Shannon here: Anne Mateer shares insight into her real life romance. Comment or answer the question at the end of this post to enter the drawing for a copy of her Historical Romance novella, No Small Storm. Deadline: Dec 2nd, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Anne:
When we stood before our pastor in June of 1987, we were bright-faced, optimistic 20- and 21-year-olds. We envisioned our future in terms of what we knew—our big dreams, our love for God and for one another. We couldn’t see then all the ups and downs of life and relationship. Of course in the midst of those peaks and valleys came children. To be honest, I didn’t “take” to mothering like other women did. It was hard for me. There were moments I enjoyed tremendously, but those tended to come as the children grew older. Mostly I looked forward to the moment when my parenting job was finished (I now know that doesn’t really happen!) and we could return to “us.”
Of course time did move forward and our children grew up. I never imagined we’d have to work to find our footing as a couple again, but we did. And as we celebrated our 30 years of marriage this year, I was satisfied. Happy, even. In spite of my belief that there weren’t many (or any!) new really romantic moments for us to experience together.
Boy, was I wrong!
A few weeks after our anniversary, our youngest son got married. The first of our three children to find “the one.” I confess, I’d been looking forward to such an event for several years. The thought of getting a new “child”—an already grown up one!—made me happy. And of course who doesn’t love a wedding?
From the sunset proposal on a beach near Los Angeles to the gorgeous open air chapel out in the country to the fabulous reception, romance was definitely in the air. For most of the lead-up time, I watched their romance, reveling in their joy, albeit a bit wistfully. Our time had come and gone for that kind of starry-eyed, romantic love. But while the pre-wedding months were all about them, the wedding day brought some romance of our own.
Through the years, we’d been in weddings. Our kids had been in weddings. And we’d attended many, many celebrations of marriage. But of course we’d never been the parents of the bride or groom. Watching our son marry was a whole new experience.
I was completely surprised by the incredible romance of sitting in the front row of a church holding my husband’s hand and watching our child pledge himself to God and to a beautiful young woman, their love and their dreams for the future shining from their eyes, as in most every wedding. But as the parents, we saw so much more. We saw ourselves, yes. But beyond that, we saw all the years between. All the moments we didn’t think we’d make it through. All the moments of boundless hope we would. The joy and tears of marriage. Of raising children, too. And clinging to one another’s hand in that moment, we found a new depth of love between us. A new kind of romance. One that only a long and rugged history together can bring.
But that’s just a feeling, right? And I don’t know about you, but when I think of romance, I want more than a few warm fuzzies.
After the beautiful and emotional ceremony, we made our way to the reception. We enjoyed the introductions, the food, the toasts. We cried watching her dance with her Dad, and I had a blast—lots of laughing—dancing with my son. As the music continued and the dance floor became crowded, Jeff and I circled the room to greet our friends who had made the trek to the venue, all while my gaze strayed wistfully to those with spouses who like to dance, for mine does not. I know that. And I’ve made peace with it.
The anniversary dance arrived, and while I was looking for my husband to drag him to the dance floor (as usual), he found me. Took my hand. For the first time I can remember, I didn’t have to coax. He led me to the dance floor. Held me in his arms. Swayed to the music in his best Arthur Fonzerelli imitation. (In truth, he does move a bit more than Fonzie!) Giving up his comfort for the sake of my joy.
That dance—and the one at the very end of the evening—left me melted. Left me praying for our children as they made their way through the line of sparkler-wielding guests. That they will, over the next 10, 20, 30, 50 years, find that same place of deep and abiding love that we have found. That they will experience the intense romance of years of shared history, of knowing one another intimately, and of a life lived together, even in the difficult moments. And that one day they, too, will watch their children marry and find their own romance burning even more brightly than before.
About Anne: Anne Mateer has loved reading and writing stories since childhood. She is the author of 4 historical novels, 1 historical novella, and a few contemporary short stories. Anne and her husband of 30 years, Jeff, love to visit their grown children and tour historical sites. They are currently living an empty nest adventure in Austin, TX. Learn more and connect:
About the book – No Small Storm:
September 1815, Providence, Rhode Island
Thirty-year-old Remembrance “Mem” Wilkins loves her solitary life running the farm and orchard she inherited from her father and has no plans to give up her independence. Especially not for the likes of Mr. Graham Lott. But when Mem is unable to harvest the apples on her own, she accepts the help of the man she despises.
Fresh off a boat from Ireland with his four-year-old son in tow, Simon Brennan secures a building in which to ply his trade as a cobbler. Still healing from the grief of his wife’s death a year earlier, he determines to focus only on providing a good life for his son. But when he intervenes in an argument on behalf of the intriguing Miss Wilkins, sister-in-law of the tavern owner who befriends him, he suddenly finds himself crossways with his landlord, Mr. Lott, and relieved of his lease and most of his money.
With no means of support, Simon takes a job helping Mem with her harvest, relieving her of the need of Lott’s help. But their growing attraction to each other makes them both uneasy. Mem gladly escapes to town when her sister begins labor, and Simon, believing it best to distance himself from Mem, takes his son and leaves.
But neither anticipates the worst gale New England has ever seen—or that the storm will threaten all they hold dear.
Can’t wait for the drawing? Get your copy now: No Small Storm
Question for Readers: Think of the most fun wedding you’ve ever attended. What made it memorable—the couple getting married, the venue, the DJ, the food, the guests, something else?
Come back Dec 2nd for Anne Greene!