Happy Anniversary

Eighteen years. That sounds like a long time, but it’s not. Not when you think about it. Eighteen years is nothing.

It’s hard to believe that eighteen years ago we were just two ordinary people with two very different last names. It’s almost hard to conceive of a period before we were together.

I look at old photos of you and me, and I marvel at how we’ve both morphed over the years. Somehow you’ve become more lovely, more poised, and your skin looks too smooth for your age. Somehow my nose had gotten bigger. So has my butt.

Sometimes I travel backward in my memory and try to recall what we were like when we first met. Do you ever do that?

I close my eyes and attempt to remember how naïve I was. And I try to recapture a little bit of that boy I used to be.

God. I miss being naïve. I miss being stupid, unafraid, and even foolish. I was less worried about little things back then. I was braver. More trusting. Dumber, yes. But I also laughed more. Even when the world looked like it was falling apart, I managed to laugh often.

But somewhere along the way I grew up. I became more cautious, more responsible. In some ways, I’d like to think I’ve improved with age, over these last eighteen years, but in many ways, I’ve become stiffer.

Even so, do you know what hasn’t changed in the last eighteen years? Us. We are still you and me. We are still Sean and Jamie.

When we first met, you were balm to my broken heart. I had a pitiful childhood fraught with the suicide of a parent, violence, loss, bereavement. Then, all of a sudden, I met you.

Overnight, my world got bigger. My mind shifted into a more beautiful place. Suddenly, this life wasn’t dark and hazy, it was sunny and kind. Because I had you.

We spent nearly every day together for that first half a year. And when we weren’t together, we were running up your mom’s phone bill.

On the day of our wedding, it was the six month anniversary of our meeting. It was the quickest wedding in Baptist history. Everyone in the church was suspicious of our haste and suspected pregnancy was involved.

Elderly Baptist ladies were always staring at your stomach, asking if you felt nauseous, and wondering if you needed to confess anything. But the joke was on them.

The simple truth was, we were just right together. That was all there was to it. And even at my young and foolish age, I knew it was right.

The past two years have been the hardest we have endured as a married couple. We have lost loved ones. We lost your mother. We lost normalcy. We lost a piece of ourselves. And at times, it seemed as though we had even lost our clarity.

But each morning I would awake in our bed with your two brown eyes looking at me. Sometimes there would be tears in those eyes. Other times there would be tears in mine. Some mornings, we’d hold each other for hours until one of us had to go pee.

And as the year got harder and harder, somehow, you and I got a little stronger.

And now I get it. When I was a boy, I remember old-timers talking about being married for sixty or seventy years, and how sometimes they didn’t know whether they would survive the hell of life.

I remember old people saying there were days when they had nothing left but each other.

It all makes sense now. I see what God gave me when he gave me you. He gave me the most powerful force in the universe, contained in a woman’s frame. It was the same force that made the planets, and flung the stars into alignment. The same awesome strength that created oxygen, water, fire, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, and the Atlanta Braves.

It was love. The same love that changes a man’s biology, and his spirit.

Ten thousand years from now, long after I am dead and gone, and the world has forgotten that I was ever here; long after my ashes have become mingled with the soil, and my bones have turned to soot, and all evidence of my life has been erased; there is one thing I know for certain. Wherever my spirit is in eternity, it will be with yours. Forever. Because we are Sean and Jamie.

Happy anniversary.

91 comments

  1. Kathleen Jun Magyar - December 19, 2021 7:16 am

    Heavens, Sean, that’s lovely. What a lucky couple.

    Reply
  2. Nan - December 19, 2021 7:32 am

    Beautiful. May you have many, many more years together. Happy Anniversary!

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  3. Debbie g - December 19, 2021 8:11 am

    Beautiful Sean How blessed the two of y’all are one !! Happy happy happy
    Anniversary love y’all and love to us all

    Reply
  4. Glenda Williams - December 19, 2021 9:18 am

    When I started reading your story I thought you were wishing us a happy anniversary. 56 years for us on the 18th. Happy Anniversary. You can do it, too!

