Today my husband, Bob Thomas, and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary. We’ve been married 8 years. Practically newlyweds, considering our (sh!) ages. But, of course, there’s a story behind every marriage. Our story began April 1, 1968. (Yes, we know. April Fools’ Day.)
We were both young college graduates working in the same office in lower Manhattan a block from where the World Trade Center was being built. I came from Maine and New Jersey; Bob was born in the Bronx but grew up in Beirut, Lebanon, where his father’s office was. (He often says if you were born anywhere in the United States in the 20th century you’ve used up all the luck a person deserves. He’s seen refugee camps.) We both loved talking about politics and books over wine and cheese. He was recently married. We became friends as well as colleagues.
Three years later he took the photographs at my wedding.
Mine was a short-lived marriage, and after both our marriages were over, we fell in love. Maybe we’d loved each other before that.
But our dreams weren’t headed in the same direction. I’d decided to adopt children, and my job tied me to the New York/New Jersey area where my job was and where I could support my family. Soon my mother moved in with me for a few months each year. And then longer. She and Bob didn’t get along.
Bob was restless; he accepted jobs in zip codes far and wide. He got to know my growing family when his work took him to New York. He’d stay a year or two, but then would leave, off on another job; another possibility. We loved each other, but we didn’t love the lives the other had chosen.
My four daughters grew up. By then Bob and I weren’t in touch. I continued caring for my mother. I left corporate life, moved to Maine, and began writing full-time, as I’d always dreamed I would. Bob left his job to care for his mother until she died of pancreatic cancer. Then he married. His wife died, also of pancreatic cancer, only months after his mother’s death.
Two years later, a short email: “Where are you? How are you? Thinking about you,” brought us together again.
Seven months later my mother died.
Now Bob is painting. I’m writing. We both love living in Maine and being grandparents. We still talk politics and books over wine and cheese. Finally, our dreams have taken us down the same path.
Eighteen months after that short email, Bob and I went quietly to the town hall in Wiscasset and were married. It was 12,994 days after we’d first met.
Happy anniversary, my dearest friend and husband. You, and this life we’ve made together, were worth waiting for.
Aw, Lea. What a beautiful story. I’m so happy it worked out for you both at last!
Thanks, Edith. Clearly, we are too!
What a beautiful love story.
Lovely story, lovely people. Happy anniversary, Lea & Bob.
Happy, happy and may you enjoy many, many more.
All things come to those who wait?
It’s a lovely story and it’s exciting the way, together, your individual creativity blooms.
Or, all things come to those who Wait.
I knew Bob our junior and senior years at ACS in Beirut. We ran into each other by chance in NYC in the 60’s and then became re-aquainted at the ACS reunion in Austin a few years ago. I just read one of your novels – Shadows of a Down East Summer – and enjoyed it very much. I like the added interest of antique prints and antiques. Fun
I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed your very romantic story of finally marrying Bob after many years of crossing path. It was meant to be, obviously! It’s nice to share in your happiness.
Lovely to “meet” you, Christina! Bob’s mentioned you … I feel as though I know so many of the ACS people, although I’ve actually met only a few in person. Hope to add you to those ranks some day! And so glad you’ve enjoyed one of my books!
Lea, that made me tear up. May the rest of your lives together be long and happy.
Congrats Lea and Bob. Lea, I knew he was good writer’s husband material the first time I met him as your “significant other” at a talk and signing we did ages ago in Augusta. He and my husband were both there performing that important spouse function—schlepping books!
Dear Lea (and Bob),
Your love story means more to me than I can say.
Many of us have had to travel long distances, physically and emotionally, to find our homes and loved ones. Not so many have traveled as far as both of you to meet each other. Your story gives me courage.
We are STILL aiming to land in your fine state. Next summer we hope.
Thank you to everyone for your comments! They make ME tear up! (Can’t speak for Bob, but he HAS been smiling all day. I told him this bog was his anniversary present .) We spent the first part of the day driving to York to check out an art gallery and have lunch at a lovely inn there … and plan a quiet dinner tonight: champagne, filet mignon with mushrooms in a special sauce Bob will no doubt invent for the occasion, plus asparagus. And I’m making an apple pie. Perhaps a strange combination — but all things we love. Thanks to everyone whose wishes have made our day even more special!
What a beautiful love story–meant to be for so long. Congratulations on your anniversary!
Thank you, Jenny! Lea
Hi Lea, and happy day after your anniversary! My husband and I share your anniversary date, but we’ve been married a bit longer. I was a child bride when we married in 1961. I’m a fan of your mysteries, love them, love New England and all it’s authors who give me such a sense of place as I sit and swelter in Florida! Many more happy anniversaries to you both!
Wonderful story. This is the sort of reality that gives me hope for the world.