Who would have thought 40 years would go by so quickly? I sure wouldn’t have, but I guess it has, since husband Joe and I celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary.

Now my faithful readers, as I look back on these 40 years, keeping in mind I was a child bride, I believe we have defied some of the odds.

To begin with, the priest who was present at our wedding rehearsal left the priesthood. The priest who married us and gave us marriage instruction (think about that someone who has never been married giving instructions on marriage) left the priesthood and married an ex-nun. Obviously what he had been teaching sounded good.

Unfortunately, he passed away after a few years of marriage, and Joe and I take no responsibility for his demise. It was a shame, because he was a good priest, I mean man.

Anyway, he was from Mater Christi Church in North Riverside and we were married at St. Mary’s in Riverside. He mistakenly wrote “North Riverside” on our marriage certificate instead of Riverside. We always felt it might be the technicality we could use if things got too rough, but we never tested it, although there were times.

I might add we were married at 9 a.m. on a Saturday. My feeling was by the time soon-to-be Husband Joe woke up he would already be Husband Joe, a happily married man. It wasn’t that he was not an eager groom, just a sleepy one; seems he went out with a few friends the night before the nuptials.

Our wedding reception took place in the afternoon at the now-gone Mangam’s Chateau in Lyons. It was a great supper club and restaurant, and has since been replaced by a McDonald’s. It would have been fun to return to the site. Maybe Ronald McDonald could have been on hand to help us repeat our vows.

Our guests could dine on surf and turf in the form of a quarter pounder and a filet of fish sandwich. We opted out of that idea and decided to return to the Drake Hotel in Chicago where we spent our wedding weekend?”pretty classy for someone who got engaged at a Shakey’s Pizza parlor in Omaha. I was not presented with a ring at the time, but a large pizza with everything was somehow symbolic. You know, round, like a ring. I was young and in love. What did I care? Why were we in Omaha? That’s another story I can share at another time.

As in all marriages, there have been peaks and valleys. Those of you who are married, or have been, know what I mean. Anyone who says it’s always been wonderful probably has their fingers crossed and their nose is starting to grow like Pinocchio.

Would I do it again? I really think so and, anyway, he gives good anniversary presents and we have two great children and their spouses. We have three super grandkids, and next month there will be another grandchild. How lucky can we get? It makes the rough times smoother.

The actual day of our anniversary, Sunday, April 24, we woke up to find the front of our house adorned with toilet paper with a banner across the front porch?”an extreme makeover of the best kind.

We went to 8:30 Mass at St. Mary’s and realized now, after 40 years, we were at the same place. We walked up to the front of church after Mass and took time to remember a time that doesn’t seem so long ago. A friend came up and mentioned we looked as if we were repeating marriage vows. She was right; we were.

So there you have it thanks for letting me be sentimental with you, and don’t ask me what is the secret. There is none, unless dumb luck and hard work count.

By the way, rubies are the stones for the 40th anniversary and I have the proof. Luv ya, Husband Joe.