Dear Sally

This morning you awoke before dawn to get ready for the day. You have never been much of a morning person, but today, you were singing. It was a haunting little love song entitled “Happiness” from one of our favorite holiday movies, Scrooge, with Albert Finney.

They say happiness is a thing you can’t see

A thing you can’t touch

I disagree

Happiness is standing beside me

I can see him

He can see me

Happiness is whatever you want it to be.

I believe this song exemplifies our life together. Frankly, our relationship has defied all common sense. “They” said it would never work for two strong-willed, middle-children to get married. “They” said we needed to have more things in common. “They” said we both had too much baggage, too many skeletons, to be able to have a happy marriage, yet here we are, still standing beside one another after 32 years of marriage. We have made it, and we will continue to make it because happiness is whatever we want it to be, and Sally, you are my happiness.

After we watched this movie the other night, you observed that this song, along with many of the songs in the movie, was written in a minor key. How odd is it for a song entitled “Happiness” to be written in minor?  But if you think about it, it’s actually quite appropriate in real life.

Our life together has had many ups and downs, many twists and turns. There have been dark days followed by days of sunshine followed by days of storms. I suppose you could say, our marriage has been like Missouri weather. We’ve fought over money, wrestled with intimacy, tussled with jealousy, contended over control, rejoiced over babies, prayed over sick kids, endured having teenagers, struggled with resentments, wept over betrayals, survived and DEFEATED cancer (10 years!), grieved over lost parents, celebrated accomplishments, enjoyed world travels, danced at weddings, and rocked as grandparents. Yes, our happiness has been challenged with seasons of grief and heartbreak, but that’s what makes our lovesong so beautiful and enduring.

So, happy 32nd anniversary! There’s no one else I would rather dance with, than you, and no other song I’d rather dance to, than ours, a haunting little lovesong, sung in a minor key.

All my love forever,


7 thoughts on “Dear Sally

  1. As long as I’ve known either of you, it has always been about BOTH of you — Tom&Sally, Sally&Tom. You are as interconnected as any set of puzzle pieces; one piece missing and the picture the puzzle makes is not quite the same as it is as a whole. I was there in the early years of your courtship, attended your wedding (which I thought was one of the prettiest and loveliest I had ever attended and I’ve been to a few), and was blessed to see that the Tom&Sally I had witnessed as young college kids were forged together (and forever) in marriage. Many blessings to you both. You will always be my friends, even with distance and time separating us — Love to you both, Carol A.

    • Carol,
      Did the beautiful wedding have anything to do with the lovely flowers?!(done by you, of course:)
      You are a special friend that distance can not diminish the love I have for you.

  2. You make me cry. I read this and reflect on all that we have been thru. I cry tears of joy, tears of sadness, tears of relief and tears of deep, powerful gratitude and love that I have my happiness, Tom Wideman, beside me. May our lives and marriage bring Glory to God for many more years! Happy Anniversary. You are the one and only one I love.

  3. Thank you, Tom, for posting. Thank you, Sally, for allowing your private message to be public for all of us who are your friends.
    You are both inspirational to many of us in many ways. Your honest portrayal of a life of love for one another is certainly one of them.
    Thank you for your example and friendship.

  4. Happy anniversary, you two! I remember meeting both of you for the first time, when I came to FBC of NKC my first year at Jewell. It didn’t take long to hear about the “couple” of Tom and Sally. Then I became friends with you, Tom, and met dear Sally and all of her family. Yours was certainly a match made in Heaven, and I’m proud to call you both my friends. It’s been so much fun to see everyone’s journey, especially the one of becoming grandparents . .Isn’t it the best?? Love you guys, and wish you many more years of wedded bliss!

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