    Reply
  5. Ann - December 19, 2021 9:47 am

    Happy happy anniversary…you WILL be forever together ❤️❤️

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  6. Leigh Amiot - December 19, 2021 10:00 am

    Happy Anniversary, Sean and Jamie!

    Reply
  7. Sandi. - December 19, 2021 10:11 am

    Happy 18th Anniversary to y’all, Sean and Jamie. Here’s to the next 18 years together and beyond. Cherish every day!

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  8. Susan H Poole - December 19, 2021 10:21 am

    BEAUTIFUL. God has blessed your union and will continue💞. Happy ♡18th♡ Anniversary!

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  9. Norman Turnipseed - December 19, 2021 10:24 am

    Happy Anniversary to you and Jamie.
    Hope you both are happy with each other for many years to come.
    Have a good life and GOD bless you both!!!!!

    Reply
  10. Dianne DeVore - December 19, 2021 10:31 am

    Happy Anniversary

    Reply
  11. Karen+Erwin-Brown - December 19, 2021 10:45 am

    Happy anniversary. Sweet tribute. Donnie & I have our 40th tomorrow.

    Reply
  12. Tim Smith - December 19, 2021 10:50 am

    Happy anniversary!

    Reply
  13. Sandy Fopiano - December 19, 2021 10:53 am

    Happy Anniversary you two !!!!

    Reply
  14. Joy Jacobs - December 19, 2021 11:06 am

    Happy Anniversary. We just celebrated 50 years. We also knew each other 6 months and married in a Baptist Church. 😁 Life is a roller coaster.

    Reply
  15. chris - December 19, 2021 11:15 am

    congratulations! You sure out kicked your coverage!!! Have a wonderful anniversary

    Reply
  16. Joan+Moore - December 19, 2021 11:27 am

    Happy Anniversary to you and your beautiful bride! God bless you and have many more great times being soulmates.

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  17. Ron Mahn - December 19, 2021 11:58 am

    Blessed, Dude! I am thankful that you have been blessed by such a women!

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  18. Helen - December 19, 2021 12:01 pm

    Happy Anniversary!

    Reply
  19. Judy+Mercer - December 19, 2021 12:09 pm

    What beautiful and loving thoughts you have expressed!!!! Happy Anniversary to you both!!!

    Reply
  20. Diane - December 19, 2021 12:11 pm

    Happy Anniversary!! Beautifully written…

    Reply
  21. Sandy Nicholson - December 19, 2021 12:16 pm

    Absolutely beautiful!!

    Reply
  22. Cynthia - December 19, 2021 12:18 pm

    Happy anniversary, Sean and Jamie💗

    Reply
  23. Susan - December 19, 2021 12:36 pm

    Beautiful ♥️! Happy Anniversary, Sean and Jamie!!

    Reply
  24. Mary Jo Rouse - December 19, 2021 12:38 pm

    Happy anniversary!

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  25. John - December 19, 2021 12:45 pm

    Happy anniversary Sean and Jamie. May you have many more.

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  26. Linda Johnson - December 19, 2021 12:45 pm

    Happy anniversary to you and Jamie.

    Reply
  27. Leia Cathey - December 19, 2021 12:53 pm

    Wishing you both many more years together.

    Reply
  28. Ernie - December 19, 2021 12:57 pm

    Happy anniversary! FWIW, my bride and I also waited only six months from meeting at her sister’s house until we met in front of a Baptist preacher in my mom’s sunny backyard. (Lots of raised eyebrows among our naysayers, too.) That was 37 and 11/12 years ago. Blessings to you both.

    Reply
  29. Suzanne Cahill - December 19, 2021 12:59 pm

    Happy Anniversary, and many more!

    Reply
  30. Jean - December 19, 2021 1:02 pm

    Love what you have written to Jamie…..Happy Anniversary you two!!

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  31. Anne Arthur - December 19, 2021 1:10 pm

    There’s nothing to add to this beautiful love declaration than my best wishes for many more anniversaries on this earth and beyond. To the most amazing couple: Happy Anniversary!

