Mike Tussey: Anniversaries — our lifetime memories of love and family

It seems our culture has come to love anniversaries.

We commemorate dates, times and places whenever we can. It could a wedding, birthday, graduation or anything that feeds the need of the day. Our anniversaries are so much more than a milestone of life and the passage of time. They become a catalyst in which to retrieve the loving moments of our lives that are so deep we will never forget them.

Mike and Jo in 1961 (Photo provided)

Without any doubt, our wedding anniversaries dominate any category because it’s a day based on love, family and building a dream.

Anniversaries of our weddings are when we remember how our love grew from that very special moment in time when we knew we would share our lives together.

The anticipation of it all may extend into months and even years. However, when the “Big Day” finally arrives, it brings with it a feeling that is difficult to describe.

This Sunday, June 30, 2024 Jo and I will celebrate our 63rd wedding anniversary.

The calendar says it all – 3 score and 3 years ago. It was Friday, June 30, 1961. I was 22 and Jo 21. Yesteryear says we met on a spring weekend back in Ashland at the Bluegrass Grille. The “Grass” as it was called was a favorite “cruise in” location that thousands visited every week. Jo was with her best friend Patty O Neal as I pulled into the adjacent parking space next to them. I got out and jumped into Patty’s car.

Up front was this beautiful woman I had never seen before. I asked Patty who she was. Patty replied: “ Mike, I want you to meet Camilla Jo.”

Wedding day June 30, 1961 (Photo provided)

I then asked Jo how is it that I had never met her before. She was distant and just looked at me with no reply. I asked for her phone number. She wouldn’t give it to me even after several requests. Jo turned and looked right at me and said: “Look, I don’t know you and I don’t like you. You’re not getting my phone number!”

Patty replied: “Don’t worry Mike, I’ll give it to you later!”

I was working at a Bank at that time and my thoughts of Jo sometimes compromised my concentration. I called her several times for a date with no luck at all. I guess perseverance pays off. After some time, she finally agreed and the rest is history.

We set our wedding date for Friday evening, June 30. It was nothing huge or special, yet it was indeed the biggest day of our lives. I was working that day and all I could think about was our wedding which was just hours away. My best friend, the late Joe Imes was my Best Man and Jo’s sister Dean was her maid of honor.

I have been asked so many times over all these many years what was the secret of our success.

So, I put a pen to it all and came up with these 10 factors +1:

·    Remain who you are
·    Respect each other
·    Communicate
·    Show understanding
·    Give and take
·    Have pride in the family
·    Have a vision for the future
·    Support each other’s decisions
·    Have perception on those decisions
·    Show humility 

One more for good measure – never forget how it all began and the love that made it all possible.

Tux time 1989 (Photo provided)

However, for any marriage there are the good times and then there are the tough times. Certainly, over our many years, we have had differences on issues and situations and we had to adjust and work them out.

Our family grew over the early years with the birth of our three sons, Mike, Chris and Joe. Those kids grew up quickly into fine young men and have excelled in their respective careers and throughout their lives.

Recently Mothers Day in May and Fathers Day here in June were very special days for us as our sons certainly showed their deep love for us.

One of the great values of a marriage are photos that captured time when it stood still for a split second.

Jo and Mike today (Photo provided)

It’s likely we have a thousand photos of our family from our wedding day and on through the decades. Today, they are lifetime treasures.

Anniversaries somehow have gained a social identification based on the years with names such as – Paper for a 1st anniversary, Silver for the 25th, and Gold for a 50th. So, we celebrate #63 Sunday as we look forward to #65 which will be our “Sapphire.”

So, to Mrs. T – we have come a long way from that night when we first met/ You are still that strong willed beautiful lady who tells it like it is. I think that’s what I admired and loved about you over all these years and even so today.

We both are so proud of our three sons, four grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. It’s been quite a ride over these many years, and we certainly are blessed as our Golden Years continue.

To all those who will be celebrating an anniversary today or very soon, Jo and I wish you a very joyous HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!


2 thoughts on “Mike Tussey: Anniversaries — our lifetime memories of love and family

  1. That is absolutely amazing! I knew of course you’d been married a lot of years, but to see it in print!!!
    Here’s to 63 years and on to your sapphire anniversary!!! What is 70 years of marriage?

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