Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Usually, I send flowers for Mom and Dad's anniversary. This year that was not in the budget, and I feel bad that I didn't send a card. I'm terrible at getting stuff in the mail before important days. I did get to talk to them on the phone, though. It sounded like they were having a nice night.

My parents have been married since mom was 20 and Dad was 21. If my math is right, they've been married for 37 years. Isn't that something?

(Forgive me if I get any of these facts wrong. I'm working from memory, and memory is a tricky thing.)

Mom and Dad met on a blind date. Dad's fraternity brother wanted to date Mom's sorority sister. Mom’s friend would only agree to go on a double. The other couple wasn’t a match, but Mom and Dad have been together ever since. Two months later, they were engaged, and six months after they met, they were married.

Mom says they just didn’t want to wait. There was a war on. Everyone would sit in campus lounges watching the lotteries to see whose numbers were up in the draft. Young men would be taken from their lives, and return changed if they returned at all. My parents couldn’t take for granted that they would have time for a long courtship. When Mom told me the story, she used the same words Grandma Carmie used when explaining that she ditched a date at a dance for Grandpa Keith: “I think I made the right decision!”

I’m lucky, because my parents are not just still together, but crazy in love. When I was in high school, my friends were shocked when we’d walk into the house and find my parents passionately smooching in the kitchen. I didn’t realize how rare it is, that my parents kiss and joke, that they hold hands when they walk around the State Fair.

Being in love doesn’t make life perfect. I asked Mom when I was a little girl, if Dad passed away, would she remarry? She told me she probably wouldn’t, because creating a good marriage was such hard work. But my parents do work to understand each other, and make each other happy. That hard work built a loving family. Their marriage is truly an inspiration.

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