    Reply
  32. Becky - December 19, 2021 1:16 pm

    Congratulations! I love your “love story”.
    I am so thankful I found your column. It was at a time I really needed to hear good stories.

    Reply
  33. Gayle Dodds - December 19, 2021 1:19 pm

    Dear Sean and Jamie true love is God’s greatest gift to his children Blessed Anniversary

    Reply
  34. Jana - December 19, 2021 1:20 pm

    Beautiful words! Happy anniversary!

    Reply
  35. Marcia MacLean - December 19, 2021 1:22 pm

    Better together. Happy anniversary to an amazing couple!

    Reply
  36. Rick - December 19, 2021 1:23 pm

    Happy Anniversary to the both of you 🎁🎊🎉🍷🍷🍻🍻❤️

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  37. Suellen - December 19, 2021 1:26 pm

    Happy Anniversary.

    Reply
  38. Paul McCutchen - December 19, 2021 1:27 pm

    you have saved that one. It was great. We got married at the court house if front of a judge. We had to get married during our lunch break because I didn’t have any vacation at my new job. That was four days before 9/11.

    Reply
  39. Jimmy Stewart - December 19, 2021 1:30 pm

    Happy Anniversary Sean and Jamie!!!

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  40. Jan - December 19, 2021 1:32 pm

    Happy Anniversary Sean and Jamie! Wishing you many more years of joy!

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  41. Jenn in GA - December 19, 2021 1:39 pm

    When you know, you know. Eleven months after meeting, we married, and we celebrated 31 years in August.

    Reply
  42. Sheri - December 19, 2021 1:39 pm

    Happy Anniversary. It is a wonderful thing to find yourself wrapped up in a beautiful relationship with someone that makes you feel like you are a better person than you were before. Thank you for sharing the lives you live with us. You feel like family. God bless.

    Reply
  43. Nick - December 19, 2021 1:55 pm

    Happy anniversary Sean & Jamie!! The love you speak is eternal because it is fromChrist. My bride and I got married in 3 months and will celebrate 48 years in March! May God continue to Bless you!

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  44. Gordon - December 19, 2021 1:57 pm

    What a wonderful post, Sean. Happy, Happy Anniversary

    Reply
  45. Ruth Mitchell - December 19, 2021 2:00 pm

    What beautiful words for your love for your wife. Happy Anniversary to both of you.

    Reply
  46. Sharon Larson - December 19, 2021 2:02 pm

    This is very sweet. Happy Anniversary!

    Reply
  47. NancyB. - December 19, 2021 2:07 pm

    🍾To the Dietrichs’🥂 💖💝Happy Anniversary!💝💖

    Reply
  48. Patrick - December 19, 2021 2:08 pm

    Happy Anniversary, Sean and Jamie!! What a beautiful expression of your love for each other!! May God give you many, many more anniversaries together!

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  49. Laurence - December 19, 2021 2:09 pm

    Bless you both, two became one.

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  50. Stacey Wallace - December 19, 2021 2:40 pm

    Happy Anniversary, Sean and Jamie. My parents were married for 66 years. May God give y’all the same blessing I was born on this day, 59 years ago. Thanks for making it even more special.

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  51. Robin B Kidd - December 19, 2021 2:47 pm

    Happy Anniversary!!

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  52. Stan - December 19, 2021 2:54 pm

    Happy Anniversary Sean and Jamie !!

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  53. Jeannine Auth - December 19, 2021 3:01 pm

    You two truly have it all. . .Happy Anniversary, Sean and Jamie!

    Reply
  54. BEX - December 19, 2021 3:17 pm

    Happy Anniversary, Sean and Jamie! I had close to 49 years with my husband before Colon cancer took him. We dated 3 months then married, to the same looks Jamie got but it took 6 years to have 2 beautiful girls. God bless you both – you two were meant for each other! 🙏🏻🙏🏻❤️❤️

    Reply
  55. The Adams - December 19, 2021 3:27 pm

    Happy anniversary to you and Jamie! Our 32-year marriage is the result of a blind date and three-month dating period; but when you know you know. Wishing you and Jamie many more years of life and love.

