Three couples from same family share Christmas anniversary
Franklin County Times
VINA – One Franklin County family has a few extra reasons to celebrate Christmas.
H.B. and Dorothy Humphres were married in Fulton, Miss., on Christmas Eve in 1955, while Dorothy's sister, Faye, married Rex Edwards at Free Will Baptist Church in Red Bay on the same day in 1960. Faye's daughter, Rhonda, continued the family tradition when she married Mike Hester on Dec. 24, 1987 at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Vina.
The Edwards family said all three Christmas Eve ceremonies are only a coincidence.
"Why get married on Christmas Eve? So we could have a Christmas present every year," Rex Edwards said.
His wife offered another light-hearted explanation for the shared anniversaries.
"That was the only time we all had time off from work," Faye Edwards said.
Rhonda Hester said she had originally planned a June wedding but she agreed to compromise on the date for Mike, whose grandparents, Thurman and Edna Hester, were also married on Christmas Eve 55 years ago.
"Our original date was June '88, but we move it up to December even though I had always wanted to be a June bride and June 29 is my birthday," Rhonda Hester said. "But I told him I was still having a purple wedding, and I wouldn't change the color – just the date."
Besides common wedding dates, the couples all had brief courtships that have produced lasting marriages.
"I was in Red Bay and was driving down the street and I honked at Rex, but I thought he was someone else," Faye Edwards said. "We met in September and we got married three months later, and we've been married 47 years. It's a Christian home and God has kept us together."
Edwards' granddaughter, Rebecca Edwards, attributed their marriage's longevity to another reason.
"They always said, 'If one leaves, I'm going with them," and that's been their motto," Rebecca Edwards said.
Rhonda and Mike Hester shared an even shorter engagement after dating only one month.
"We started dating August 6 and he had me an engagement ring by Sept. 12, and I told him he was crazy," Rhonda Hester said. "We were at a Vina peewee football game watching my little brother play, and my mom asked, 'What are you going to do after the game?,' and Mike said, 'We're going to pick out a ring at Best Jewelers in Florence.'"
Rex and Faye Edwards have four children, including Rhonda, Randy, Regina and Ronnie, and eight grandchildren – Keith, Anthony, Rebecca, Eugene, Phoebe, Tiffany, Clarissa and Trenton.
The Edwards family has endured two near-tragedies this year – an April 11 fire that burned Rex and Faye's home of 32 years to the ground and a near-fatal car accident Oct. 31 involving Randy's daughter, Rebecca, and Mike and Rhonda's younger son, Keith, who suffered severe internal injuries requiring several surgeries and a six-week stay at University Hospital in Birmingham.
"We lost everything we had except the clothes on our back – it's been one hectic year for us, but I think this has brought us closer together," Faye Edwards said. "Keith has been home about two weeks, and he will be here for Christmas. He was hanging on by a thread but he's doing better now. All I wanted for Christmas this year was for all my family to be together, and God let us have that."