Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 12.27.20
Stanstead, Quebec


Our 30th Anniversary

I'm writing this on the day of our 30th wedding anniversary. Deb and I were married on December 15, 1990 in Sherbrooke. That wasn't the original plan.

We were living together in Montreal, engaged, and had been gearing up for an August wedding in Nova Scotia. But then Deb got pregnant. It happens.

You tend to let your guard down when you're in a state of shock, and before we knew it, we were agreeing to a December wedding with just family in attendance. Strings were pulled. Marriage classes were skipped. (I had to agree to raise our children in the Roman Catholic faith. Sure.) The dress was bought, the tux rented. The saying goes "it was all a blur," but it really was.

We were married at St. Pat's Cathedral with both a United Church minister and a Catholic priest officiating. Our reading was the standard, "Love is patient, love is kind…"; if we had put some thought into it, we might have selected something a bit more personally meaningful, say some lyrics from The Eurythmics. But again, we were still a bit stunned.

My brother Andrew was my best man. Deb's bridesmaid was supposed to be her sister, but a medical emergency prevented her from attending. Her dad pulled double duty as both the giver-awayer and witness.

It's hard to remember what exactly was going through our heads 30 years ago, other than the terrifying prospect that Deb and I -- age 22 and 25 respectively -- were going to be parents. PARENTS! Our lives had just swerved off the meandering path of youth onto the autobahn of adult responsibility.

But I can still picture Deb walking down the aisle in her blue velvet dress, a ring of flowers in her hair, beautiful. She was wearing makeup, one of the maybe five times she's ever worn makeup. But I didn't feel nervous. Sure, this was a small gathering of family in an unfamiliar church with two more religious faiths represented than we were at that point accustomed to. But a version of this -- marriage -- was in the offing one way or another. This was fine. It was a stripped-down version of what we wanted: the next phase of our lives together.

It snowed lightly that evening. After the service, we moved to the reception at my in-laws and posed for photos in their living room. Deb, as I said, was stunning (still is). I had swooshy hair and big glasses. We took some photos without glasses too. I should have kept them on.

There was food, there were many beverages. (Me, some; Deb, pregnant.) There was a piano player, and I have a distinct memory of my father sitting in a chair with his eyes closed listening to the music. Did I mention December 15 is also his birthday? He turned 60 that day, so he was probably thinking, "Damn kids stole my thunder." (Happy 90th birthday, Dad.)

Our wedding night was spent down the road at the Delta Hotel. We watched Die Hard 2 on pay-per-view and Deb fell asleep. We were married.

We never did get a honeymoon. We had no money, and it was a long, long time before we did. (You see, we kept having children...) One of these days, we'll take that