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  56. Jacki Knight - December 19, 2021 3:40 pm

    Hapoy Anniversary, Sean and Jamie!!

    Reply
  57. TERESA BROOKS - December 19, 2021 3:43 pm

    Happy Anniversary

    Reply
  58. Pingback: Sean of the South: Happy Anniversary | The Trussville Tribune

  59. TONJA WILDER - December 19, 2021 4:06 pm

    God Bless You Both.

    Reply
  60. Adrienne Possenti - December 19, 2021 4:17 pm

    Be sure to put your life and trust in the everlasting hands of God Creator & His Son, Jesus Christ for an eternity together in glory.

    Reply
  61. Shelton A. - December 19, 2021 4:24 pm

    Happy Anniversary, Jamie and Sean! May you many, many more years together (and, of course, more dogs-not wishing anything bad on Otis Campbell and Thelma Lou). May your live together continue to grow as one. God’s blessings and peace for you both. Celebrate and be joyous!

    Reply
  62. Maggie Priestaf - December 19, 2021 4:46 pm

    Happy Anniversary to you and your angel Jamie!

    Reply
  63. Christina - December 19, 2021 4:48 pm

    Happy anniversary to you two Jamie and Sean. Your love is a blessing and inspiration to us all.

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  64. Larry & Becky Comer - December 19, 2021 4:55 pm

    Happy 19th Anniversary to you both! Sean and Jamie, glad God brought you two together. Here’s to many more wonderful years of wedded bliss for you two.

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  65. Becky+Souders - December 19, 2021 5:16 pm

    Jamie and Sean: Happy Anniversary…. such lucky people to have each other. Maybe smart people is more accurate.
    Blessings to you!

    Reply
  66. Betty - December 19, 2021 5:25 pm

    Happy anniversary Sean & Jamie. May God grant you many more.

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  67. Ann Marie Bouchet - December 19, 2021 5:32 pm

    Happy Anniversary, Sean and Jamie. Your love for each other comes through in every column you write. .
    Much love to you both and hope your day is wonderful.

    Reply
  68. Linda Moon - December 19, 2021 5:45 pm

    Your last two years. Yes…they’ve been hard. Your time-travel seemed wonderful and somewhat bittersweet, so I’m glad Sean & Jamie met and endured losses and love together. Happy Anniversary from My Guy & Me.

    Reply
  69. Chasity Davis Ritter - December 19, 2021 6:12 pm

    Happy anniversary to you both. Wishing a much less painful year ahead but with all the love and precious moments the last one held dear. A couple at my church are celebrating 60 today and she says it feels like a blink. I know my 25 with my hubby has gone that fast too but like you said looking back I can see that morph as well. We also were married at 6 months because like you said when you know you know. This past week I attended a funeral of a dear lady I know. Her husband of 62 went to heaven in April and she was ready to follow. They got married when she was 14 and he 15. It was love at first sight and love FOREVER after as well. No shotgun weddings for any of us because when you know… you know. And I’m so glad you and Jamie, Phyllis and Alfred, Janice and Jake, and me and Lonny have been that blessed. Happy anniversary to you all.

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  70. elizabethroosje - December 19, 2021 6:22 pm

    Happy anniversary ❤🙏🕯❤

    Reply
  71. Katherine D Kempf Jones - December 19, 2021 6:27 pm

    Happy Anniversary!!
    Thank you, as Always, for sharing this with all of us and for putting into words how I feel as well about my husband AND my life! (In fact, I just read this beautiful Anniversary celebration to him as we navigate this last Sunday after worship and as we decide how best to spend this blessing of a day together in the midst of a pandemic and chemo for moi, and rest overall.)
    We are all blessed to have your thoughts AND perspective, Jamie! Please keep on keeping on & writing – your work is a Great Gift! – All best to you both as you take your next steps and find out what this adventure we call Life brings our ways. – with Love and Hope – DiAn and Joseph

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  72. Marilyn - December 19, 2021 6:32 pm

    Happy Anniversary, Sean and Jamie!

