Saturday, August 12, 2006

Shhh!-Don’t tell anyone else

Tonight we went out to dinner to celebrate Kathy’s sister Lois’ and her husband Greg’s “Catholic Anniversary.” Thirty-five years and some months ago, they were married by a justice of the peace, but kept it a secret. You see, Lois, needing her parents’ financial help for college, had promised them that she would not get married until she had graduated from the university. Kathy and I were married in April 1971. Lois and Greg took the plunge in September of that year in a private ceremony. We didn’t even believe them at first when they told us.

We were sworn to secrecy, since Lois’ and Kathy’s parents would have been very upset, had they known of the secret nuptials. When the parents came to visit, we moved all of Greg’s stuff into our apartment and acted like nothing was amiss, kind of like a sitcom—“Three’s Company” or something. Even after their Catholic wedding in August of 1972, no one ever told the parents what had really happened. We believe they never suspected, and we kept that secret for the past thirty-odd years. Now, of course, both their parents are gone, and there is no need to keep it classified.

To commemorate the public celebration of their union, I combed through thirty or forty photo albums, looking for pictures of them through the years. They never had children of their own, and I was struck by how often they were photographed with our own children and other nieces and nephews. I came across one album I had forgotten I had, that held a conglomeration of photos of Kathy and Lois as toddlers, and some of Lois in the ‘70’s. There was even a small photo of Lois and Greg from one of those places where you could get a strip of photos of yourself sitting in a booth at the mall.

I scanned, cropped and printed about twenty of them, and Kathy found a small album to put them in. We gave it to them at dinner and they loved it. Turns out we had photos they didn’t even have of themselves. There were some of situations that I didn’t even remember, they recalled with great clarity. Kathy also presented them with one of those cards that plays music—she is enthralled with them, even at $5 apiece. The one she chose played “The Sea of Love”. It was kind of neat.

So now this family secret is out. Hope no one’s upset at our treachery of so long ago.


At 8/13/2006 2:40 AM, Blogger -Ann said...

I thought Nana and Grumpa had a secret wedding themselves, since Nana worked in a school district that didn't allow married teachers. Do you think Nana knows now?

At 8/13/2006 2:47 AM, Blogger Rebecca said...

I absolutely LOVE skeletons in family closets! They are book material for sure. My father-in-law (who has since passed away) discovered a sister who was sired (shall we say)by the local priest....he found this out in his last years and they formed a good friendship. Did away with all the years of me being second best because I was an adopted child and all the coments of "you never know what kind of background they come from!"
But yours is a great account....I love that you even could keep it secret for so long, and good on them for going th honourable way to start with!

At 8/13/2006 1:00 PM, Blogger John Cowart said...

"Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments..."

A beautiful story, beautifully written


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