Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 29, 2014

Life is full of milestones; some we look forward to and others we hope will pass without much fanfare. Next week I face two significant ones, I am turning 40 and my wife and I will celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. One is hard to believe and the other seems like only yesterday.
My wife and I have known each other since we were small children, but life took us down separate paths before reconnecting later in life. It was through a friend of a friend that she found me. I was working at a small newspaper in Columbia, Miss. when she sent me a message. We exchanged phone numbers and spent nearly 40 hours on the phone that first week. After several weeks we decided that it was time to get reacquainted.
I used the grand festivities in New Orleans known as Mardi Gras to lure her away from Southern California. She agreed to fly south and we would have an extended 10-day date. We knew before that date was over that we never wanted to be apart again. However, she had some things she needed to take care of in California first.
We planned a return trip for a couple months later and that left the obvious thing still to do. Since we knew we wanted to get married we had begun planning the wedding, yet no official proposal had taken place.
I wanted it to be THE MOST special occasion that we would always remember fondly. Her return visit included her mother and her sister and therefore plans needed to include them. I rented a small restaurant and planned what my sister-in-law now refers to as the best meal she ever had.
As a newspaperman who delivered newspapers as a boy from his bicycle I wanted to do something unique for us. I used the entire back page of The Columbian-Progress on April 18, 2009 to propose to my bride. I think everyone in town called the paper the next week wanting to know who was marrying that girl. We were married a few short months later and every day has been a blessing.
As I take a few days off this week to celebrate those milestones, I’ll leave you to guess which one is hard to believe and which seems like yesterday.

Paul Barry is the managing editor and can be reached by email at or by phone at 601-636-4545 ext. 123.

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