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 was 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 pulled 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 came 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 your grandaddy’s grandaddy’s grandaddy. That nice man gave us an hour ride.

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

So we stopped at a grocery store. I was out of cash, so I wrote a personal check while whispering the 23rd 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, and so have I. I don’t want to be melodramatic here, but my life is different 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 watches baseball with me.

She helped me piece together my education. She told a fatherless flunky he was every bit as smart as anyone else. She loved me through every sore throat, every cold and fever, every layoff, every selfish insecurity, and each physical ailment between.

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

Her name is Jamie.

68 comments

  1. Christina - September 12, 2021 6:40 am

    I never get tired of your love stories with Jamie. She is a treasure and she uncovered one too!

    Reply
  2. Steve Winfield (Lifer) - September 12, 2021 6:53 am

    It’s the romance of the century and we never tire of hearing about it. I love my wife to the moon & back so I know exactly how you feel.
    Godspeed to you both.
    Godspeed to all of us who’ve found that someone.

    Reply
  3. Harriet - September 12, 2021 7:31 am

    I love your stories about Jamie too.

    Reply
  4. Becky Kaufman - September 12, 2021 9:21 am

    You really got a good one.

    Reply
  5. Marilyn Ward Vance - September 12, 2021 9:41 am

    I had a love like that…..my Jamie was named Hugh…..

    Reply
  6. Michael D. Milita - September 12, 2021 10:38 am

    My Sweet Caroline was and still is everything to me. You are a blessed man.

    Reply
  7. Patricia Harris - September 12, 2021 10:59 am

    Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing even though it’s not your anniversary. My husband snd I had a similar beginning and came out just fine as did you. We were married for more than 56 years when Alzheimer’s took him from me snd our children and grandchildren, his brother and sister. He died much lived with a wife by his side that did everything with him. He’s bern gone nearly three years. I’ll love him to my last breath.

    Reply
    • Jerry - September 13, 2021 2:17 pm

      your short comment was every bit as touching as Sean’s. My wife and I have been married 53 years, I picked her picture out of an 8th grade year book, met her the second day of school in the 9th grade and we have been together ever since. We are so lucky to have found our soul mate, so many people never do. I am so sorry you lost your husband to that terrible disease.

      Reply
  8. Ray Huckabone - September 12, 2021 11:04 am

    I have a Jamie too but her name is Diane. Thank you Sean for putting into words what I find difficult.

    Reply
  9. Karen Snyder - September 12, 2021 11:24 am

    I would wager that if Jamie were a writer she would tell a nearly identical story about A fellow named Sean. ❤️

    Reply
  10. Sandi Krym - September 12, 2021 11:40 am

    You and Jamie are blessed to have found each other. Treasure every minute you have together!

    Reply
  11. Bob E - September 12, 2021 11:43 am

    Lucky guy.
    Love is great.

    Reply
  12. Robin Ungano - September 12, 2021 11:52 am

    You are so blessed to have each other…My Mom & Dad had a similar love story. They were married for 72 years until Covid-19 took my vaccinated, healthy Dad on August 26, 2021 and left my Mom a widow.

    Reply
  13. Ellen Stout - September 12, 2021 11:58 am

    Now I love Jamie too.

    Reply
  14. Helen De Prima - September 12, 2021 12:08 pm

    Beautiful!

    Reply
  15. Karen Erwin-Brown - September 12, 2021 12:11 pm

    Yep. I get it! Think you both ended up on the good side of this love knot.

    Reply
  16. Joan Moore - September 12, 2021 12:16 pm

    Sounds like star crossed lovers to me, congratulations on your marriage, even if you don’t have any rice in your hair now.

    Reply
  17. Ronbo - September 12, 2021 12:22 pm

    Cool❤️👍😎

    Reply
  18. Dana Blackwood - September 12, 2021 12:23 pm

    Sean, I messaged you on facebook a few months ago, responding to one of your pieces. I was thrilled to get a response, it was Jamie. I had no idea at the time I read the thoughtful message, that Jamie wrote, she was in the throws of losing her mom. I know you must get thousands of messages and emails, and your sweet wife had jumped in, in the middle of her pain, and was responding to my trivial message with the grace and kindness of a friend of many years (though we have never met). Thank you so very much for sharing your victories and struggles and, more importantly, Jamie.

    Reply
  19. Pamela Williams - September 12, 2021 12:27 pm

    ❤️❤️❤️

    Reply
  20. Nancy Crews - September 12, 2021 12:32 pm

    ❤your writinv.

