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and “Don’t Know Much” by Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville.

On January 27, 1990, I met Gene at Victorian Village in Macon and surrounded by antiques, beloved family members, and God, we held hands, proclaimed our commitments to one another, and tied the proverbial knot. And that was that. I took Gene’s last name, but kept my maiden name as my middle name because I couldn’t stand the thought of losing that part of myself.

Thirty-three years later, our marriage endures. It is as basic and comfortable as Johnny Cash’s words describing his idea of paradise. I have had the honor of loving Gene and being loved by Gene, and I know that doesn’t sound very exciting to some folks, but it means the world to me. We are a simple couple, and ours is a simple love. May we have many more years together.

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