Today, my lovely wife and I celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. On June 6, 1998 I made an honest woman out of Cheryl. Fifteen years seems like an eternity when you're a little bit younger, but it can fly by in the blink of an eye. Especially if you've been as fortunate as I have. My wife (Cheryl) and children (Jesse and Maddie) are all I need to get me through this crazy world. Some folks talk about a quest for wealth or have a desire for silver and gold, but as long as I have those three in my life..I'm the luckiest man alive, and I am extremely fortunate to be where I am today. Somebody up there must like me, that's for sure! I'm not gonna go all mushy on this post, but this one is dedicated to Cheryl. Like Willie and Waylon said, "Cowboys ain't easy to love and they're harder to hold, they'd rather give you a song than diamonds or gold." I put more value on my words than I would on another gift. Here comes a few funny stories from my life with "Sweet" Miss Cheryl. Happy Anniversary Darlin!
These days I am what I like to call "Straight Edge", and I don't drink alcohol, use tobacco, or use any kind of drugs. However, I wasn't always like that and there were a couple of incidents in my married life that caused issues due to an inebriated state. Incident #1 was on our Honeymoon, and I had got a little too acquainted with Captain Morgan. We were in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida and it just so happened the NBA Finals were on, and this was what would turn out to be Michael Jordan's last NBA Final. Well I caused a ruckus in our room hooting and hollering about MJ and the Bulls. I was a huge Bulls fan Back in the day. I smoked a big ole Cigar in our non-smoking room, and was pretty much an obnoxious idiot all night. I almost got divorced before we really got started, but thank goodness Cheryl, although not happy with me, forgave me for acting a fool. Incident #2 happened in New Orleans, Louisiana. We spent the better part of the day at "Pat O'Briens" and I beame a huge fan of the Hurricane I will freely admit. From there I spent time with with the "Chicken Man" telling my fortune on Bourbon Street, and spilled drinks all over a white table cloth in the fancy restaurant "The Court of Two Sisters", that we wandered into accidentally. I messed around with that Voodoo thing that says, "Do not Touch" in that Marie Laveau museum deal. Luckily I was not cursed by the Voodoo people, and once again my lovely wife looked past her sinner of a husband. Thank the Good Lord!
There have been a couple of incidents over the years where Cheryl has had to endure the "Fighting Side of Me" to quote Merle Haggard. There was an incident involving a Swimming Instructor that wouldn't let me stand close to an obviously distressed 3 year old Jesse, and Cheryl was quoted as saying, "I really thought you were gonna punch that guy." Another time was when an Assistant Coach on a baseball team I was coaching decided to go all rogue and attempt a coup. He wanted to overthrow my oppressive rule I supposed, but his biggest mistake was to speak ill of me in front of my wife. In all fairness, I don't believe he knew that Cheryl was my wife at the time. I found out about his negative comments in front of my beloved, and to put it lightly we had to have a discussion. Long story short, this assistant coach never had a cross word with me the rest of the year and he coached first base with gusto from that point on. You don't talk garbage in front of man's wife. I always tell Jesse, "You don't mess with a man's hat or his woman." That sums it up nicely.
Cheryl is a Vegetarian and an Animal Lover from way back, and I completely respect her decision to follow that disciplined diet. I know I couldn't do it that's for sure. One of my co-worker's when I was in Law Enforcement just couldn't grasp the idea of not eating meat. He was old-school through and through, and asked her everytime he saw her, "You don't eat meat?" She would say, "No." He would ask, "You don't eat Beef?" The answer was still, "No." "You don't eat Chicken?" Still, "No." "How 'bout Fish." Once again, "No." He always looked distressed and would walk away completely bumfuzzled. He would introduce me to people, "You know Perry's wife don't eat no meat." I think he thought we were Communists or something, but Cheryl was, as always, very sweet in her repeated denial of consuming any animal flesh. Cheryl's animal loving ways led to us having Abby. A very sweet but very pitiful Lab mix dog. Abby was a diabetic, we discovered, and we had to give her shots twice a day for the entire extent of her life. She lived twelve or thirteen years and our vet said, "I have never seen a diabetic dog diagnosed that early, live that long....That is an amazing accomplishment." I should have known things would be "different" with Abby when the day we ended up at the humane society and the lady told Cheryl, "You don't want to see that one." Abby was doggy puke covered and huddled in a corner in the cage. In true Cheryl form she said, "Oh yes I do." Things in the Perry house would never be the same. My dog, "Smokey" a fine German Shephard mix was paired with Abby and a family began. I actually credit Abby with convincing Cheryl that she could be a fine mother, which I knew all along. We were able to give the dogs a good life, and not kill them, so Cheryl decided that kids wouldn't be a bad thing after all. Good thing, because if she hadn't decided that....I wouldn't be writing all this right now. I would probably be in jail in New Orleans.
My wife is the most wonderful woman in the world. She is an awesome mother and it is truly an honor to be with such a woman. She has worked hard all her life in accomlishing her goals in education and the professional world. People use the phrase, "They broke the mold" probably too often, but when it comes to this fine lady that statement is true. I can't say it enough, I am an extremely lucky man to have crossed paths with this fine woman. She has inspired me to do things I may have never done otherwise. Thanks Cheryl, for fifteen years of pure awesomeness! I'm hoping for about 50 more! Happy Anniversary!