Today my parents celebrate 52 years of marriage. They've taught me so much about love and life and commitment. They were committed to their family and to each other. My Mom worked as a stay-at-home Mom while my Dad worked a full-time job and odd jobs to make ends meet.
Uncle Mike and Dad
He worked (most of my growing up years) as a police officer. I used to love when he'd get off work and come home. When he was a motorcycle officer, we used to BEG to get to ride up the driveway on the motorcycle... about 2 car lengths. Ha!
The main thing I liked about when Dad got home was he would most often go to the kitchen where my Mom would be cooking supper. He'd usually have a glass of Coke and snack on some potato chips and tell Mom all about the events of the day. I liked to listen in. (I think I often lurked around as a child listening to adult conversation. Is that normal?)
I also liked when my Dad was getting ready to go to work. My Mom cooked him breakfast every morning and he'd leave just a little bit of coffee in his cup. Mom (or Dad, I'm not sure which) would add some milk and some sugar to it... and one "lucky" kid would get to drink it. Mom would see Dad out the door every morning and watch him drive down the road. I used to love to wave goodbye to him with her ... when I was awake. (I remember this, so was I a morning person back then, Mom?)
I've learned a lot through the years from watching my parents. I learned the most from them about five years ago when my Dad ended up in the hospital for a month. He has Peripheral Vascular Disease which caused him to lose his right leg (from just above the knee). For a month, we didn't know if he would keep the leg, or lose it. Keep the knee or lose it. Keep his life or lose it. It was a roller-coaster of emotions and decisions and praying. My Mother stayed by Dad's side from early morning until visiting hours ended each night. I never saw her cry, although I'm sure she did when she was alone. I watched each day as my parents worried about what the other one must be going through. Even though it was such a tough time, it was so revealing and I learned so much.
They just know how to make marriage look easy. They'll be the first to tell you they're not perfect... and to be honest there are a few incidents that we joke about now that were glimpses of normalcy (my siblings and I fondly refer to "the bread incident"). In my mind, my parents are extraordinary and we are all the richer for it.
Happy 52nd Anniversary, Mom and Dad! I love you.