    Reply
  21. Jan - September 12, 2021 12:36 pm

    A beautiful love story … Congratulations on finding your soul mate!

    Reply
  22. Don Gardner, Jr - September 12, 2021 12:39 pm

    I would love to meet Jamie, and you someday. Y’all sound like my kind of people.

    Reply
  23. Joyce W Moorman Moorman - September 12, 2021 12:44 pm

    Lovely post! Many of us have lived that story.

    Reply
  24. Debbie - September 12, 2021 12:48 pm

    You are so blessed! You bless me every day when I read your emails!😊

    Reply
  25. Joyce Anders - September 12, 2021 12:54 pm

    You and Jamie are so blessed. We lov

    Reply
  26. Shelton A. - September 12, 2021 1:03 pm

    Jamie must be very special for you to write this. Just for love…not a bad reason, a pretty good one, in fact. Blessings and peace to you both.

    Reply
  27. Maggie Priestaf - September 12, 2021 1:04 pm

    Thank you, Jamie…

    Reply
  28. Jean - September 12, 2021 1:15 pm

    She is a keeper for sure! So are you!

    Reply
  29. Carter Anthony - September 12, 2021 1:19 pm

    “But I believe in Love”. Don Williams

    Reply
  30. Chasity Davis Ritter - September 12, 2021 1:49 pm

    You are a very lucky man Mr Sean Dietrich!!

    Reply
  31. Sandra - September 12, 2021 2:05 pm

    I once had a love like that. I had him for 52 years 10 months and 9 days . He has been gone five years now. I miss him every day. Enjoy the love while you can. ♥️

    Reply
  32. Butch Veazey - September 12, 2021 2:26 pm

    Sean you won the lottery Son! May health, happiness, success and live be with you always…

    Reply
  33. LEWIS DWIGHT TAYLOR - September 12, 2021 2:37 pm

    Always remember the blessing of a wonderful wife! My wife has walked with me through so much in 45 years. She is my treasure!

    Reply
  34. Sue - September 12, 2021 2:43 pm

    I want you to know, you absolutely light up my day. Thank you.

    Reply
  35. Gerry Freeman - September 12, 2021 2:47 pm

    Sounds,what they call like a marriage made in Heaven.

    Reply
  36. Stacey - September 12, 2021 3:11 pm

    What a lovely tribute to your wife. I love your posts.
    And today actually is my anniversary – 24 years! 🙂

    Reply
  37. Dale Ann - September 12, 2021 3:14 pm

    This is beautiful! You just made my morning a little brighter. ❤️

    Reply
  38. Frances D Lester - September 12, 2021 3:20 pm

    You picked a winner–so did Jamie! Happy and sad times go best with love! Keep reminding us that love never fails.

    Reply
  39. Rebecca McKenzie - September 12, 2021 3:23 pm

    Perfect love letter. Jamie is lucky to have you too. You are perfect couple

    Reply
  40. Melba Moody - September 12, 2021 3:37 pm

    AWESOME! YOU ARE BLESSED!

    Reply
  41. Sandra Preble - September 12, 2021 3:47 pm

    Everyone should be so blessed to have a “Jamie”. So smart to see all the goodness in you!

    Reply
  42. Linda Moon - September 12, 2021 4:44 pm

    I was happy and smiley at the title of this post because Jamie makes me feel that way whenever she’s around. And then I read “Charleston”, a very happy-making place of mine. I believe in Jamie and Charleston…they each have led me to joys of love. Thanks for reminding me of them today, so please tell Jamie I love her!

    Reply
  43. Suellen - September 12, 2021 4:45 pm

    Something to be cherished and nurtured ever day. Loves like that are a treasure.

    Reply
  44. Joe F - September 12, 2021 5:12 pm

    Sean you have a talent for describing very special people. Thank you
    Joe

    Reply
  45. Stacey Wallace - September 12, 2021 5:23 pm

    Sean, I hope I get to meet you and Jamie one day. Y’all are such a blessing to me, one of the countless blessings God has sent me. May God bless you both and comfort you in your grief. Love you!

    Reply
  46. Karen - September 12, 2021 5:53 pm

    Beautiful.

    Reply
  47. MAM - September 12, 2021 6:02 pm

    Thanks, Sean, for talking about your loving marriage. My husband and I have the same kind of marriage – 53 years so far and we are still so much in love! Maybe more than ever.

