Back in January, I asked people to send me their love stories.  I recently received a wonderful letter from Mrs. Bride.  Mrs. Bride and her husband worked together at Prevent Child Abuse Vermont, the organization that I recently supported with a concert back in VT.  Now on this #ThrowBackThursday, I give you all their inspirational love story:

June 26, 2014
And they said we wouldn’t last!! But look at us now! Today, Ed and I celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary!

As children, we lived in close proximity in Rutland, Vermont. Our dads worked in the same place. I graduated from Rutland High School in 1964 and Ed graduated from our rival parochial school, Mount Saint Joseph in 1961. We often were at the same events, but had never officially met.

In retrospect, the circumstances of our meeting were like a Harlequin Romance. In 1979, Ed was Personnel Supervisor for Grand Union Company (his office being in Rutland) and he had recently hired me as a part time cashier. We saw each other at work often, but never entertained the thought of seeing each other socially, as the company had rules about nepotism. By a series of odd circumstances, we ended up in the same tavern one Saturday evening in May, 1979.

We talked for hours and realized that we had a lot in common. Each of us had been previously married for 12 years; each of us had three children… mine were Stacey – 13; Jason – 10; Darren – 4: Ed’s were Ed Jr. – 14; Andrea – 11; Briget – 10. The following weekend, we introduced our children to each other and we all just clicked. On June 26th, 1979, we were married, a mere six weeks after our first date!! With 3 boys and 3 girls, we were dubbed, the “Bridey Bunch”. Fourteen months later, with the birth of OURS – Nicole, we happily relinquished our title to “Yours, Mine and Ours” and/or a “Grander Union”.

Our lives have been active and involved with our children. At one time we had children in five different schools. Ed was working very long hours for Grand Union Company, traveling many miles daily and of course, I was a stay at home mom. As I think about those very busy and often confusing years, I honestly do not know how our marriage survived, and yet we never even thought of not being together. Statistics report that 2nd marriages have a much higher divorce rate, as it isn’t just about two people. Getting married and instantly raising six children, the WE got lost in the shuffle many times. There are challenges with step parenting, exes, four sets of grandparents, and a plethora of details for which no one can prepare you. We surely had our moments, but the good has always outweighed the not-so-good! Through those years, we maintained a good relationship with our exes and included them in every special event; it wasn’t about US, it was about our children. We did not want their memories to be about discord. WE have persevered, never regretting one minute together! Meet our family today:

HIS:

Ed Junior, age 49 and married to Kristi – they live in Andover, MA

Andrea, age 47 and married to Barry and they have one of our grandsons, Cory who is 22. They live in Worcester VT

Briget, age 46 and married to Chris – they live in Randolph MA

MINE:

Stacey, age 48 and is in a relationship. She has two of our grandchildren – Megan, age 27 and Matthew, age 22. Matthew is daddy to our sweet little first GREAT grandchild, Hayden, age almost 3. They live in Keene NH

Jason, age 45 and married to Carolann and they have one of our granddaughters, Abby who is 8. They live in Essex Junction VT

Darren, age 39 and married to Kelly, and they have two of our grandsons, Ben is 8 and Owen is 7. They live in Rutland VT

OURS:

Nicole, age almost 34 and is single. She lives in Houston, TX

They all have been married – Stacey was the first; she had her biological father (Jack) AND stepfather (Ed) on either side as she walked down the aisle; and in each of our children’s ceremonies, they have had all their brothers and sisters in their weddings (Quite the wedding parties!). We enjoy our relationships with our seven children and their partners, six grandchildren and one great grandchild and see them often; they bring us an overwhelming sense of pride and love, especially when they are all together laughing and enjoying each other and their families.

For seven years, I was Executive Assistant for Prevent Child Abuse Vermont and am now retired; Ed is currently Deputy Director for Prevent Child Abuse Vermont. Working for this nonprofit organization has been very near and dear to our hearts. We have had such blessings with our combined family, and feel fortunate that we can be part of a team that makes a difference in other Vermont families. Our children have been volunteers for PCAVT for our annual WALK FOR CHILDREN since its inception in 2000; one of our sons designed the initial PCAVT Website pro bono; one of our daughters volunteered her tech support in our office.

One might say that we have “walked the walk and talked the talk” for 35 years! I will admit that I was skeptical as to how things would be when all our children left as we had never been alone in our marriage PLUS we worked together at PCAV for three years!! In fact, we are best friends and truly enjoy each other AND I will always be a Bride! How blessed are we?