Finally, a subject I can write about without absolutely no sadness or remorse! If you’ve been reading my previous Monday posts, then you know that my childhood was less than perfect, and downright painful, at times. However, all of that was before I met my future husband, Ed!
Edward, as a baby, 1950
My husband, Edward, now known as “Ed” or just plain “E”, was the second born of five sons. Ed’s older brother, Allen, and his younger brother, Dale, were both born shortly before and after him. Unfortunately, both of these brothers died from Cystic Fibrosis, and Ed doesn’t even remember them now. Allen lived to be three, but little Dale barely made it past six months old. For a while, after the death of his two brothers, Edward used to ask his mother if he was going to die, too. I can’t begin to imagine the heartbreak Ed’s mom must have gone through, in those days!
Edward was a sickly, only child for several years, until, finally, another baby brother was born. Fifteen months later, another baby brother was born, too. Now, Ed’s mama really had her hands full! She was an older mom, and depended on Ed to help her, quite a bit, which probably helped shape him into the husband and father he would later become.
Edward and his family, 1960
As a child, Ed took piano lessons for many years. He became an accomplished pianist, performing in many recitals and receiving several awards for his performances. I recently learned that Ed learned how to play the organ, as well! Ed was the only one of his brothers to take any formal music lessons.
At age 17, Ed graduated from high school in 1967, and attended Georgia Southern College (years before it became a university), where he says he wasted his parents hard-earned money by not applying himself. The following year, Ed attended Vocational-Technical College for a year, but failed to return the second year to complete the electronics course. Instead, Ed and a friend of his, decided to join the army and see the world! Ed and his friend signed up to go into the army, and attend x-ray school. Soon the two found themselves immersed in the world of anatomy, physics, and techniques!
Ed, with his younger brothers, 1969
Shortly after Ed signed up for the army, but before he and his friend were called to report for basic training, Ed and I were set up, on a blind date, by a mutual cousin. Yes, I said “by a mutual cousin”. Ed’s mama’s sister, married my daddy’s brother, and the couple had two children. Susan, the oldest cousin, paired me up with Ed, so she could go out with his friend. The four of us went on a double date to the drive-in. Susan and Ed’s friend didn’t hit it off, but Ed and I sure did! I was just three weeks shy of my fifteenth birthday, while Ed was three months short of his nineteenth, when we met.
When I first met Ed, he was working a summer job, of mowing grass at a nearby army post. Ed was lean and tanned, and he quickly stole my heart. What a gentleman he was! Ed told me he’d recently joined the army and would be leaving for basic training, in just a few short weeks. By the time those few weeks rolled around, Ed and I were already in love, and committed to each other. I told him I’d wait for him. Much of the rest of our courtship came in spurts, between Ed’s army assignments.
Ed and me, taken shortly before he left for Okinawa, in 1970
Ed completed his basic training on an army post about three hours from where we lived. We didn’t see each other for the first three weeks of training, then the army let all of the new recruits go home for Christmas break! After the Christmas break, basic training quickly resumed, followed by four months of x-ray schooling at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. About three months after completing x-ray schooling, in Texas, Ed shipped out for an eighteen month tour of duty (which turned out to be twenty-one months) in Okinawa. We’d been dating just over a year, by this point. Ed gave me an engagement ring, and officially asked me to marry him, shortly before he left.
Ed’s friend, who joined the army with him, had gotten married that summer, and was taking his new wife along to Okinawa. Oh, how I wanted to marry Ed and go along, too! However, Ed pointed out that I needed to stay at home, and finish high school, while he finished his time in the army, then we could get married. So, that’s exactly what we did. Now, I know it was the right thing to do.
Ed returned home on May 30, 1972, just in time to attend my high school graduation! He quickly landed a job, working as an x-ray technologist, in a big city hospital, about 55 miles away from our home town. At first, Ed thought about moving to the city alone, and working for a while before we got married, but I had other ideas! I was tired of waiting, and I told him so. He agreed that we would get married.
Ed and I found a place to live, moved our things, and planned a wedding–all within three weeks! We got married on Sunday, June 18th, on the birthday of the mutual cousin who introduced us.
Our wedding day
I’ve heard many couples say that marriage is a struggle, and it takes a lot of work. I’ve never felt that way while being married to Ed. I do remember the first year of marriage was an adjustment, being away from home and everyone I knew, as well as trying to learn how to cook, but it was never a struggle.
Ed and I had lived in the big city for just over five years, when the urge struck us to move back to our hometown. By then, we were thinking about starting our family, and we had no desire to raise a family in the city. (We’d already been robbed twice!) We moved back home, to the family farm where Ed grew up, and we’ve been here every since. Ed commuted back and forth to the city, over 115 miles per day, for almost two years, until he finally got a job closer to home.
Ed and I eventually became parents to three children, first a daughter, followed by two sons, all born three years apart. Ed has always been a fantastic father, just as I knew he would be, from watching him with his younger brothers. He changed diapers on our first born before I did!
When the children were babies, Ed always helped feed them supper and give them baths. As they got older, he helped each one with their homework, if needed, and tucked them into bed every night. Our children will tell you, Ed was never too tired or too busy for them.
Ed and family, Easter in the mid-eighties
As for being a good husband, I could have searched the world over and I’m positive I couldn’t have found a better man to share my life with! Ed’s always been my friend, my lover, my soul mate, and, at times, even my care-taker.
celebrating our 42nd anniversary, on St. Simon’s Island
When I became sick with rheumatoid arthritis, over twenty years ago, Ed may have felt like he got a little more than he bargained for, but he’s never let me down. Ed’s been to the majority of my doctor’s appointments with me, gets my prescriptions filled every month, and has taken over the household duties, many times, during my bouts with this illness. I have been blessed beyond measure, and I thank God, very much, for my wonderful husband, Ed!
*I’m linking this post up, along with others, for Memory Monday, over at retired-not-tired.