Kerry and Peggy Fall in Love
I never expected to ever get married.
As a young girl, I was always heavy. Heavy girls are usually poked fun at, laughed at, have horrible sounds made when they pass by. It can do a lot of damage to one's self-image and self-esteem. Hence, I not only had low self-esteem as a youth, I had no self-esteem.
The Washington Temple was nearing its completion, and my parents and I were excited for the open house that would take place in the summer of 1974. I had never been near a temple before, and I fell in love with it immediately. It was so peaceful and serene there - I didn't want to leave. I went through on the tour at least twelve times.
Later that day, we drove on into Virginia. We stayed at a beautiful campground. My parents and I were discussing where we should go the next day. I immediately piped up and said I wanted to go back and tour the temple again. We did, and I went on 13 more tours.
I couldn't get enough.
My parents moved to work in the Washington Temple in Oct 1976. I was in awe as I watched them prepare to sell their home and make a new one in the Washington area. I wanted to be like them so much.
In March of 1977, I was invited to also work in the Washington Temple. I couldn't believe it, for I thought you had to be really special to work there. I made a special trip for an interview and was told that I was hired.
Little did I know that my path had already crossed with Mr. Kerry's path several times. He was on security during the open house. He was there to check cars at the gatehouse when my friend, Janet and I drove there for my interview.
I moved there April 14. I went through the temple April 15. I met Kerry April 16.
Kerry and I met while I was greeting another friend of mine in the temple cafeteria. I didn't think too much about him. But, apparently he saw something in me that peaked his interest. He called around and found out who I was, where I lived, and made contact with me. I didn't even remember him. He asked me out on a date, and since he worked at the temple, I said yes - even if I didn't remember him, I figure he's probably be safe.
Our first date was April 30. We went to a movie (Freaky Friday), had dinner, and went to a Baltimore Oriole's baseball game. I had a nice time, but I really wasn't that impressed with him. He greased his hair down and reminded me of Bowser from Sha-na-na.
He continued to ask me out. I agreed, but kept saying to myself that I probably wouldn't go out with him any more. But, I kept saying yes. I didn't want to hurt his feelings.
Toward the end of June, we were watching "Rich Man, Poor Man" at my parents' apartment. They had gone to bed. Kerry kept hanging on and on and not leaving. I was tired. I was bored. I was waiting for him to leave. I would lean on my hand and leave one eye open while the other slept for awhile. Then I would switch hands and switch eyes so the other eye slept for awhile.
Finally, I got up to use the bathroom, thinking he would get the message and leave. When I came back into the living room, he was kneeling on the floor praying. I didn't know what to think. When he finished, I sat down and waited some more. He remained on the floor.
In the next few minutes, he quietly asked me if I would be his wife for eternity. Good grief! I had to hold my face together to keep from laughing. I told him I would let him know before long.
A week went by. Sisters Fern and Jean and nephews Dave and Steve had come for a visit, and they all seemed to like him. Fern got his head down in the kitchen sink and washed his hair. I'm not sure if she used something like a Brillo pad or not, for his hair seemed to have a lot of grease on it. She blew it dry and he looked great!
One day, my dad asked me if I had given that young man an answer yet. I said no. He wondered why not! It wasn't fair to keep him hanging on. Was I waiting on God to straight out tell me?
I pretty much said that I was. He wagged his head and said I should know how to get an answer to a prayer. I needed to make my decision, then take it to the Lord for confirmation. I knew that - I just needed to be reminded.
I listed the pros and cons of Mr. Kerry. There were far more pros than there were cons. He was a good young man, he was worthy in every way to enter the temple every day, he held the priesthood, he was active in our religions, he cleaned up real good, etc.
But, I didn't love him.
My dad - my own father - reminded me to consider just how many people would be willing to live with me. Both my parents really liked him.
I made the decision to tell him yes. I wrote my answer on a card and quoted a verse from the book of Ruth - "Entreat me not to leave thee or refrain from following after thee. For whither though goest I will go. And whither thou lodgest I will lodge. Thy people will be my people and thy god my god."
Little did I know that at the same time I was in the temple praying earnestly about this, he was outside near some trees praying, as well.
He flipped out. We told my parents. He called his parents. We told temple workers. Every one was thrilled!!
Except me. I didn't love him.
He gave me my ring on my birthday. We flew to Utah in August so I could meet his parents and family. Things were in motion as we set our date for December 1.
But, I didn't love him.
The date was getting closer. One day in October, we were walking to my parents' apartment from the temple through a beautiful neighborhood. Soon, we heard a car turn onto the street we were walking on with some boys loudly shouting. We both bristled as we heard what could have been a gunshot or the car backfiring. In the Washington suburbs, it could be either one.
The car approached us with the boys yelling and the loud sound that scared us. As that "shot" came very close to us, Kerry immediately pushed me to the ground and covered my body with his. The car drove on past. When they were quite a distance away, Kerry helped me to my feet and made sure I was okay.
I looked at him a little bit differently beginning at that very moment. He was ready to protect my body with his at the risk of being injured! It was truly a turning point for me, for I had always wondered what would happen if I married him and somebody better came along.
I have grown to accept the fact that it would never happen. Nobody could ever come along. As I look back on the 34 years we've been married, I now realize how much the hand of the Lord took part in all of this. Kerry was born in California, at 16 he moved to Utah, served his mission in the Delaware/Maryland mission, returned there after his mission to work in the temple. I'm from Ohio - and yet we meet in the Washington area.
This was not by happenstance.
He is truly the best person I have ever known in my life. He makes me laugh. He adores me and has never said one bad thing about my cooking. He still opens doors for me and pouts if I jump out before letting him.
He's the man of my dreams!
Happy Anniversary, dear Kerry! I love you so...