My parents will soon be celebrating their 58th wedding anniversary. I am the only living product of this example of longevity and I have looked at them many times and wondered how they did it. My first marriage lasted over 20 years.....only because I could not stand the thought of failing.....and then one day I snapped and could not take it anymore....and there I was....47 and single again. I ventured out once more and married Frank.....I adore him and he is a good man (my parents have lived with us since 2005.....he is not just a good man....he is a saint in the making.) Yet, I cannot imagine being married to the same person.....for 58 years. I sat down with my parents one night and asked them what it was that they did that made marriage work for them and they gave me a lot of suggestions. My parents have always been had an intimate relationship with each other.....of course you don't want to hear that about your parents....but my mom went on to say that it had to be both sexual and emotional...and they always found ways to spark a little passion in life and for each another. They never went to bed angry.....they always would find a way to forgive each other. Now mind you....it was usually my dad doing the forgiving most of the time....my mom is a pistol ball....and my dad is one of the most laid back people in the world. He is a delight to be around. She on the other hand....can be a handful....she is fiery at times. Once my parents ended a fuss....and forgave each other....they forgot it....truly forgot it. I have never heard them throw something up from their pasts.....I have always thought that was amazing.
They have always shared a spirit of commitment...The neat thing is that they not only love one another, they also like one another. He is her best friend. All throughout my life I have witnessed them having fun with each other.....(like dancing to the Teaberry Shuffle at the mall....mortifying for me as a 13 year old....but sweet now that I am a 50 something._ They have always been there to be a comfort to each other....I don't know how they would have made it through the death of my brother without it...they are such encouragers, and always seemed to know how to affirm each others faith, dreams, career. My mother never really worked when I was a child....she was always able to be independent....when she wanted something extra....she would get a job. They have always respected each others space and privacy......now I find that my mother is a bit smothering where my dad is concerned.....but he takes it in stride....it drives me nuts! When I was growing up....they parented together.....I could never pull something off on one...because they were a team. They dealt with crisises in our lives together....no matter how painful....they just handled them. I grew up wanting to marry a man just like my dad.....sad to say....they don't make them like that anymore. Frank is the closest thing I have found. My mom and dad loved each other for who they were, what they were, and how they were....and never tried to change the other one....(that one is a tough one for me....I would have been in their fighting for change all along....that is the radical in me I guess.) The best thing my parents do is still hold hands....it is the sweetest thing....to see old couples holding hands. I love to hold Frank's hands....Frank has reassuring hands....his hands are so powerful....hands in general fascinate me(that and babies feet).....I hope when I have old hands....Frank is still holding on to them.....I hope I learned something from the ancients.....and know how to make a marriage last....at least 50 years.
To Joey, With Love....WINNER!
8 months ago