Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Love of My Parents

Laughter, love, warmth, caring, companionship, friendship, happiness, tears, good times, bad times, sickness, health, understanding, peace. These are the words I choose to describe my parent's marriage. It's well over fifty years. Fifty. They've stayed together through difficulties and triumphs. Through heartbreak and heartfelt moments. They knew what it was like to have plenty, and knew what it was like to have barely anything. Yet they never faltered, not once.

In this world where it's so easy to throw things away, even relationships, it amazes me to see two people with the bond my parents have. Certainly it was no different when they were younger. They, too, had moments where I'm sure it didn't feel like they could take it any longer. But something kept them together.

I've seen my dad at Mother's side through difficult years growing up. With tenderness and understanding I saw him caring for her, never giving up hope in the darkest of moments. And saw that same love reciprocated as she stood by Dad during latter years and his own health issues. Times we weren't even sure he'd be there another day while, with faith, she remained steadfast.

It's with gratitude I watch them even today, a twinkle in Dad's eyes when Mom walks into the room. He'd do anything for her. Anything to make her smile, to give her a few moments of happiness. And Mom in her way, gives back to my father. With homey, delicious baked goods, and hot meals, she still has the knack in the kitchen, the way to a man's heart.

My parents are simple folks. Two people who enjoy sitting upon their front porch, their small water fountain trickling before them, hummingbirds darting to and fro at the feeder. A few pieces of bread thrown out to other feathered friends make for moments of enjoyment. An occasional hot roast beef sandwich shared from one of the local restaurants, some instant scratch tickets hoping for a win; watching a beloved movie, the kind you know every line. Worn photo albums, their covers dusty, pages falling apart. Classical music from scratchy vinyl records, one's they've listened to many, many times.  These are the things they share, the small things that bind them, giving them comfort in their later years.

I pray I've learned what it takes to be content in whatever the circumstances in a marriage. After all, I've had years of watching, years of gleaning all the knowledge I could from two people whose love has only grown stronger with every passing day.

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