A little more than thirty years ago there was a couple of college students who were friends. They met through their involvement in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He was a driven engineering student with a passion for the college varsity marching band.
She was studying about preschool aged children and still trying to figure out how exactly to be a good college student.
They knew each other beginning their freshman year in college. Over the next three years, they would talk some and go out for ice cream with the gang. (Well, when he felt like he could spare a few hours away from studying all that engineering.) (And she always had time to be out with the gang. Studying? ha.) Their third year in college led to a deeper friendship. He let her cry on his shoulder about another guy she liked. By spring, she called him her best friend. He said he would write her letters that summer. He did. Every single week. That summer they traveled across the state to attend the weddings of some friends. They held hands in the car. He came to see her one weekend in the summer. She realized she was in love with him. She was afraid to tell him, afraid he would not like something more than their friendship. She wrote him a letter. Back at college in the fall of their fourth year, he told her he didn't want anything more than a friendship. She was confused. She asked if they could go for a walk one night after the IVCF meeting. He agreed. Then wandered onto central campus and ended up sitting on a concrete bench underneath the campanile. They talked. And talked. And talked. Then, to her surprise (and delight) he kissed her. Right there on that concrete bench under the campanile.
She could barely sleep that night because of the smile on her face. But she was quite nervous the next day that he would tell her it was a mistake. He came to her dorm room and she asked if he was sorry he kissed her. His answer was to kiss her again. They decided to date. Like, officially boyfriend and girlfriend date.
She called her parents to tell them that her relationship with him had changed. Her dad asked her what had made it changed. She said the boy had kissed her. Her dad said, "Oh you mean you sucked face?" (Her dad was referring to the movie On Golden Pond. You can see the scene in this clip. It starts at 35 seconds in.)
The day of that kiss under the campanile was thirty years ago today. The boy and the girl got married, had two children, have moved six times, (now seven times) raised and launched and married off those two children, and have just been through a lot of life together. Side by side. Him and her. She and he. Kissing.
I should add here that last summer that boy and girl celebrated thirty years of marriage. We gathered with our kids and some dear friends back at the campanile and the site of the first kiss to renew our vows. It was a very special time and I am so thankful for those thirty years together and for the family we have made and that keeps growing. Here's a few pictures from the day of our vow renewal. (It was also the day we found out we were going to be grandparents!)
This man is simply the best. I am so blessed.