Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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[friday]

August 23, 2013

Every little firefight

Kokomo — “What’s your secret?” I asked.

“As long as you’re always for better or for worse, you’ll be just fine,” he said with an empathetically happy smile as his eyes peered into mine, lingering for a moment. “But, I have a feeling you two already know that.”

He is Wayne Dunbar, the husband to the bride he married 68 years ago. I met Mr. Dunbar when he stopped in Kokomo Tribune offices inquiring about featuring the love he’s loved for almost seven decades in Lifestyle’s Half a Century and Happy, penned by KT photograher Kelly Lafferty.

It was a sentimental coincidence that Mr. Dunbar stopped in three days after my fiancée and I became engaged. We discussed first dates: The Dunbars shared their first date in February, like we did. His wife’s birthday was the exact date of our first date. It was mere coincidence, but a moment that your heart nudges your soul to hold onto.

And I did.

The night we got engaged a woman came up to us while we were celebrating at our favorite restaurant (no, he didn’t propose at the restaurant or put the ring in food) and asked, “Did you just get engaged?”

As if our “I’m-heading-to-Disney-World-like” smiles weren’t enough, our nodding heads confirmed.

She replied with matched enthusiasm, “I could tell. I’ve been married to my husband for 43 years.”

My fiancée asked, “What’s your secret?”

She said, “He’s my best friend – we raised three kids with like minds – but when it comes down to it he’s always been my best friend. It’s actually making me tear up, but I think that’s the secret: Love your best friend,” as she smiled through eyes glistening with emotion.

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