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‘I Do’ After 72 Years

I do.  Two simple words with a very strong meaning. Everyone has said, “I do.”  I do read the paper. I do go to church. I do want to have another slice of pizza. Many have even said, “I do,” before God and witnesses. However, few are fortunate enough to say, “I do” and, 72 years later, celebrate the meaning of the words. James Edward Barker and Laurie Beatrice Guill Barker - better known as Tina - recently reached that milestone.

Tina recalled their days of courting and their wedding day with a tear in her eye.

“James came to the house to see me. We didn’t go anywhere, just my mama and daddy’s house. When we got married, we got married with another couple and waited all day to do it.”

James and Tina have shared a lot in their marriage. They started out with “nothing” as James said.

“Nothing at all,” he repeated.

Over the years, they became the parents to Jimmy and Teddy and grandparents to Tracey, Timmy, David, and Chris.

They attended Fork Baptist Church in Scottsburg. James worked on the tobacco market and farmed with Tina by his side.

As far as having Tina by his side, that has not changed for James. When James was unable to stay at home, the family chose Seasons at The Woodview to be his new home. Tina soon followed behind to be with her husband.
“I could not be away from my sweetie pie, “she said.

The couple loves to sing and can often be heard singing to pass the time or settle an argument.

According to Tina, long and successful marriages are based on love, forgiveness, determination, and respect and need some give and take and lots of laughter.

Of all the blessings the couple has shared over the years, there was one thing missing; they had never had a wedding reception.

On the occasion of their 72nd anniversary, the Seasons staff remedied that situation. Invitations were sent to family and friends, Seasons was decorated with yellow roses, bows, and pictures of the couple’s life together, and the staff hosted an old fashioned wedding reception complete with fried chicken, potato salad and all the trimmings.

To top the night off, the couple was presented a traditional wedding cake which they cut and fed to each other, just like newlyweds.

“Something I never thought that I would do,” said Tina.

Seventy-two years. Imagine, dream, and hope that we are all so blessed.