    Reply
  48. Deborah (Debbie) Gillespie - September 12, 2021 7:03 pm

    Every man needs a Jamie in his life…and every woman would be wise to be more like Jamie

    Reply
  49. Stephen Herchak - September 12, 2021 7:11 pm

    We’re thrilled to read about you spending your honeymoon here in our home town! As a licensed guide certified by the City and former president of the Charleston Tours Association it would be my pleasure to comp you a tour and show you around if you ever return or just take you and Jamie to lunch and fill you in on the places to go and things to see here. Stephen and Martha
    http://s741291698.onlinehome.us/

    Reply
  50. Edna Isdell - September 12, 2021 7:13 pm

    Such a sweet story

    Reply
  51. Melanie - September 12, 2021 7:39 pm

    ❤️ Sean + Jamie ❤️ 4evr

    Reply
  52. Lana Grimes - September 12, 2021 8:58 pm

    True love . The story is about like my husband and myself I was 17 ,he was 20 .Thought love could make anything happen . It does 9 months later parents. We all grew up together. Husband got job at Sears he would come in she would be crying along with me. I would tell her ” wish I had Gotten you at Sears I would take you back. Needless to say I didn’t . That husband and I have been married Sept 27 2022 will be 53 years. Where has the time gone? Wouldn’t change a thing.

    Reply
  53. Denise Webb - September 12, 2021 9:49 pm

    Beautiful♥️

    Reply
  54. Tawanah Fagan Bagwell - September 12, 2021 10:08 pm

    I believe you got the best wife for you and I know she is sure she got the best husband for her!

    Reply
  55. Heidi - September 12, 2021 10:31 pm

    You have found your true soulmate, just as I have. There’s something so imperfectly perfect about it all and it will last for ever. We are both, blessed.❤️

    Reply
  56. Gayle Wilson - September 12, 2021 10:49 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to the love of your life

    Reply
  57. Robin - September 12, 2021 10:53 pm

    I’m mellowing in my aging process. Loving sweet stories. Thanks for sharing your God given gift!

    Reply
  58. Dawn Knight - September 12, 2021 10:57 pm

    Mine is named Kenny. I was barely 16 and he was 18. We fished on dates, we sat on my parents porch playing cards or monopoly. Almost 4 years later we were married. We were married 40 years and just shy of 44 years together when he died. I am still married to him.

    Reply
  59. Peggy ALEXANDER - September 13, 2021 12:25 am

    I totally agree with Christina. Sean you make people love you and Jamie too and we don’t even know you but feel so close to y’all

    Reply
  60. brenheart - September 13, 2021 11:20 am

    Another beautiful piece of you put into words to share with us and to “feel” the love! Thank you, Sean.

    Reply
  61. Gina T in NC - September 13, 2021 11:44 am

    Sean, 7 days before my 20th anniversary, this story is right on time. I understand your love for Jamie – but never forget the love she has for you. I would love to hear her side of this tale. 🙂 I love the song: “This is Us” – by Mark Knopfler/Emmylou Harris. Play it for her. She will laugh and so will you.

    Happy Anniversary

    Reply
  62. Lucinda Harding - September 13, 2021 3:39 pm

    Perhaps you never realized Jamie saw the wonderful things about you back then that you failed to realize about yourself. She seems to be a good judge of character. Bless you both and cherish your relationship.

    Reply
  63. Larry Wall - September 13, 2021 7:24 pm

    Sean – your piece today about your love story with Jamie and hers with you conjures up the song by Vince Gill. Especially when he sings it with his long-time wife, Amy Grant. True love is a very special blessing bestowed on the good by GOD. My gift of a loving wife and I have been together for 58 years and married 52 of those. We who are that fortunate honor that gift by caring for it. Bless you and Jamie.

    Reply
    • Larry J Wall - September 13, 2021 7:26 pm

      That song by Vince Gill is “Look At Us”, by the way.

      Reply
      • Jerry Hicklin - September 13, 2021 11:17 pm

        Used this song for a 50th wedding anniversary video I did and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Beautiful song for sure.

        Reply
  64. Billy - September 14, 2021 2:43 am

    My Cindy just read me your story of Jamie. All a man can ask for is someone that sees in them what we often times cannot. They make us who we are.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  65. charlynecox - September 14, 2021 3:10 pm

    Everyone needs someone who believes in them. Blessings, Jamie!

    Reply

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