Today is a special day for me. Not just for me though. It’s a special day for all of my siblings too. You see, today is our Mom and Dad’s 64th wedding anniversary. For Mom and Dad it’s the anniversary of the day they entered into a lifelong covenant with each other. But, for their children, it’s the anniversary of the day we all started learning about love from the best teachers you’ll ever meet.
Mom and Dad’s relationship has always stood out as a beautiful testament to their love for each other. In fact, I remember one of my cousins commenting about how she liked to watch my parents at family functions. She liked how they would hold hands or how my Mom would catch my Dad’s eye from across the room and smile at him like they were newlyweds.
What always stood out to me was how much they enjoyed each other’s company. They wanted to spend time together. Back in the days when people would actually change their own oil and fix their own cars, Mom would sit outside chatting with Dad and handing him tools while he worked just so she could be near him. I remember them holding hands throughout their marriage and being loving and sweet to each other. Mom was always grateful for Dad’s good qualities and would repeatedly point those qualities out to us. She was never the type of wife who would complain about her husband. She honestly didn’t feel like she had anything to complain about. Not only did she respect Dad, but she admired him as well. And Dad was always gentle and respectful of Mom. When dinner didn’t turn out quite as well as Mom had hoped, Dad would always say it was good and eat it without complaint. Sometimes he would say, “Next time we have this for dinner, perhaps we could use a little less salt.” But even that gentle comment was rare to hear. The harshest word I’ve ever heard Dad say to any of us, especially Mom, was “whoop”. (Most often heard when teaching one of us to drive!)
They never really argued but they would occasionally get irritated with each other. Usually, the cause was something small like getting lost while driving that would cause the tension. Most often it was Mom who got short-tempered. But it wouldn’t last too long and they were soon holding hands again and Mom would more than make up for her impatience with her affection for Dad.
Over the last few years, Dad has become Mom’s caretaker and he continues to be our teacher. If you ever want to know what it means to love your spouse “in sickness and in health” just come see my Dad. Everything he does for my Mom is done gently and lovingly. He still calls her beautiful and tells her he loves her. He gives her kisses and even says “thank you!” when she lets him. He gets pleasure out of the rare smiles and even rarer words that she gives him now. Most of all, he loves her through the amazing care he provides.
We don’t know if Mom and Dad will celebrate another anniversary together. But we do know that their love will continue no matter what. And, until the time that we stop counting the anniversaries, I plan to be in the front row taking notes. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!
Copyright 2013 Laura B. Nelson