40 Years

4 Sep

Today is my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary. Yep, 40 years.

That’s an incredibly long time to be married to another individual, much less the kind of partnership that parents have. They are genuinely still in love after all of this time. They are true partners in life. They lean on each other, support one another, think about ways to help each other. It truly amazes me.

My parents met through mutual friends in college and went on their first date to a Virginia Tech football game. They had never met. I think fate stepped in that day and encouraged them both to go. They were married the next fall, only having known each other for 11 months. To this day they still say they were crazy because 11 months isn’t long enough. Secretly I think they both think it’s plenty of time if it’s the right person, but they say to wait so my sister and I won’t get any crazy ideas. My dad’s proposal to my mom was something out of a story book. It went something like this while they were discussing their plans upon graduation:

Dad – “Well do you think we should get hitched?”

Mom – “Sure.”

Oh yeah. A true fairy tale romance. One look at them together, though, and you can see they were truly meant to be partners for life.

This isn’t to say things are always perfect. They are real people, living real lives with children and finances and responsibilities to worry about. My mom will call and say dad’s driving her insane. My dad still makes fun of my mom’s inability to go a trip with no less than six bags, mostly carrying things to keep her busy. Her knitting, quilting, sewing, and whatever else she’s temporarily interested in. After 40 years, dad accepts, but still enjoys a joke or two every time we pile in the car. After 40 years, they know they drive each other crazy sometimes. At the end of the day, they don’t even care.

One of the things I love most about my parents is that they still hold hands. What a simple act that communicates a great deal. I’m here with you. I’m beside you as your equal. You can lean on me. I love you.

When I was going through my divorce, I was able to maintain my optimism about marriage by looking at my parents. My mom would comfort me and say it’s okay that I picked wrong. Marriage can be a crap-shoot. Sometimes people just get lucky. Personally, I think it was a lot more than luck that brought them together on a blind date back in 1970. Whatever it was, thank you. My sister and I are truly the lucky ones.

Love and celebrations,


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