Mr. and Mrs. Bridges
Listening to the Bridges sing the lyrics to their song (the William Bell classic “I Forgot to Be a Lover”) to each other, “…. have I told you lately that I love you…..if I didn’t then darling I’m sorry….” leaves no doubt the romance and love is stronger than ever as they prepare to celebrate 43 years of marriage this month. Eugene Bridges married the former Mary E. Young on December 26, 1969. “We had a small wedding.” says Mr. Bridges. “We took a blood test and then got married right on the spot at a courthouse in Hazelhurst, MS!” He jokingly adds, “I’m old school; I had to get her parents blessings. Her mom loved me from the beginning, but her daddy mumbled something. I don’t know if I ever got his blessings!”
Eugene Bridges first laid eyes on his future wife at a “record shop that sold sandwiches” in Mary’s hometown of Crystal Springs, MS. We were introduced by a mutual friend. Eventually he went into the armed service. Then as fate would have it, when he was leaving the service, Mrs. Bridges went into the Air Force. Mary says, “I just wanted to travel, I had never left my town. I wanted to experience things and grow up.” Through it all Mary and Eugene kept in touch. According to Eugene, “I thought I had lost her at one point when I was in the service, but she reassured me she would wait for me and she did.” Mary adds, “I never dated anyone else. I was stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, MS. After we got married, I wanted out. One time, I was so late reporting back that they made me pick weeds. I got bit by a spider which allowed me to speak to a doctor and a priest who helped me to get out of the military.” Mr. Bridges jokingly adds, “I didn’t believe her. She just showed up at home and said ‘they let me out’, all I could do was pick her up and hug and squeeze her.”
The couple advises, “if you want it (marriage) to last you can make it last!” Eugene says, “Be honest and open with each other. Don’t look to other people to tell them your problems, keep your problems in your house. Great communication is the key.” Mary adds, “Your mate should be your best friend.”
The Bridges enjoy watching movies together, playing video games with their grandkids, going out to dinner, and weekend getaways. Mary says, “He makes me happy just when he looks at me or hugs me. He buys me nice things and doesn’t get mad when I buy things I want and don’t need!” Eugene says, “The little things she does make me happy. Mary adds, “I fell in love with him because he was consistent, loving and good-hearted. He loved my mother like his own mother. He’s just a good man, and I knew he’d be a good father.” Mr. Bridges says, “I love everything about her. Her beauty and she’s very loving and kind-hearted.” The Bridges credit their children for holding them to their commitment to each other and making their union stronger. They have 2 sons and 3 grandchildren. “Boys need a father in the home, someone who will challenge them, especially in their teenage years, when they tend to rebel. When young boys die, it is common to hear family say that he was a good boy….but did he have a father in the home?” asks Mr. Bridges. Mary adds, “Seeing our family grow helps our marriage because the love flows from us to our kids, then to our grandkids.” Mr. and Mrs. Bridges’ advice to younger married couples, “Be happy. Enjoy life. It’s better with a mate. Don’t let the small problems become big problems. Life is too short. Once you talk about it, it’s usually ok because you find out it was a misunderstanding.” The Bridges are members of Dominion and Power Ministries.