilege!

    Reply
  12. Nix LaVerdi - May 19, 2018 1:45 pm

    Beautiful, Sean. God gives us our angels in life, our guides. Gives us those people to hold up our mirrors, so we can take a look. Gives us those people who are strong enough to hold us up, when we feel broken. For that, love is priceless.

    Keep telling your stories. I read all of them. They are Golden.

    Sincerely,
    Nix

    Reply
  13. swuppet - May 19, 2018 3:06 pm

    I LOVE this – one of your best closing lines, ever.

    Reply
  14. Sandra Smith - May 19, 2018 3:40 pm

    Awwe, that was LOVELY, Sean.
    Jamie is a very lucky woman.
    (and, you’re a very lucky guy) !!!
    ❤❤❤

    Reply
  15. Janet Mary Lee - May 19, 2018 3:59 pm

    So happy for you both! It is wonderful to love, and can be rare. It is even better when it is appreciated for what it is…God’s gift and grace to you!! NEVER forget!! Love it was an “ordinary day’!

    Reply
  16. Arlene - May 19, 2018 6:25 pm

    Made me smile!

    Reply
  17. Steven P Bailey - May 19, 2018 8:25 pm

    Mine is named Wendy….

    Reply
  18. Marinan Brewer - May 19, 2018 9:52 pm

    Awesome story– have ur writings!

    Reply
  19. Charmion - May 20, 2018 1:52 am

    Be still my heart!❤️

    Reply
  20. Norm Anderson - May 20, 2018 1:56 am

    God bless!

    Reply
  21. Steve Welch - May 20, 2018 2:51 am

    Great piece Sean. You are correct in that God can take human form at times and inspire us to be more than we think. Have never met Jamie, but I know she has to be special because she understands a man like you. Already like Thelma Lou ( a tribute to Barney’s girl on Andy’s show, I assume).

    You are not perfect, but then who really is. Continue to enjoy the ride and share your insights with us.

    Thanks,

    Steve

    Reply
  22. Carla Dillenburg - May 20, 2018 1:04 pm

    Lovely tribute, to your wife and to your sense of gratitude. There’s an adage, various versions credited to great thinkers from Lincoln to Lao-tzu, that basically says, (and I paraphrase) “If you think you’re a lucky son-of-a-gun, you are.” Lucky you.

    Reply
  23. Dora - May 20, 2018 2:22 pm

    So proud for you both. I sure miss my one true love.

    Reply
  24. Sue Cronkite - May 20, 2018 5:14 pm

    Praise be to Jamie.

    Reply
  25. Mark Miles - May 20, 2018 7:38 pm

    God bless Jamie for giving us You!

    Reply
  26. Steve Winfield - July 19, 2018 5:19 pm

    Reply
  27. Jimmie - July 22, 2018 11:49 pm

    Your stories calm me, make me laugh, or cry. They take me out of myself for a few minutes and I deeply appreciate it. ❤️

    Reply

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