In 2016 I published a post about our wedding anniversary that began: “On Sunday, February 21, I “endured” my birthday. At age 81 you don’t “enjoy” birthdays except perhaps from a feeling of gratitude at being alive. As I have said to others, it’s a little like waking up that morning and discovering you have been trapped in the body of an 81-year-old. You don’t fully get used to the idea that you are aging in your mind until physical ailments remind you.” On Wednesday of this week, I had my 89th birthday so my observations of that year about aging are all the more true.

I went on, in that post eight years ago to report that “We are in Hawaii to celebrate our wedding anniversary on February 27th.” By coincidence Lita and I leave tomorrow for Hawaii to celebrate our anniversary this Wednesday the 27th. We are staying at the Four Seasons Resort at Hualalai on the big island, Kona Hawaii. This will be our forty third year of marriage, but since we have worked as attorneys together, in the same office from the date we married,  it has been a much longer relationship.

I think what I wrote in 2016 is relevant today. I reported: “We were married in 1981. The ceremony was in the living room of our house at 2727 La Venture Road in Mount Vernon Washington.  It was an affair to remember for a lot of reasons including the fact that a friend of mine, Judge John Wilson, now deceased, was going to perform the wedding, but,  got lost trying to find our house and didn’t show when scheduled. Friends who were wedding guests got in a car to frantically search for him.  In the meantime, I made an emergency call to my former mentor at the Skagit County prosecuting attorneys office, who had been elected a judge, Jack Deierlein, who has passed on as well.  Jack being a great trooper immediately got into a car with his wife and drove to our house ready to perform the ceremony.  As the ceremony was beginning our friends rushed in with Judge Wilson now giving us two judges. To say that there was anguish among family present and chaos in general would be an understatement. Yes it was memorable simply because of the great love between us. Our honeymoon occurred directly after the ceremony when we flew to Florida where I was giving a talk to a group of lawyers. Bill Hicks and Bill Colson, two great Florida lawyers  entertained us and it turned out to be a great experience in spite of the confusion.

A decade later we flew our friend, Jesuit priest Fr. Frank Costello and a small wedding party to Positano, Italy where we renewed our marriage at the chapel at the St Pietro Hotel. It was a great experience without the drama of our first.

So, we will celebrate 35 years of togetherness, but if you listen to my wife she claims we have to double it because we also worked together all those years. However you calculate it, I’ve been blessed. She has always been the wind beneath my wings and without whom I would have never had success or happiness as I have been privileged to enjoy.”

Forty three years later Lita remains my best friend and the wind beneath my wings.

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