While counseling at the Crisis Pregnancy Centers in Terre Haute and Brazil, IN, I would tell clients about my happy marriage, trying to encourage them in that chosen lifestyle. I told them how long I’d been married – 30/40/50 years. More than once I’d have clients immediately ask, “To the same man?” It was inconceivable for these girls to comprehend that someone could be married that long to one man. My thoughts at the time would propose an answer (not spoken out loud). Perhaps I could be married to one man for 15 years and to another 15 years. That was inconceivable to me.
Today I celebrate 60 years of married life to one man – Bill Coker.
When I look back to our wedding and honeymoon, it was not the usual custom. I had no attendants but two ministers who performed the ceremony in my home church in Mobile, AL. Bill drove from North Biloxi, MS, where he pastored a small Methodist church. His family came from New Orleans, LA. The ceremony was held on Saturday, August 24, 1957 in the chapel, not the large sanctuary of Springhill Ave. Methodist Church. The reception was in my parents’ home. Mother prepared the treats along with lunch. Bill and I traveled back to his parsonage where we spent the night after dinner in a local restaurant. The next morning, Sunday, Bill preached and I met some of the church members for the first time. I found out later that the ladies disputed about inviting us to dinner. The older ladies wanted us to come home with them, but the younger ones insisted that this couple needed to be alone. We went back to the parsonage where I fried chicken and Bill taught me how to make gravy. That evening the church held quarterly conference with the district superintendent presiding. We have no regrets.
Today Bill and I will have some alone time at a local motel where we will enjoy their pool. We plan to eat dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant. We return to our three-generation home in Indianapolis tomorrow. On Saturday some of the out-of-town family gather to celebrate with us. Since we’ll have some great-grandkids here, we plan to picnic at a nearby park. This is quite the downsize from our 50th anniversary celebration, but it’s what we want now.
I close with praise to our God and thanksgiving for these years with one man of integrity. The God of love has shared His love for us and between us. His love and our love have kept us together for these 60 good years. Amen.