Thursday, August 26, 2010

28 Years--Happy Anniversary to Us!

My Dear Bobby!

What can I say about the man who asked me to marry him? He's kind; he's loving; he works hard; and he cares about my happiness. He does the dishes when he sees they need to be done; he does loads of laundry when I haven't. He does most of the ironing. He pays all the bills. He takes me out to dinner every Friday night.

I met Bob in the dishroom of the MTC cafeteria. He was the manager of the dishroom, and I worked in desserts. But after everything was out on the lines for the missionaries, I'd help out in the dishroom. That's where it all began.

We joked and visited with eachother and everybody else. It was a fun job. I'd put ice down his back, and he was a good sport about it. (He no longer was a good sport about things like that after we were married.) When I'd knock over a tray of dessert dishes because the old batty ladies always left them hanging over the edges of the counters, Bob would just quietly help clean up the mess while everyone else clapped and cheered. That was cool.

I liked the way he looked in his blue jeans and his white shirt. He had a dishtowel hanging out of his back pocket. He was a nice guy. I was surprised to find out his last name was Stevenson. He got the same question from me that he probably got from everyone else--Is your middle name Louis? (It isn't.)

So, how did we go from visiting at work to being married for 28 years? It was quick and easy. Has it really been 28 years? Because, really, I'm just 29. (Actually, I'll be 49 in October.) There was a preference dance coming up, girl's choice. I hadn't asked anyone. One day when I was sorting silverware with some girl (Bob might remember her name) and Bob, she asked, "So who are you taking to Preference?" I replied, "No one. I'm too shy, and Bob said he wouldn't go with me." Then Bob quickly said, "I'm still available." And so we went out that weekend, but not to the dance.

I took Bob, in my parents' lovely Plymouth Satellite, to a nice German restaurant. I told him that he should try roladin (which is thinly cut steak that has a nice relish and bacon rolled up in it). I would have ordered it for myself, too, but I didn't have enough money to pay for two dishes of roladin, leave a tip, and put gas in the car, too. (Today I might not have had money for anything but the gas.)

At dinner we learned a little about each other. I found out that he was 22. I told him that I was 25, and his eyes nearly popped out. I think he believed it at first, because he thought that I might be a returned sister missionary. But then I told him that I was really only 20.

After that night we saw each other every weekend at first, and then every day. I couldn't learn enough about him quickly enough. I think the thing that impressed me the most was his spirituality. I often was the stronger member of most of my friendships. It was nice to meet someone with a strong testimony and commitment to the Lord. He first read the Book of Mormon on his own when he was 9. I was hooked.

When my Nana was in the hospital, Bob went with me to visit her. He played "Buying a Stairway to Heaven" on my guitar that I never learned how to play. (Years later I let him trade it in on an acoustic that he really wanted.)The first time my parents met Bob, my dad said to my mom, "She is going to marry that boy."

Often I would drive him back to his apartment--he didn't have a car--and we would visit a lot and smooch a little; then I'd say, "Why don't you just drive me home and pick me up in the morning." (I lived in Orem.) So he would drive me to my apartment, and we would visit and smooch a little more.

Once Bob asked me which temple I'd want to be married in. I said Salt Lake, because that's where all my family had gotten married. He said, "You want to wait that long?" It was closed for renevation.

We'd only been dating a couple of months, and I think that Bob wanted to just continue dating in the fall when we both went back to school. I was supposed to go to N. Ireland for two months that summer. That's where my "boyfriend" lived. Well, when Bob asked for an address so that he could write me there, I knew that somehow that wouldn't work. So I told him why I was going and that it wouldn't work for him to write me there.

Next thing I knew, Bob went to the temple to pray about an important decision in his life. Then he asked me to marry him. My response was, "Are you serious?" But, as you can see, it wasn't "no." I fasted and prayed about this decision. And then on a Sunday evening, I parked my car outside the Provo temple and prayed about it there. I was tired and weak and started to fall asleep. All of a sudden, it sounded like a twig snapped. I was awake, and I felt the Spirit sweep over me, and I knew that I should marry Bob.

So I drove to his apartment to let him know. He wanted to call our parents immediatly and let them know as well. My mom's response was close to my initial one, "Are you sure?"

Then I drove with Bob to his parents' home in Huntington Beach for Easter. We drove through the night and arrived early in the morning. The sunrise was beautiful. I was very sleepy when we got there, but Bob's mom was very chatty. When his dad got home from work, a peace fell over the house. His dad was a kind, quiet man with clear blue eyes and a gentle soul. (It runs in the family.)

We spent most of our engagement apart. That was not too fair. That was before Internet and cell phones, and back when long distance phone calls cost a lot. But I still did call him. He called a few times, too, but he was working nights and sleeping days. I did go to visit him for his birthday. That was fun to get to be together for a few days and to get to know his family better. We went to see the movie, Annie.

Then we got married on 27 August 1982. We were married in the Jordan River Temple. That's where our eternity began. We've been a family ever since, and we hope to be forever more. I can't imagine life without Bob. I am so proud of him. He has always tried to do right. He has been a loving husband and father and a wonderful sweetheart. He has been a great dentist and a hard worker whether working for others or himself or for the Lord.

When Bob turned fifty, we went through a mid-life crisis together. That's the way to do it. Bob sold his practice, retiring from private practice, and now he teaches at Western U. I am so proud of him. He is developing Powerpoints, lectures, and courses. He is loving being in academia with other professors, and he is especially loving being with the dental students. I think I'm a better wife than his first go round with dental school. I know he's a better husband. He just keeps getting better and better.

I love you, Bobby Dee.


Your Heidi Ho

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