    Reply
  73. Susie Flick - December 19, 2021 6:35 pm

    Anniversary Wishes!

    Reply
  74. Sandra - December 19, 2021 7:05 pm

    Happy Anniversary Sean & Jamie. I wish y’all many many more happy years together. My husband and I were married 52 years 10 months and 9 days when he passed. We were childhood sweethearts.Grew up on the same rural road back in Alabama . The love of my life, just like Jamie is yours. ♥️🙏🏻

    Reply
  75. Chris Spencer - December 19, 2021 7:14 pm

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!! May God bless you with many more years of love, happiness and good health together!!!

    Reply
  76. Lucinda Harding - December 19, 2021 7:43 pm

    Hoping the best years are yet to come! Blessings and Happy Anniversary! What a love letter. 😊

    Reply
  77. Susan Norman - December 19, 2021 7:50 pm

    🥰💕👍

    Reply
  78. Karen - December 19, 2021 9:00 pm

    Happy Anniversary! May you and Jamie be blessed with many more.

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  79. Patricia Gibson - December 19, 2021 11:05 pm

    Happy Anniversary ❤️ You are very blessed

    Reply
  80. Ingrid B Whigham - December 19, 2021 11:30 pm

    Congratulations and wishes for many more to soulmates!

    Reply
  81. Tawanah Fagan Bagwell - December 20, 2021 1:26 am

    What a wonderful tribute to a sweet and beautiful woman. You are a blessed man, Sean’

    Reply
  82. Stacey Patton Wallace - December 20, 2021 3:40 am

    Happy Anniversary, Sean and Jamie! My parents were married for 66 years; may God give you the same blessing. I was born on this day 59 years ago; thanks for making me smile.

    Reply
  83. Martha - December 20, 2021 3:57 am

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!! I have been married to my husband for soon to be 46 years. Like you we met in August and got married in February. My one and only child was born nine years later. Mayor have many more years together.

    Reply
  84. MaryLu - December 20, 2021 7:43 am

    That last paragraph—it took my breath away. That’s a Love Letter for the Ages. Happy Anniversary.

    Reply
  85. Linda Hill - December 20, 2021 2:00 pm

    As with the many before me, I add my wishes for you & Jamie to have many more years of life & love together. For me – and perhaps a few others, those of us who’ve lost our soul mates – by one way or another, it’s particularly poignant to see you & Jamie live out your dream of being together forever. May God continue to bless you both.

    Reply
  86. Hazel - December 20, 2021 4:04 pm

    Happy anniversary Sean and Jamie. May you be blessed with many more amazing memories.

    Reply
  87. chipnoon - December 20, 2021 5:39 pm

    “Once upon a time…” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYbAyukVpHM

    Reply
  88. MAM - December 22, 2021 3:49 am

    Too sweet. We’ve been married 53 years and some days it feels like almost forever and other days that it has sped by. Blessings on your anniversary, Sean, you and Jamie.

    Reply
  89. Robert L Chiles - December 22, 2021 2:12 pm

    It’s all in picking the right one, or getting picked by the right one

    Reply
  90. Becky Word - December 23, 2021 4:45 am

    Happy anniversary to both of you! Life is hard but better when you walk hand in hand with your soulmate. May y’all have many, many more years together!

    Reply
  91. DiAn - January 21, 2022 7:57 am

    SEAN & Jamie – This is exactly what I needed to read today [even though it’s almost a month later!] – what a Lovely tribute to your partnership & marriage!
    THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS with all of us in the Dietrich Universe of dedicated Fans, totally absorbed by Sean’s Point of View! Please keep it going Sean – (BTW – what is the derivation of your last name?) – we all Need to hear your stories just now AND going forward. – with Hope – DiAn

    Reply

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