Today would be mom and dad's 40 year anniversary. Cancer took that from them. But I'm still celebrating 40 years. Today is not a day that I feel the sadness so much (like my birthday or specific holidays), but I feel the sadness for my dad, because even if he doesn't say it, I'm sure this day is a hard one for him to get through.
40 years!! Wow! what an accomplishment! And my mom loved dad, and dad loved mom unendlessly. They set a beautiful example for me. Mom's parents were married 72 years before my grandpa passed away. I can't remember how many dad's parents were married, but I know it was at least 60 before his dad passed away. I saw a lot of good marriages. And now that I'm married, I realize just how good those marriages were because of all the hard times they made it through. I think growing up, I had a beautiful example of marriage ,that I really had no idea how much work and how hard it would be as I entered into it at the age of 19. But I'll come back to that.
Mom taught me how to love. Literally. She taught me what it meant to love someone when you don't want to. She taught me to love the unlovable. i watched her love my dad every day. sometimes in the simple ways. Sometimes in larger ways. I watched her also love people who no one else would spend time with. She was amazing in that way. Growing up of course, mom never really talked about problems her and dad were having, which is the way it should be, me being her child. As I got older, and I'd sometimes share a frustratation, then she would tell me about how to get through it. I never saw her and dad really fight. They had their frustrations, but they also had great communication and work through things together. This was evident-their working as a team. Dad provided in amazing ways, allowing mom to fulfill her dream of being a stay at home mom her whole life. In mom's later days, I watched dad take care of her in new ways. Mom had always been the caretaker. It was her "job", even when she was sick, to take care of everyone else. She always did, too, no matter what. But when mom took a bad turn, I watched dad in new ways love mom. He would lift her, shift her, feed her, walk behind her, give her her meds, make decisions with the doctors and nurses-it was a new role for him, but he did it well. When mom died, dad was the one at her side. (We were in the kitchen-it was dad's turn in the room with her.)That was appropriate. At mom's funeral, the pastor said that Roger and Linda were like one word. You always said it together..."where's roger and linda?" or statements of the such. yes, they had their separate interests, but they were one as a couple should be. It was a beautiful picture of marriage.
I realize that times have changed a lot since 40 years ago when mom and dad were married. Today the economy is really tough so that many couples are "forced" to be both working. That would describe us. Also, marriage statistics are crazy these days and very few people last 40 years like mom and dad did. And thus, we have to work even harder at our relationship. I do not blog about my marriage much. But when mom died, I thought so much about my marriage, and what would be said of me as a wife if I passed away today or thoughts like that. Mom set such an example of how to love, of how to laugh, and really how to live....even how to die, as a wife and a mom and the lady of the house. I pondered that and thought on what i wanted to change. MIchael and I are going to celebrate 10 years in December. And as mom passed away, and as today it would be 40 years, I have thought a lot about our marriage. I miss having mom to talk to about things. But I remember her example. The times are different, as I said, so responses are different and well...our marriage is different than theirs. But mom could always laugh at dad's silly statements ...I don't always do this too well; I often take things way too seriously. There is a balance, but laughing is definitely something I want to do more. Mom and dad made it through some very tough times together. Michael and I have faced some pretty enormous difficult circumstance in 4 years-it's different for every marriage, but we've made it though some tough moments and we are stronger for it today. He is my best friend, my support. But it takes work for that to be the case sometimes. Mom showed me how worth it sticking out the hard times were. And now I see it myself. I have God ultimately to thank-He gets all the credit for getting us through things like a move, several job changes, financial crisis, emotional crisis, changes all over the place.... But I'd be remiss to not mention mom. Not only did mom set the example for me, she also was there for me to encourage me through those difficult times.
Anyway, today is 40 years for mom and dad. I am so thankful for the beautiful years they had together. I am thankful for the example they set. I am thankful for mom teaching me to love like she loved. She loved with all she had...literally one of the reasons I believe she held on for so long was because she worried about dad after her being gone. She did all the cooking and shopping and cleaning...and she didn't want to leave dad. But we know one day they will be reunited. She was a definition of love in so many ways.So-
HAPPY 40 YEARS, MOM AND DAD!!!!