The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

May 20, 2013

My 13 years have been lucky


TARBORO — It was 13 years Sunday that a drought was broken in Big Spring, Texas, After that, we ate Mexican for dinner with a gathering of family and friends.

The next day, a Saturday, Stephanie and I joined one another in marriage under a beautiful little gazebo by Comanche Trail Lake, fed by the historic spring from which the community draws its name.

We had been concerned, for it had been weeks since there was an appreciable rainfall and the weather had already battered the century mark repeatedly — leaving the lake about 10-feet low.

But that Friday afternoon, the clouds built out of the Southwest and everything came together as Mother Nature delivered in a big way.

The next morning, there was a freshness on the air and all of the fragrances that fill the air when God provides water for the desert and her plants. The birds were chirping and the lake, which was have made no photographic backdrop the afternoon before, was lapping at the spillway.

We knew when our friend, Rev. Eddie Tubbs, joined us together before our small group of friends by the side of that lake on the northern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert, we were off on a journey. Neither of us were rookies, but I don’t know any way we could anticipate the curve balls life would throw our way — like trying to make a new life in an area ravaged by Hurricane Katrina ... or cancer, or heart issues or a stroke.

We’ve learned the five words “in sickness and in health” are so much more than part of a pledge to one another.

In these 13 years that have passed since Stephanie and I became husband and wife, we’ve faced a fair share of obstacles and, with the good Lord guiding us, we’ve managed to keep walking that path He has placed in front of us and knowing He has opened doors for a reason.

Too many times, my wife has wound up in the role of my caregiver — and I know how hard that can be, but I know I’m blessed because I have her ... not just as my nurse in the tough times, but my partner and mate as we move through life and enjoy the good times, as well.

So, today, I want to wish my wife a happy 13th anniversary and thank her for being there ... in sickness and in health ... and being my better half.

I love you and admire you for the person you are.

(John H. Walker is editor and publisher of The Daily Southerner and may be contacted at 823-3106 or