Happy Anniversary

You never know what a day will bring.

About twenty-one years ago, my friend Becky called me. Her car was broken down, and she needed me to rescue her. I picked her up from a friend’s house, where another guest just happened to be visiting.

This guest was a tall, slim, broad-shouldered fellow with olive skin and piercing green eyes. Good thing I’d fixed my hair and make-up before I arrived! I fluttered my eyelashes and spoke in my sweetest southern drawl, in an attempt to get this guy’s attention.

Business Man

Nothing. He hardly looked up from the newspaper he was reading.


Oh, well. I was a single gal living in Houston. There were plenty other fish in the sea.

Less than a week later, though, Becky called again. “Is it alright if I give Mark your phone number? He asked me for it.”

“Who’s Mark?” I asked. Yes, I was fickle. Lots of other fish, remember?

“You know. The guy you met when you picked me up. With the newspaper.”

“Oh, him. Really? I didn’t think he noticed me.”

“Trust me. He noticed. So, can I give him your number?”

“Sure. Why not?”

I waited by the phone that evening.

Old phone


He didn’t call the next day, either.

A week passed, and I forgot all about him again. When the phone rang, and a man’s voice said, “Guess who this is?” I drew a blank. This was before caller ID, after all.

“I don’t know. Who is it?” My mind raced as to how many unidentified males had my phone number. Had to be Mark or Bob. But I didn’t want to say the wrong name!

The confidence in this guy’s voice was both appealing and irksome. “Yeah, you do. Guess.”

“I don’t have any idea,” I said. Which was sort of a lie. I had two ideas. Mark or Bob.

“Come on. Just guess.”

Who was this guy? Well, he needed to be put in his place, whoever he was. “It’s either Mark or Bob,” I said.

Silence. Long, awkward silence. “Hello?” I finally asked.

“It’s Mark.”

Well. Now I knew. I grinned. So Mr. Can’t-look-up-from-the-newspaper was calling me. Interesting.

He asked me on a date, and I accepted. After all, I wanted to get a look at those green eyes again. The phone conversation continued for nearly an hour, and we found we had much in common.

Funny. Bob never did call me. I learned later that Mark and Bob were friends. And that Mark had a little talk with Bob, soon after our phone conversation.

A few months later, I had an engagement ring on my finger.

The following June, I became Mrs. Mark Foster Brumbaugh, and the rest is history. A history filled with good times, silly moments, and sweet memories. A journey of ups and downs, of peaks and valleys, of rough seas and smooth sailing. Together, we’ve built a good life. Together, we’ve brought up two amazing children. We’ve bought houses and cars. We’ve furthered our education and changed careers. We’ve fought and made up, laughed together, cried together, and laughed some more. I’m so glad I’ve gotten to share the journey with a tall, broad-shouldered, olive-skinned, green-eyed fellow who also happens to be gracious and kind, generous and fun. I am blessed.

You never know what a life will bring. Happy twentieth anniversary, Sweetheart.

“Over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity,” Colossians 3:14.


6 Responses to Happy Anniversary

  1. June 9, 2011 #

    Happy Anniversary, Rene — and may God bless with many more!!

  2. June 9, 2011 #

    Thanks, Cheryl!

  3. June 13, 2011 #


    I loved reading the story of how you met! Wishing you many, many more years together.

  4. June 13, 2011 #

    Thank you, Lillie!

  5. June 24, 2011 #

    Loved this post! Isn’t funny how one chance meeting can change your entire life! I’ve never put down how I became reacquanted with my husband, but should!

  6. June 24, 2011 #

    Yes, you should, Sherry! It will be a treasure for your kids and grandkids. 🙂

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