“TILL DEATH DO US PART”
Today, Friday, July 19, 2019, a most precious, significant, and valuable day in my life, is what would have been my 50th wedding anniversary. My, oh my, how quickly the years fly by! Because of the importance and value God Almighty places on the institution of marriage by and between one man and one woman, and in honor of my Bride, and of today, in particular, I want to talk about the great blessings, the great rewards, and the lasting stability that a good and godly marriage provides to the husband and wife and the entire family produced from such a marital union.
I am almost overwhelmed with emotion as I sit here in my home in Spokane, Washington, in front of my computer digging up some of my most cherished and blessed remembrances of and about my most precious bride and the forty-two years we lived and shared together on this earth as husband and wife. My first meeting with Jany occurred in the fall of 1968 when we were in college at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. I was a fifth year “super senior,” and she was a new “freshman.” Her beauty, bubbling personality, and vivaciousness arrested my attention and practically mesmerized me right from the moment I first saw her. She was a finalist contestant in my fraternity’s (SAE) “Violet Ball Queen” contest. The queen contestants were invited to a dinner at the fraternity house together with all the members the night before voting by the members of the house was to take place. She was special to me in every way that only a beautiful woman can be to a suitor of which I immediately became.
House officers and each member of the fraternity had their own assigned place to sit during meals. As I was a fraternity officer, I sat at the head of a long table with members sitting on the outside edge of the U-shaped table and pledges sitting on the inside directly across from the members. The “Queen Contestants” were assigned special seats all around the U-shaped dining tables. The fraternity officers had bigger, nicer, and more comfortable chairs in which to sit than did the pledges. As I recall, Jany, was sitting many chairs away from me on the outside of the dining table facing away from my direction. We had never met or communicated in any way prior to this evening’s gathering. My attraction to her was instantaneous. I immediately got up from my “special” officer’s chair and went to the inside of the table to where the pledges sat, emphatically informed the pledge sitting directly across the table from her to rise and depart to some other place, as I settled into a direct face-to-face position with this gorgeous smiling and giggling lady with whom I was about to enjoy an evening meal. She quickly got the point of my serious actions. Thus a beautiful forty-two plus year relationship was begun that grew and blossomed into a great creative force on the earth through the influence we developed and the efforts we expended in the lives of the thousands of other people all around the world with whom we associated both in business and in pleasure.
College was a wonderful, exciting, and fun time for Jany and me. We had lots of fun times, great friendships, lasting experiences, and many fond memories. We both were Idaho Vandals through and through….and proud of it!
It must be remembered that the Vietnam War was raging during this time. Manpower was greatly needed to supply the war effort with trained men and replacements. Males were given four years to complete their college education after which they were drafted, trained, and sent off to the jungles of Southeast Asia. A college man’s future was quite predictably well known. I was involved in the U.S. Army R.O.T.C. program, so I well knew what was in my personal future. I lost many close friends and classmates in that crazy Asian War. These external conditions and concerns put added pressure on both Jany and me. Our choices were very limited as Army commitments had already been made and put into place.
At the conclusion of the evening meal at the fraternity house, we all lingered in the main floor sitting room and talked and told stories among and with one another until about 10:00 PM at which time all the female contestants returned to their own living areas. I knew at that very moment, at that very evening,…I had met my Bride-to-Be. I just knew it! Now she did not know that fact,…yet….but at the appropriate time she would be so advised,…I would see to that…..And a few short months thereafter, she was informed!—via a diamond engagement ring, presented as “dessert” to an evening supper at Boise, Idaho’s finest downtown restaurant, The Gamekeeper, situated in the basement of the Owyhee Hotel. I had prearranged with the Head Hostess that the waitress was to put the ring on top of the beautiful dessert nestled into a beautiful orchid so that when it was served, it would be in plain sight as a “top off” to the evening meal. I must admit I was scared to death….for sure.
As in all good things, it takes some serious time and committed effort to work into a good and lasting personal relationship,…especially when it involves the second most important relationship any person can ever have—the relationship with and through a person’s chosen spouse!
We truly liked each other and that affection, care, and concern for the other party grew and improved as we became fun-loving best friends in all that we did and dreamed about. There were so many unknowns that laid ahead of us. These concerns were not really understood with all of the pressing and existing uncertainties in our lives of which we knew nothing about. So,…we just plunged ahead as best we could and continued to enjoy every minute we shared together.
Life was good. God was good. We were happy…..and we were “head-over-heels” in love! Oh yea!
All kinds of things—some wonderful, some difficult—occurred that took us from college to the altar—from the altar to the Army, then on to Europe and finally back to Boise,Idaho, where I went back to work for my previous employer. By this time we had become parents of our first son, Dodd Allen.
The watchword for our marriage was Love, Love, and more Love, as well as more fun and good times regardless of any troubles that cropped up.
What ever was going on, we were going to enjoy it….and we did.
What a wonderful and happy life we lived. In February, 1977, we were presented an opportunity to start a personal business. Timing was right and we launched our own international marketing business. It exploded in size, volume, and scope after only one year of building a solid foundation on which to operate. From small and most humble beginnings in Boise, Idaho, our business, Severn Enterprises, Inc. was now profiting all over the world!
We were both travelers and enjoyed the new life experiences we were having in all of the exotic and historic places and venues which the business provided.
We had the world “by-the-tail.” Life just kept getting better and better. Our family prospered and all good things were added unto us. Shortly after our business was launched in February,1977, we both accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Lord, Master, and Savior. We became Christians! And nothing has been the same since. Joy and happiness has since filled every portion of our lives.
Then in July, 2007, while I was home recovering from open heart double by-pass surgery, I found my Bride collapsed on the master bedroom floor. She was rushed to the hospital, examined and diagnosed with a large tumor in her abdomen.
Soon thereafter, further testing revealed she had contracted ovarian cancer! What a shock—What a blow! It did not seem “fair.” But we knew well that God was in charge of our lives, and would provide for all our needs. Doctoring procedures and remedies were all tried and found to be ineffective. “Faith” was all that we had to rely upon….and we did.
Jany fought bravely and valiantly against this vicious disease for four years and four months until she at last succumbed to her adversary on September 11, 2011. All glory be to God! What a wonderful and fine wife, mother, and friend she was to all her family and friends all over the globe.
Happy Anniversary precious darling. I do so love you today and forevermore.
Blessings to All of You,
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. I agree. So to close this article of discussion I have asked my (our) son, Dodd Severn, to put together a short video presentation high lighting a few of the special moments of our marriage activities during the precious 42 years of our marriage. Most viewers won’t remember these times because they did not participate in them. Some people will, however, well remember them and I hope all viewers will enjoy them.
My Bride Forever