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On Aug. 5, 2012, Evie and I celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary. Both of us will never forget that special day when a city girl from Zion, Illinois and a farm boy from Lebanon, Pennsylvania joined their lives together as “we.”
But that was 1967 and this is 2012. Forty five years is a very long time. How we first remember those friends who were married just a little longer than us and we wondered if we would ever live long enough to be married that long. How we remember Evie’s parent’s 25th wedding anniversary when they appeared very old to us. Now when we have friends who celebrate a 25th anniversary celebration we smile to each other and think how young they seem.
Just yesterday we moved into our first home, a small one bedroom college-campus apartment. Painted cement blocks with plain, pine boards became our bookshelves. We gathered furniture which was functional but not fancy. Work and classes and friends made up our first year together and the final year of college in Springfield, Mo.
Just yesterday we moved to Franklin, Pa., where we lived for seven years. While Neil Armstrong was landing on the moon, we were pastoring a church, starting our family, and working at PennDOT (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation) and the Franklin High School. In 1969, God blessed us with Darin and in 1971 Kevin and Keith were born. In God’s mercy, He allowed Kevin to remain with us; in God’s providence He took Keith home.
Just yesterday we moved to Wheaton, Ill., where I attended graduate school. For one year we lived in a frugal, campus apartment. Our sons began school and when they came home, I often took them next door to the college athletic fields where we played until Evie came home from work. Work, study, and play marked that year.
Just yesterday we moved to Minneapolis, Minn., to join the leadership team of North Central Bible College (now North Central University). For 21 years we invested our lives in the mission of that place but, more importantly, in our sons and in each other. During those years we bought our first house; I earned a doctorate from the University of Minnesota; we traveled overseas for the first time; Evie learned financial aid and I learned about teaching and administration and we welcomed Noah, our grandson, into our family.
Just yesterday we moved to Brussels, Belgium, where I served as interim-academic dean for a semester. There we learned firsthand that the world was much larger than the United States of America. Life was filled with friends, travel, teaching, administration, and lots of personal renewal.
Just yesterday we moved to Phoenixville, Pa. We will always remember our first visit to the campus of Valley Forge Christian College. We parked our car in the front of the campus by the beautiful four rows of oak trees. We pondered what might be ahead. Some months later we moved into the old farm house on campus. The year was 1997.
And now, here we are more than 15 years later. But what an incredible season this has been. Our list of campus friends and community friends is boundless. We have seen more changes to our campus than we could ever list here.
“Just yesterday” are two words which capture how quickly these 45 years have gone by since Aug. 5, 1967. Evie Meyer, I love you more today than I have ever loved you. Browning’s poem means more today than ever, “Grow old along with me; the best is yet to be; the last of life for which the first was made.”
Forty five years ago today I said “I do...” and “I have...” and “I always will...” Thank you for being my best friend and the most important person in my life.
Think about it.
Dr. Don Meyer is the president of Valley Forge Christian College, Phoenixville.
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