I haven’t written an article for the blog in months now. A crazy work schedule and everyday life itself has a way of getting in the way. But today is a special day, much too special to overlook, and a simple Facebook status post to mark it just isn’t enough.
On September 16, 1989, I met a young woman named Amy Wareing on a blind date. Her inner and outer beauty captivated me the moment I looked at her face, trying to look into her soul through her big brown eyes.
We went to a college football game on our first date. Our meeting was the result of Amy teaching piano lessons to the children of mutual friends. Our meeting was the result of a mutual love for music. On the way to the game, I played music from a cassette tape from the group Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe. One of the more beautiful pieces on that tape was a duet between Jon Anderson on vocals and Rick Wakeman on the piano, called “The Meeting.”
It seemed appropriate for a blind date.
I don’t remember anything about the football game. I just remember enjoying spending time with the lovely lady I was with, spending more time talking and getting to know each other than watching the game.
After driving her home and returning to my studio apartment, I sat in the quiet living area and reflected peacefully on the evening. In other first dates with other ladies in the past, I might have found myself bouncing off the walls with excitement. It was different after that first date with Amy.
I was experiencing a nice, peaceful, easy feeling.
In the short weeks after that, perhaps at least several dates later, I asked Amy for a photo of herself that I could keep. She gave me a picture of herself holding the reins of a horse as it drank from a stream on a trail ride. Horses are another great love in Amy’s life. I went back to my apartment and gazed at that picture for quite a while. The most amazing feeling swept over me.
I knew that the lady I was looking at in the photograph was going to be my wife. Heartfelt prayers spoken not all that long before were being answered. Amy was the answer.
Then came the morning of March 17, 1990. I was driving from my home just north of Blackfoot, Idaho, to Pocatello, about an hour away. It was there that Amy and I would be married that afternoon. It was an enormous day.
As I drove south on I-15, I played that same cassette tape that I’d played the night Amy and I met. “The Meeting” played, and I found myself focusing on the beauty of Wakeman’s piano playing. I thought of my father, who died four months before I was born. I thought of my older brother, who died when he was 10 and I was 7. I found myself wishing they could be with me that day. I found myself wishing they could have met Amy. Tears flowed from my eyes as my pickup truck flew down the freeway — tears of sadness mixed with tears of joy.
And now, here we are, 25 years later, marking our silver anniversary. We’ve grown together. Sure, there were too many times in those growing years when we’d argue on the heated side. But we came to an understanding early on in our dating period — each of us was committed to making marriage work if it involved the right person.
Today, disagreements are much fewer, and when they do happen they pass quickly. Amy has grown as an individual, I’m wiser now than I was then. We can read each other’s minds as only two people who were meant to be together can. Through it all, we’ve produced three children that are loved deeply. We’ve wanted them to experience the same kind of love and commitment with their future partners that we have over the past 25 years.
Our love has kept us together. Our commitment has kept us together. Our faith has kept us together. To this day, I still ask her to marry me. And I’ll keep on asking her.
Happy 25th anniversary, partner!
Surely I could tell when I sleep tonight
A dream will call and raise its head in majesty
Dividing all my energy
To the meeting of Your love
Where from whence it came
Like a singer searching for a song
I try to reach where You belong
As I will be the song for You
I will be Your servant child
No, oh no
I cannot be deceived
No, oh no
There’s something that I feel
There’s something that I feel inside
Surely I could tell
If you ask me, Lord
To board the train
My life, my love would be the same
As I will be the one for You
In the meeting of Your love
In the meeting of Your love— “The Meeting,” by Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, Rick Wakeman, Steve Howe