My grandparents married April 15, 1939 (pre income tax!) and just celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary!
17 year old Dorothy went to a country dance and saw a handsome 21 year old fiddle player named T.C. and his brother playing in the band. And she knew he was the one! Dorothy knew another fiddle player at the dance, so she got him to ask T.C. if he wanted a break. Then she made sure that when he did, her friend would call “Ladies Choice.” And she made sure she was standing next to T.C. when the fiddle player called it. He didn’t stand a chance! They married three months later. She graduated high school in May, and they have been dancing ever since!
Over the next 75 years they weathered World War II with Granddaddy in Japan, two children, him working as a wildcatter and a mechanic and her as an LVN, five grandchildren, and so much more. And today he’s still fiddling and she still looks at him like the handsome 21 year old fiddle player. He’s 96, she’s 92 and both are still going strong.
I’m so lucky to have them as my grandparents! After the party where about 100 people came from all over the nation to celebrate with them, we talked about what they learned over 75 years of marriage.
Here are some of their Words of Wisdom:
- Take care of each other – I was always home when the kids came home from school and I always had supper ready when T.C. came home from work as he was the hardest working man I know.
- Stand on your own AND together – we’re both independent, so we don’t rely on each other for our happiness. Yet we are happy together. There’s less pressure when you aren’t responsible for someone else’s happiness.
- Know needs vs wants – we could get by with very little. We had no money when we were married, we got by on what we could. The neighborhood gave us a shower and we got enough to live on. It wasn’t about the “stuff,” it was about family. We were very happy no matter that we had no money.
- Work toward your dreams together – we had to work hard to make a living. We knew we wanted a house, our kids to go to college, a happy life. And we worked together to achieve these dreams and more.
- It’s bigger than the emotional moments – we’ve had our ups & downs, as everyone does. It’s been hard sometimes, and when we hit a hard time we always worked things out together and that made things easier. If you settle things between just the two of you, and don’t worry about what other people think, you can weather the hard times.
Congratulations to two fabulous people – T.C. and Dorothy Mitchell! I love you!
What words of wisdom have you learned in life, in marriage, in business? Share with us!