Love for the Long Haul

“Love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun, more last than star...” ee cummings

My mom was only 19 when she married my father, a strapping “older” man of almost 26. Today my parents celebrate 57 years of marriage.

Isn’t that incredible?

I’ll let you do the math on their age, but they are now facing the treacherous road of loving each other “in sickness” more than “in health.”

Aches are becoming more intense while the memories are less so.Balance is fading almost as quickly as hearing.It’s harder to stay warm and the whole “eyesight thing” never improves with years.

For Christmas my mom said if I could organize getting them new bodies, “that would be great…”

And yet now, in the middle of this stage of life, I see my parents working on their relationship in remarkable ways. I see a thoughtful tenderness that I missed in my youth. Perhaps it was missing in the hectic pace of raising three children.

Perhaps I didn’t notice. Or maybe it's a more recent development.

At this point it doesn’t matter.

At THIS point I want to take notes about how well they are caring for each other. I called my Dad this week and asked him a bunch of questions about my mom and their marriage.

His response was sweet.

He was either reciting his practiced “facts” (some of which my mother would undoubtedly dispute)...

“Your mother chased me all over the Western United States until I proposed to her.”“I was in the Navigators which was also known as the ‘no daters.’” “We were only engaged 6 months because I didn’t want to wait to marry her!”“I had an old Oldsmobile and we drove to Forest Falls for our honeymoon.”

Or he was expressing surprise that he actually landed my Mom…

"I gave your mom ample opportunities to date other guys, but she really seemed to like me.""She’s a keeper.""I don't know what Gail ever saw in me." "She’s the best thing to ever happen to me."and..."I thrill at her. Even to this day, she’s a wonder."

He got choked up at the last line. (I was typing as I went and I noticed my keyboard got a tad damp too.) He is so grateful for my mom and understands the blessing of having a "helpmate" who recognizes his worth.

As for mom and the way she loves my dad, I know being someone’s "wonder," well, the aches and pains seem like a worthy exchange.

Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad.

Thanks for loving each other well and showing us how it's done!