Dan and Ann were celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary. Everyone in the nursing home had been congratulating them all day. The last 75 years had gone by so fast, but Ann still remembered their first kiss like it was yesterday.

It was a warm day, which made the dance even warmer. She had been looking forward to homecoming for so long, her long-time crush and good friend Dan had finally asked her. They had stepped outside for some fresh air and Dan looked at her. "You look gorgeous," he told her. "Thank you, you look great too. The whole night has been so much fun." "Yes it has," he whispered taking her hand and staring into her eyes. He gently brushed a strand of hair from her face and let his fingers spend an extra moment against her cheek. Dan slowly tilted her chin and pressed his lips to hers. They had dated ever since their sophomore homecoming.

The nursing home was having a party for the two complete with music, a dance and gifts. They were one of a few couples left and it brought back memories for so many of the other residents. They were in their little apartment getting ready. Both were thinking back to their first baby.

"Ann, where's the suitcase?" "Next to the bed honey!" "Found it!" he said running down the stairs. "Wait a minute, come here," Ann told her husband. "This baby wants to be born with its father in one piece so calm down." "Okay," Dan said looking at how calm and radiant his wife was. Ann gave him a kiss. "I love you so much Annie." "I love you too but now we better go," she said wincing in pain and squeezing Dan's hand.

Looking across the room, Ann saw the pictures of her family. Josh, their first born, Rebecca, Lee, and the twins Meg and Monica. Dan came behind her and wrapped his wrinkled arms around his frail wife. Ann just sighed happily feeling his touch, she had never stopped loving this man in the 85 years she had known him. "I love you Annie," he whispered into her ear. She loved it when he called her Annie because it was his special nickname for her. "I love you too Dan, so much."

"I take you Ann Gransley to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward," Dan said looking into her eyes. "I take you Dan Mutran to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward," Ann said, her eyes telling him so much more than her words. "I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride."

They headed to the party excited and ready for fun. When the couple arrived, there were almost 40 people waiting already. The food was great, everyone enjoyed dancing so much and Dan and Ann received many nice gifts and cards. "I want to thank you all for coming and celebrating with us," Dan said standing up. "The past 75 years of my life have been wonderful because of this beautiful woman sitting next to me. Ann, thank you for being my wife and best friend." I love you she mouthed to him as he sat down. "I also want to thank all of you and say that I have the most wonderful husband and I can't imagine my life without him in it. Dan, thank you for everything you've always done," she said to her husband. Dan thought back to their first anniversary and how they almost didn't make it together.

"I had everything planned now supper is ruined, happy anniversary!" Ann screamed at him. "I'm sorry I am late but I was trying to make some money for us." "What's that supposed to mean?" "Nothing, just don't be upset." "I am going up to MY room!" and she stormed out of the kitchen.

'So much for our first anniversary,' Dan thought. Ann sat on their bed crying, she didn't understand how he could do that to her - she loved him so much and tried to do everything for him. Dan slid a note under their door and it skidded across the wooden floor. She unfolded the paper to read the message: I LOVE YOU ANNIE. 'Oh Dan, I love you too,' she thought walking out to celebrate her anniversary with the man she loved.

After the party, Dan took Ann back to their apartment. When they got to the door he picked her up and carried her through their little place just like he had done 75 years ago.

"Dan! Put me down!" Ann squealed. "I want to carry my wife over the threshold." He smiled at his beautiful Ann and hugged her close to himself. They were finally married!

The two sat and watched the sun set together and just enjoyed the wonderful day they were having. They decided to go to bed then, being so old now they didn't stay up very late. Ann lay in Dan's arms and whispered into the dark. "Happy Anniversary." "I love you Annie," he whispered back. "I love you too, always and forever."

Copyright © 1999 Megan Arjes

This story is dedicated to Anna ~ thank you for your friendship and encouragement in all my writing! Also to Ross and Evelyn, this story is for you. Ross, thank you for everything you taught me and I will see you in Heaven. Evelyn, thank you for leaving footprints on my heart. You have both made a huge difference in my life!