In college I met this farm boy named Dean Wedekind. Farmers were everywhere in Nebraska so the odds were pretty good I’d end up with one. This one had a spirit of adventure. We were eager to bring love and light to the darkest parts of the world through our Christian faith. We were young, idealists with big dreams.
We finished school the year after we were married and couldn’t wait to become parents. Stephen arrived in March of 85 and Hannah followed in December of 86 (3 months early). Plans to become career missionaries somewhere in the world turned into being responsible parents in our home town. Our lives were full, a bit too full with so much activity that we nearly drowned.
In 1992 my body broke down and I became seriously ill. I went on disability for two years. We leaned into our lives and sought ways to live with my fragility. I recovered. We learned to set boundaries and limits and most of all to create margins of space in our lives for what we valued most. We became more thoughtful in our decisions to put our oars in but when we put them in we continued to navigate the waters of American life to the best of our ability.
Our kids have been our greatest teachers. They have both found their way to adult life with our support in the background. They have flown into their own best lives and we are very grateful for their tenacity to continue, to thrive and most of all for their sensitivity to the world around them.
Moving to Minnesota from Utah in 2010 was an enormous upheaval in our relationship. Back and forth for the first year, an extreme adjustment to climate and culture as well as my minor surgery that turned into a major nightmare in 2011 has taken us through life lived too close to the edge between this world and the next.
We sometimes wonder why we are still together. Is it because we started out as Evangelical Christians and that ensured our longevity as a couple? No.
Is it because we’re Nebraskan’s and as Paul Harvey told us in the 70’s and 80’s, Nebraska marriages last the longest? No.
I think it is because we both came at our relationship from the very beginning with the deeper sense of what we personally wanted in our lives. We had both dated people before we met and each time we’d reach this place where we knew that if we married that person, our lives would go in a direction that we didn’t really want.
I personally loved Dean because he had a heart for mankind that was rare among the others I’d spent time with. Our first greatest moments come when we’re in the presence of someone not like us and we are seeking to get to know them. We’ve met amazing, amazing people along our marriage pathway and we’re incredibly better because of it. Our second greatest moments come from being out in the natural world together. We each experience it differently but the same. We both feel the connection to the earth (and for Dean the cosmos 🙂 very strongly.
I am thankful today, 33 years later, that though our relationship doesn’t really look a lot like it did back then…we’ve grown into better individuals because we’re married to each other. We lean into our lives whatever they are at present and for that, I’m so grateful.
Happy 33rd Anniversary, Dean Wedekind. I like being your wife.