I remember Mom and Dad talking about this little "secret" years ago, when they were younger. Their "love story" means even more to me now.
They wanted more out of their relationship. They wanted to begin making plans for a future.... for their future, together.
Mom and Frank had discussed planning a wedding but felt that their families would interfere because they were against it. What were they to do now? They wanted to marry anyway, despite how others felt about it. They were both adults and were capable of making their own decisions, after all. Perhaps when their families realized how much they loved each other, they would come to their senses and accept their relationship. They decided that, no matter what others believed, they were going to do what their hearts told them to do.
It was Thursday, December 8, 1960 when Mom and Frank tied the knot. Mom and I were dressed in our Sunday best. She could hardly wait for Frank to appear. This was the day they had chosen to marry. They would keep it a "secret" for a little while, and would continue to live apart until they could afford their own place. They would tell their families about their commitment when they could finally move in together. It would not be long now because Frank had saved nearly enough to get their own place.
They drove out into the country, to a small store where the Justice of Peace resided and operated his business. With me between them, Mom and Frank stood there and recited their wedding vows. This is the day they had long awaited. It was not the kind of wedding ceremony that they had hoped for, but nonetheless, they were now husband and wife.
After the marriage vows were exchanged, Mom and Frank (and me, of course) spent a little time together riding in the country and sharing thoughts about their ceremony and their future together. They had wished that their families could have partaken in their ceremony. They had wished that they could have gone on a honeymoon, away from it all, just the two of them. That would have to wait. For now, they were excited about getting their own place and beginning their new lives together.
For the next two weeks, Mom and Frank managed to keep their marriage a secret. They saw each other as often as they could, just like before. However, there was some "talk" going on among family members and some of them grew suspicious.