Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

August 23, 2013

Every little firefight

By Lindsay Eckert
Tribune lifestyle editor

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.

That emotion of realness was a view that we’d both wanted, we’d both waited for. The view of seeing what you want, knowing it and never giving up on it. There’s a lot of living to be had in this life. There are moments that weaken your core, there are times that you discover the you that you never knew; it’s all part of growing. For the most part, we’d done that alone— up until we met. So, when we found each other, the colors of our immediate worlds had seen all the shades that life paints. But, man, when I saw him sitting at a table in a red and black plaid cowboy shirt, when I first saw what I see today, what I’ll see for all my tomorrows – I knew that view was right there, right then.

A year and a half later to the day, I’m writing about the view I get to share with the man I’m marrying. And, it’s writing that brought us together, that brought us to that first meeting.

A column about us and about the view we’ve made for our today wouldn’t be complete without my fiancée, Derek Fisher’s, words.

So, I snagged a line or two from a blog he wrote after first hearing the song we danced to in our kitchen the night we got engaged entitled, “Waiting on the Day.”

“I had an extremely emotional reaction to these words, mostly because I’ve attained most of these things, and you don’t realize how far you have to fall until something reminds you how many steps you’ve climbed. The song isn’t about falling, though; it’s about that mountaintop, and the view from there. For me, these words were a reaffirmation of what I have, and what I never want to lose. Hearing this and simultaneously realizing how truly special what I have is, was a revelation. Here’s to quiet filling the air, and simple, fulfilling pleasures occupying the void the noise left.”

And, what a view it is.

— Lindsay Eckert

[friday] editor/ The future Lindsay Fisher

Email us the “secret” to your view at lindsay.eckert@kokomotribune.com.