Fifteen years

Fifteen years ago today I woke up as Brenda Johnstone for the last time. It was a bright, clear August day in Washington State when I exchanged vows in a tiny white church with my beloved. The whole congregation was there. My family was in force. His family had a long way to travel, but came too. Some intrepid college friends made the transcontinental journey.

Man and wife.

I remember that a big beetle got caught in the lace of my mother’s wedding dress. My left knee shook through the whole service. Adam wouldn’t stop mouthing “I love you”. My brother forgot a verse of the Wedding Song (a faux pas he’ll never be allowed to forget). I insisted on Wagner’s version of Lohengrin’s Bridal March for the processional and Medelssohn’s proper recessional. But we did not have live music. We used the same version of the wedding vows my parents had used – and have claimed ever since that “I slipped Elden a $20 to add ____ to the vows.” (Usually “entertain me”) (Elden’s integrity and incorruptibility is what make that so funny.) At the buffet reception there was chocolate cake, Martinelli’s sparkling cider (it was a dry wedding) and an espresso van.

That night I fell asleep in a bug-ridden nearby bed and breakfast as Brenda Flynn, for the first time.

The college crowd

Fifteen years is a long time. If you’re thinking “I didn’t think Brenda was that old!” Well. I was 21 on that bright August day. Fifteen years, three homes, two children. Fifteen years also marks the length of time we’ve been playing once a week with the same gamers, and how long we’ve been members of our church. These are not coincidental numbers. That day fifteen years ago marks not only the beginning of my married life, but my adult life. It’s been a wonderful, joyful fifteen years.

If I had it all to do over again, I would joyfully do so.

Still newlyweds

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

7 thoughts on “Fifteen years”

  1. I had almost forgotten how truly beautiful you looked in your wedding dress. but, I never forgot the look of utter joy and awe on Adam’s face. All I ever hoped for for my sons was someone in their life to cherish, love them and bring them joy. The bonus for me is that it brought you into my life as well and the family that you both created fills me with delight and warms me with love. May you have many more such rich years ahead to delight in and memories to share.


  2. God, we’re freaking babies.

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!! It’s totally you wedding’s fault that I am addicted to Italian cream sodas.


    1. Seriously, how were we old enough to be living on our own, never mind making lifelong decisions! Statistics were not in favor of how well that life long decision worked out, but there you have it!


      1. Seriously! We don;’t look old enough to cross the street alone!

        But obviously we knew what we were doing in some aspects 🙂 Congrats! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. We just celebrated 33 years together. You have already discovered the secret: things in common and things just for yourself. I wish you both all the happiness you can create!


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