22 July 2007

What does it take to make it to 43 years?

Let me start with apologies to my parents for not posting this on their actual anniversary of July 20th. I have been under the weather and blogging was not a priority like trying to feel good enough to go to work.

Well 43 years ago this past Friday, my parents ran off from San Antonio, Texas to Seguin, Texas to elope in front a justice of the peace. They have been married to one another since they were 25 and 20 years of age. I can not imagine being with the man I was with at either 20 nor 25 and sustaining it at the level they have accomplished.

Of course there has been ups and downs. I do not know any married couple who has not had those regardless of how wonderful everything is. People grow and change and not always at the same rate or in the same direction. Marriage, hell, ANY relationship takes work. It takes time, nurturing, patience, understanding, a give and take... Of course most people think a relationship is 50-50; however, there are going to be times when it is 70-30 or even 90-10 and you need to learn to roll with it in order to sustain and grow with it.

My parents have learned that. To say they have mastered it is an understatement. Their relationship has had it's hardships as have everyone else. Growing up, my father was in law enforcement and frequently worked odd shifts or "on call" and such. There were times when friends thought I was from a single parent family due to my father's work requirements. It was not the case; however, it did thrust me into a different relationship with my mother because of our time alone. That is a situation I have worked on remedying as I have grown older. But this is not about me, sorry, I digress...

I have asked questions regarding the longevity of their marriage. Mama has always told me that she knew Daddy would take care of her for the rest of her life. Even before her diagnosis with cancer he has kept that promise. He takes care of so many things for their household (which also includes Nana, Mama's 85 year old mother). Mama enjoys sleeping in and jokes constantly that he "does more before I get up than I do all day". They do have their different household obligations; however, Daddy has had to step up in a few more categories since Mama has been ill.

They take time for one another. Sometimes in small batches. It's hard for them at times since they have Nana and do not want her to feel excluded. I should do more to pick up the slack and give them time apart. I do not do nearly enough in that avenue. Writing this I realize there is so much more I should do to allow them time together, time they have earned, time they deserve just for one another.

At the heart of this, I have learned through observation that which seems to be their biggest secrets to a successful marriage.... Understanding, patience, communication, time together... Sounds easy in theory; however, so many marriages seem to falter. Thankfully theirs is not one of them.

So to my parents, happy belated 43rd anniversary. Thank you for being a role model not only to me but to others by your example of not just what a couple should be, but also what you both give to others as individuals. If God would have asked me to select who I wanted as parents, I could not have done a more amazing job. I am fortunate, blessed beyond measure for having you in my life. I love you both.


chez béz said...

Beautifully written. I'm an "odd working hours" kind of guy as well.

My big congrats to your parents. They give young, struggling lovers like me hope.


Klinde said...

Mike, you and Paige are an ideal couple. You will be them one day, of that I am certain.

Grace said...

This has nothing to do with your post, but I went and saw "The Lives of Others" yesterday--you must go see it. It's in German!

I walked around saying Scheisse all day yesterday! :-)

Sara Sue said...

Happy Anniversary to your parents! I love hearing of how people make marriage work. I hope they will have many, many more years together.

Kerstin said...

Congratulations to your parents. That is a huge accomplishment and something to be admired.

Rhea said...

Happy day to your parents. You must be a baby boomer. If you are, how about trading links?