Nominated by Cheri Crane
I can truthfully say that I caught my husband during a Sadie's Hawkin's Day race in 1981. I was playing the part of Moonbeam McSwine during a local production of "Li'l Abner." I also worked that summer as a nurses' aid at a local nursing home. (This tidbit of information has a lot to do with me "catching" my husband.) I worked with a wonderful woman at the nursing home, a CNA named Verdene. For weeks she had been telling me that I needed to meet her son, a missionary who would be coming home soon from Japan. I was polite, but silently vowed that I was through with blind dates. My family had recently moved to Montpelier, Idaho, and after enduring several dating disasters, I was determined to find my own dating material.
Then one night, Verdene's wish came true. As I ran down into the auditorium during the scene from "Li'l Abner" that featured the famed Sadie Hawkins Race, I stopped in place, staring at a handsome young man I had never seen before. In keeping with what our director had asked us to do to get the audience involved, I flirted outrageously with this young man. I sat on his lap, played in his hair, and actually asked the question, "Hey there. Is you tooken?", complete with a hayseed accent. Then I saw the woman seated at his side and nearly died. It was Verdene. Realizing this was her son, the one I was supposed to meet, I turned beet red, jumped up, and somehow got through the rest of that performance. When it was over, I hid backstage, hoping everyone in the audience had gone home. To my embarrassment, Verdene had patiently waited in the foyer with her son, Kennon, intent on introducing us.
I'd like to say that our relationship fell together without any glitches, but it didn't happen that way. Kennon later told me that he knew after our first date that I was the one for him. It took me longer to come to this conclusion. We dated for two weeks, then I returned to college. Kennon drove up to see me in Rexburg from time to time, and I went out with him when I came home on varied weekends, but I never caught on to how serious he was about our relationship. An example: on our second date, as we drove around Montpelier, he asked me what I'd like to do. When I shot the question back his direction, he said something coy like: "Let's get married." I figured he was making a joke and forced a laugh, remembering my mother's advice about fragile male egos. I had no idea I had deflated his greatly---he was serious, and he had courageously tested the waters. They proved to be treacherous.
Around November of that year, I began losing weight and felt like the proverbial last chapter. I knew something was wrong, but didn't know just how serious things were. When I returned home for Thanksgiving weekend, I went out with Kennon again, and during our conversation, I asked him what he thought about my situation. I was ill, confused, and uncertain about the direction my life was taking. Kennon cleared his throat and bravely stated again that I should marry him. Again I laughed, figuring he was trying to be funny.
Kudos to Kennon for hanging in there. I went back to college, continued losing weight and had to drop out a week before finals---the teachers were a little freaked about my tendency to pass out in class. I was brought home, hospitalized, and endured a series of tests. Eventually we would learn that I had become a Type 1 diabetic.
Long story short, not long before Christmas, I was released from the hospital. It was at that point that Kennon officially proposed. He jokes now that he caught me during a weak moment. He wasn't far from the truth. It would take me 6 months to regain my strength. We were engaged in December of 1981, and married in May of 1982 in the Logan Temple.
Now, why do I think I have the best husband in the world? Perhaps it was summed up best by a member of our ward shortly after our wedding. She came up to me, smiled, then said, "Kennon must really love you to have married you even though you're a diabetic." OUCH!!! Though that comment stung, there was some truth to it. Kennon did indeed love me enough to stick by my side even though I was facing a life-long chronic illness.
Through the years, we have faced the death of our parents (We both lost our fathers not long after we were married), the difficult births of 3 sons, and countless challenging trials. Through it all, I always knew I could count on Kennon to be there. During a life-threatening adventure, a time when I wasn't sure I was going to pull through, as I was loaded inside an ambulance, the only thought going through my head was, "As long as Kennon holds my hand, I know I'll survive this." And I did. I pray he will always be there to hold my hand as this challenging life continues, and that he will still be holding it in the eternities.
How blessed I am to have "caught" such a caring, dependable, gorgeous hunk of a man who will always be the best husband in the world as far as I'm concerned.