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Dear Dwight and Kathy,

I don’t know many people who have “made it” together for fifty years. Fifty years is a long time. And you made it!

I was married twice. Many of us have been married two or three times, trying to get it right. Some sadly lose a spouse before reaching that big anniversary.

You celebrated in Fayetteville, Tennessee. You, your daughter, and your son set it up for gaiety with your memories everywhere. Thank you for inviting us.

You two have lived your lives hopping from one place to another. The military took you all over the world.

Swing your partner round and round....

Don’t get me wrong here. No ego was showing.

There was no pretending from you to have had an easy road. You did not hide the Baghdad hostage experience. (Gratitude God got Dwight and family through that one.)

Such sharing of family photos, sacred moments, good memories.

You started off with vows in a tiny wedding in 1968. Six people were present in the church. And you made it fifty years together! Clearly, you prove that the size of the wedding has zilch to do with the number of years people stay together.

Dwight and Kathy, you walked parallel lines that often zigged and zagged. Roads, both easy and short, rough and long.

This afternoon you shined your light on sweet bits, knotty bits, obscure places.

Most of us probably marry for keeps, thinking it will last forever and two days. When we marry, we have no clue what’s ahead. Still, we are ready for the journey.

Pretty amazing, as I think about it.

Like Abraham and Sarah in their journeys, you had your ups and downs, valleys, rocks and thorns.

But without the hard times, how would any of us learn the deeper love? This and that mingles, and we give life to each other.


Swing your partner round and round....

I saw your love in your teasing ways. It spoke of how comfortable you are with one another, it told of your love for one another.

Beaming with pride, your beautiful children stood by, watching and laughing. (These two would fight for you, if need be.)

Reception foods. Wow! Especially the pumpkin swirls—well, I ate my share.

Loved it when you cut the cake and smeared icing on each other’s faces. You deserved the applause, the laughter.

Today we celebrate you! We believe in you. You and your family give me much to believe in.

Fifty years! Nothing to sneeze at! Makes me want to dance your square dance—

Swing your partner round and round....

May your lives together be forever long and happy.


Pat Durmon

Photo of Dwight and Kathy Durmon, taken by their daughter Melissa Durmon in Fayetteville, Tennessee, August 2018.

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