Baileys celebrate 50 years

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 29, 2008

From my friend, to my beau, to my girl, to my suitor, my childhood sweetheart, to my husband, to my wife…new beginnings, new ventures it didn’t take long to get here.

On a very sunny and warm Saturday, April 19, 1958, at 5

p.m. on the lawn of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph T. Holland, the bride’s parents, the two became one, a reality, Paul Bailey and Shirley Holland Bailey.

The Rev. G.R. Daughtrey conducted the wedding ceremony while a host of excited family and friends witnessed the grand occasion.

Moments of reflection include sweet memories from Mr. Bailey regarding his father-in-law. He remembers Shirley’s daddy as a very strict man who would give his daughter’s beau work to do when he came calling. Visits in the winter meant he would help Shirley bring wood into the house for the heater and spring meant Paul would certainly trim or dig peanut poles as the farmers plowed the fields in preparation for planting.

Mr. Bailey also remembers helping with feeding the pigs, bringing the cows in and watering the farm mule. What was developed from this myriad of chores and time spent with Shirley, his love, resulted in a very fond friendship between son-in-law and father-in-law.

With all the excitement of well wishes, words of encouragement and blessings the newly wedded couple set out to make New York their new home but after six years of being home, sick for Holland and specifically the ‘ole New Road the Baileys relocated to Virginia.

From that marriage union, life brought additions to the family. The Baileys have four biological children, Debbie, Michael, Myron and Candace. They are also legal guardian to their nephew, their guardian son, Christopher Brabble. To add to the family, they have eight grandchildren, one godchild and an adopted dad.

Throughout the years, the Baileys traveled by way of camping, touring and cruising. They traveled by car, by plane, by train, and by ship. They have been to all the states in the United States except for Alaska. They also visited Canada. They have cruised to the Caribbean Islands and have had to cancel twice because of Mr. Bailey’s health.

Who has walked with the Baileys during the good times, sad times, trials and tribulations from April 19, 1958 until now?

Mrs. Bailey reflects, &uot;Time has gone by quickly even though we’ve experienced some mountains, plains and even a few valleys.&uot;

The mountain experiences outweighs the valley experiences but it has all been worth it because God has sustained and kept this couple and because of Christ’s love for them, the Baileys have lived their vows of promise to love and to cherish one another in good times and in bad times and in sickness and in health.

In June 1983, the Baileys, especially Mrs. Bailey would be confronted with those spoken words from 1958 as Mr. Bailey was stricken with health issues that resulted in hospitalization, many surgeries, a stroke and three separate open heart surgeries.

In spite of everything else, the Baileys still remember their vows and continue to live by those words. A deep trust and respect continues to abide with them. Life is lived at a slower pace at the present because of Mr. Bailey’s health, however, the Bailey’s love and devotion is just a resilient as it was 50 years ago, and they often are reminded of those days. They continue to smile and thank the Lord for each day.

The Baileys will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on April 29, and perhaps they will not celebrate with all the fanfare of 50 years past. Nonetheless, they can reflect, reminisce, and remember how God has brought them to where they are by His love, grace and mercy, remembering that day with joy and thanksgiving to God for allowing them to share their lives as one.